Wednesday: Low-Flying Aircraft Over City

by June 9, 2009 at 7:27 pm 1,354 0

I got this news release from Alert DC about low-flying aircraft over the city tomorrow (release is below the fold).

Yes, I know: Why exactly am I posting this? Simple: I remember the days-weeks-months (hell, a couple of years) after Sept. 11, 2001, when the sight or sound of a low-flying aircraft caused my heart to skip a beat.

We live a little more than a mile north of the White House. For at least two years, if not more, I can remember being awakened in the middle of the night by hovering helicopters–and I am pretty sure they were military choppers. It was spooky. So don’t freak out tomorrow.

News release follows.

NORAD Flight Exercises Planned for Washington Area

WASHINGTON, June 9, 2009 – The Defense Department will conduct two training exercises involving aircraft here tomorrow.

The first exercise by the North American Aerospace Defense Command and its regional component will occur between midnight and 6 a.m. EDT, followed by another exercise between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The exercises comprise a series of training flights held in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Capital Region Command Center, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center, the Continental U.S. NORAD Region, Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard and CONR’s Northeast Air Defense Sector.

Both the early morning exercise Falcon Virgo and the daytime Amalgam Arrow are designed to hone NORAD’s intercept and identification operations, as well as procedural tests of the NCR Visual Warning System, officials said.

Exercise Falcon Virgo will include two Civil Air Patrol Cessna aircraft, two Air Force F-16s and a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter. Residents may see these aircraft approaching and flying in the vicinity during the late-night and early morning hours.

Aircraft participating in Exercise Amalgam Arrow include a C-21 Lear 35, a C-172 Cessna and an Air Force F-16. Residents may also see these aircraft approaching and flying in the vicinity of the nation’s capital.

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