jhooper
Posts: 5560
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

Flying To Washington, D.C.

Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:21 pm

Last week I got to fly up to D.C. and experienced the River Visual Approach to runway 19. Boy was that a thrilling experience!

For the pilots out there, has it ever been legal to fly over downtown D.C? When was the prohibited area put up over the White House and Capitol? I was kind of surprised that it's perfectly legal to fly over the Pentagon; then again, it is literally right next to the airport.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
concord977
Posts: 1224
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2004 1:43 pm

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:30 pm

Jhooper,

I am not a pilot (or at least a commercial one). But I know that as long as 6 years ago, southbound arrivals were required to follow the river.

That final turn is wild!
No info
 
Guest

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Wed Mar 17, 2004 12:53 am

Long before 9/11, it was a noise abatement requirement brought on by the aristocrats in Montgomery County Maryland and Fairfax County Virginia rather than the nice people of DC.

 
repaulson
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 1999 11:18 pm

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Wed Mar 17, 2004 1:12 am

Jhooper,

Ok this doesn't exactly answer your question but as a student pilot in DC area I have to know what I am doing all the time inside and around the ADIZ or Air Defense Identification Zone.

Multimedia presentation from AOPA about the ADIZ... Interesting
http://www.aopa.org/adiz/host.html

There is a 15 mile ring around the DCA VOR. General aviation is most often off limits. They have shot down authority. Still I fly NW of Dulles and it's no problem. Just stay away from IAD airspace traffic and you are good.

Enjoy!

Repaulson
 
contrails
Posts: 1310
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2000 11:53 pm

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Wed Mar 17, 2004 1:27 am

There is one GA-type plane that regularly flies roughly 6 mile circles around DCA. I see it going over my apartment building all the time. It's a single engine, like a Cessna, and I heard it belongs to the FBI. It's been up there since shortly after September 11. I have no idea what they're doing up there.
Flying Colors Forever!
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:25 am

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Wed Mar 17, 2004 1:29 am

I see all sorts of air traffic over my apartment.

It always has big guns on it tho.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

It's a single engine, like a Cessna, and I heard it belongs to the FBI. It's been up there since shortly after September 11.

Patrolling.

N
 
jhooper
Posts: 5560
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Wed Mar 17, 2004 2:42 am

Repaulson ,

Thanks for the explanation, however I'm already familiar with the operational requirements of the ADIZ. I feel sorry for you guys in D.C. who basically have missles aimed at you whenever you fly. I have a friend who took lessons up there one time and got lost on their X.C. and flew right over Camp David!

Anyway, I'm inquiring as to the airspace requirements as they were long before 9/11. Specifically, I'm interested in a historical perspective as to when the D.C. area was off limits to air traffic. In other words, was there ever a time that D.C. was a "free for all" as soon as DCA airport was opened?

As for General Aviation, I do hope that full airspace access is restored as soon as possible. There were congressional hearings on this matter yesterday; hopefully they'll produce some results.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
petazulu
Posts: 683
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2003 3:32 am

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Wed Mar 17, 2004 2:48 am

It has been restricted airpace for a long time now- at least 20 years. Probably a lot longer as I would guess that during the Cold War, the White House and Capitol would have been off limits to GA-flybys!
 
repaulson
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 1999 11:18 pm

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Wed Mar 17, 2004 3:00 am

I know that DCA was (- and not sure when it ended) open to GA traffic in and out but had to stay clear of the white house off limits area. Don't know how long ago that ceased. I tell you one day last summer I was down at national watch aircraft depart/land and I heard what I knew to be a Cessna 1?2 and it was directly over head! I don't know at what height (probably a few thousand feet) but I swear it was right over national... was very surprised. I guess you can get permission to enter that B airspace if you're GA!

Repaulson
 
jhooper
Posts: 5560
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Wed Mar 17, 2004 3:45 am

GA was suspended from DCA on 9/11 when the rest of the national airspace was closed. The ban has not since been lifted.

Where are you doing your training in D.C. There are ways to get into the 3 GA airports close to the Capitol, but there are specific requirements that must be met. A simple "request into Class B" won't work anymore.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
Guest

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Wed Mar 17, 2004 4:16 am

Contrails,

That plane belongs to INS, and from what I'm told it has sophisticated infra-red equipment on board. I do know that when it's seen over Wintergreen Plaza in Rockville, there is usually an INS raid there the same day.

