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Spousal Flight #1
One of the first things I noticed when we arrived at Maryland from Montana was the different coloured Hueys. It took a while for me to get used to a blue and white helo compared to the Huey Green I'd always seen before.
You'll notice (or not notice as the case may be) that there are no photos of the White House by itself. Evidently we flew relatively close to it, but for the life of me I couldn't see it and as I was a little too embarrassed to ask where it was, I missed it entirely. When you're flying in a Huey you have headsets and when you want to talk to anyone you have to press a button to be heard. I had done this before, but with all of the 'talk' on the radio from the control towers etc, I was a bit worried I would ask a question at the wrong time and be a nuisance - hence my silence. It's not often I'm quiet so it was probably a relief to the pilot and FE that were in the front of the helicopter. A year or so later when I had picked up the courage to actually ask where the White House was, I went back over these photos and found that I had taken a photo with the White House in it without even knowing ... see if you can spot it for yourself. If you're familiar with DC then it won't be a problem for you.
This is the Huey that was flying right in front of us. It had just stopped raining as we went to take off hence the overcast conditions. It was still very exciting as I adore flying and getting to fly in a helicopter over Washington DC was an amazing chance of a lifetime for me.
I quite like this photo as it shows you the view that I had during the flight ... not the scenery of course, which changed ... but the view. On the left hand side of the photo is the FE (Flight Engineer) and we were 'second ship' in a three ship formation so you can see the huey that was flying in front of us for the entire flight. Also to the top left hand side you can see a plane taking off from Raegen International Airport, that's the airport in the photo, and the Potomac River. So for me this photo managed to capture quite a few things in the one frame.
I didn't know what this was until the FE explained it to us. This is a surface to air missile launcher. Gives you another perspective really, the person standing there watched us as we flew by - makes you wonder ... if they had a bad day would they push a button just to see if it works? All necessary in guarding the people of America in this day-and-age unfortunately.
Pretty self-explanatory photo. The Washington Memorial. This flight was scheduled for the National Cherry Blossom Festival but this year the blossoms decided that they were going to come out a little later, hence the distinct lack of blossoms on the tree. It's still was an amazing experience for me though and one I never took for granted. These days there is a huge security fence around the memorial.
This is the Lincoln Memorial. The building to the back (right) of it is the famous hotel where the Watergate Scandal began. Unfortunately it's a no-fly zone in front of the Memorial so we didn't get to see it from that angle. Mind you, this angle is just fine for me.
If you keep flying around the Potomac from the point where I took the last photo, you get to this point of view. The National Mall. So you see the backside of the Lincoln Memorial, The Reflection Pool, Washington Memorial and the House of Congress ... the Reflection Pool wasn't very full at this point so it wasn't doing a lot of reflecting.
I just had to take this photo to give you a birds-eye-view of the traffic in DC. Coming from a very small town in New Zealand to this type of traffic was definitely a new experience for me. This wasn't even a busy day traffic wise. On a week day at peak hour traffic these roads are bumper-to-bumper. You can also see the third huey in the three ship formation we were in.
This is Andrews AFB from the Huey as we came in to land. Todd's squadron 'office' is the last hangar at the far end of the runway.