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Experience the DC Flyover

Updated video, new footage

A new video of AOPA's National Celebration of General Aviation Flyover of Washington, D.C., includes previously unreleased footage and our best look yet at the epic aerial parade.

On May 11, 54 aircraft flew from Frederick Municipal Airport in Maryland to Washington, D.C., for the national celebration of GA and, coincidentally, AOPA’s eighty-fifth anniversary. They crossed into some of the most restricted airspace in the United States to present the history of GA through the ages.

At the time, AOPA, the organizer, livestreamed the event; however, because of all the agencies involved, and to satisfy security requirements, air-to-air imagery from the media helicopter and countless shots from the GoPro cameras mounted on some of the participating aircraft could not be immediately broadcast. For example, the helicopter’s gimbal-stabilized camera was able to capture details that could have required U.S. Secret Service clearance before the footage could be shared with the public.

That footage, along with additional perspectives captured from participating aircraft and cameras on the ground, has been incorporated in this new video. Our finished product gives you the best seat in the house. You’re going to see close-ups of the staggered takeoffs, sorted by aviation eras ranging from the Golden Age of aviation to single-engine turboprops, and follow along as they turn left over the Lincoln Memorial and pass the Washington Monument and the National Mall at 1,000 feet, and within close proximity of other, iconic landmarks of the nation’s capital. Like the spectators on the ground (but much closer), you will see some of the most interesting, beautiful, and historically significant GA aircraft from 1920 to the present make a once-in-a-lifetime flight. To mention just a few, the parade was led by a Beechcraft Model 17 Staggerwing (flown by AOPA President Mark Baker), followed by more than 50 other aircraft, including helicopters, a Grumman HU–16 Albatross, the distinctive Fire Boss (a water bomber in the public service segment), a Douglas DC–3, a Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet, and Daher’s TBM 850 representing the current state of the art. Finally, ending the parade were the Titan Aerobatic Team’s three rumbling North American T–6 Texans with smoke on. The show was narrated from the roof of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History by AOPA’s erstwhile editor in chief, Tom Haines, and noted broadcast news journalist Miles O’Brien, adding valuable information and fun tidbits about the aircraft as they flew by.

Enjoy.

Sylvia Schneider Horne
Digital Media Editor
Sylvia Schneider Horne is a digital media editor for AOPA's eMedia division.

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