Lately it's been seen a lot over MC's Germantown Maryland campus. But we have mostly diplomat's kids, so I doubt if there will be a raid.  Big grin

 
PA34plt
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:46 pm

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Wed Mar 17, 2004 4:21 am

As a pilot in the ADIZ I don't think the plane is an INS aircraft. It is most likely a traffic watch plane. They are allowed in the FRZ with the proper background checks. The INS and FBI use shiny black and yellow black hawks.
 
contrails
Posts: 1310
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2000 11:53 pm

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Wed Mar 17, 2004 4:21 am

Thanks, Worldperks. Very interesting.
Flying Colors Forever!
 
potomac
Posts: 692
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 5:06 am

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Wed Mar 17, 2004 4:29 am

i know of the cessna being mentioned - i've seen it several times. i'm pretty sure that it is not a traffic reporter, as i've seen it fly over the city at higher altitudes, rather than at lower altitudes right over the beltway/270. not to mention the non-rush hour times late at night or during the middle of the day. i'm guessing it is in support of the surveillance aircraft in the area, but more from an airspace security purpose - i seriously doubt the connection to any 'raids' in rockville.
 
Guest

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Wed Mar 17, 2004 4:35 am

PA34plt,

Most traffic is done by helicopter now. But that first started in 1978 with the Colgan Airways crash which took down WTOP's Bob Marberg.

Check out the Washington Post's archives. An at-length story on the INS plane appeared shortly after 9/11.

 
repaulson
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 1999 11:18 pm

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Wed Mar 17, 2004 5:23 am

Jhooper, I fly out of JYO - Leesburg and fly usually west around Loudoun county and sometimes farther west to WVa...
 
Kempa
Posts: 364
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 2:47 am

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Wed Mar 17, 2004 7:31 am

I usually see a Cessna 337 flying over I270 near Rockville. I am sure that one does road traffic control or reporting, and flies out of GAI-Montgomery County Airpark. Even though the 337 looks a lot like Cessna singles, it is a twin, one facing forward and one facing back. Most notable is the split empennage.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © John Davies

 
jhooper
Posts: 5560
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Wed Mar 17, 2004 8:45 am

Could the cessna maybe belong to Civil Air Patrol?
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
Espion007
Posts: 1653
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 9:29 am

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Wed Mar 17, 2004 9:48 am

thats interesting.Every morning around 7am i see a cessna 172 or 182 flying right over my house toward I-270(im about 1 mile south of rockville).Some days its a cessna 377 skymaster. Do you know if its in any way linked to the cessna your talking about Kempa?btw,my location is the star on the map below. The aircraft usally is flying west toward I-270

Snakes on a Plane!
 
ANA777Master
Posts: 289
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 4:33 am

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Wed Mar 17, 2004 10:07 am

I used to live right under the river approach/departure path to/from DCA. I always loved to hear the planes flying overhead in the morning and at dawn.
(No, I didn't live in a river boat you smart-ass Smile
 
gocaps16
Posts: 4138
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2000 9:14 am

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Wed Mar 17, 2004 1:09 pm

I recently flew the visual approach about 2 weeks ago from Dallas-Ft. Worth. It never gets boring since I've done this approach 10,000 times. If you guys are still wondering, the 30-minute rule still does apply inbound and outbound of DCA.

When I lived in Arlington, I used to live near the approach path for 19. never bothers me even at especially at 1-2am when the last flights arrives. As for departures, the last schedule departure is around 10pm or so due to noise abatement.

Kevin
 
jhooper
Posts: 5560
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Wed Mar 17, 2004 1:26 pm

I don't see the point of the 30 minute rule, especially outbound. The captain usually turns the seatbelt sign on 15-20 minutes before landing on all flights anyway; this should be perfectly adaquate. It's best to let the captain decide when it's safe to be up and when the passengers should be seated.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
repaulson
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 1999 11:18 pm

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Thu Mar 18, 2004 3:00 am

House Press release on GA traffic in/out of DCA

http://www.house.gov/transportation/press/press2004/release17.html

Waivers:
TSA has granted hundreds of waivers to elected officials to allow them to fly their GA planes into DCA. To receive a waiver, all passenger names must be checked against the national criminal database and the aircraft must carry an armed law enforcement officer. TSA does not require these flights to have secure cockpit doors and neither passengers nor baggage need to be screened for weapons or explosives.
 
jhooper
Posts: 5560
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

RE: Flying To Washington, D.C.

Thu Mar 18, 2004 4:17 am

So the senator who flies his Piper Cub to DCA has to have a guy with a gun sitting in the other seat!  Laugh out loud
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.