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Old Aug 1, 06, 7:46 am   #1
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Helicopters circle over Suburban DC 24 hours a day

As I was flying into Washington DC I saw a number of helicopters circling over the area. It brought bad memories of the sleepless nights I have on a regular basis in the DC area due to circling and hovering helicopters. Many just sit over the area an make noise. Others circle and circle. To me a military chopper would be moving towards a destination. Who is flying these noisy chppers and who is paying for them?

Is this as irritating to you as me and does it impact commercial aviation?
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Old Aug 1, 06, 7:54 am   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenery
As I was flying into Washington DC I saw a number of helicopters circling over the area. It brought bad memories of the sleepless nights I have on a regular basis in the DC area due to circling and hovering helicopters. Many just sit over the area an make noise. Others circle and circle. To me a military chopper would be moving towards a destination. Who is flying these noisy chppers and who is paying for them?

Is this as irritating to you as me and does it impact commercial aviation?
No appreciable impact on commercial aviation.
And nope, doesn't bother me at all.
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Old Aug 1, 06, 8:12 am   #3
 
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I live 10 miles south of the capitol building on the potomac river. Starting at about 5:30am, there are convoys of heli running low(under DCA flightpath) up to the federal area from Quantico. they frequently are in a hurry, so run at close to max speed. the rotor tips approach/exceed the speed of sound, and the cracking noise is very loud.

Another bunch is stored at Andrews, and runs up and down the beltway.



I think most are federal govt machines used to haul various dignitaries around. If they cannot do the heli, a motorcade through the city is the answer.

nothing like a major motorcade from downtown out to andrews at 5pm.
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Old Aug 1, 06, 8:52 am   #4
 
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They also patrol the airspace in and around DC. Customs rotates Black Hawks that are equipped to track small aircraft that drug smugglers use to DC to moniter the air space around the area.
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Old Aug 1, 06, 2:23 pm   #5
 
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[quote=slawecki] there are convoys of heli running low(under DCA flightpath) up to the federal area from Quantico. they frequently are in a hurry, so run at close to max speed. the rotor tips approach/exceed the speed of sound, [quote]
FYI, a limiting factor in helicopter airspeed is that the blade tips cannot go supersonic. The aerodynamics and shock wave effect associated with supersonic flight would cause the rotor blade to go badly out of balance and self-destruct. You are correct, however, that at high speed the tip of the advancing rotor blades are nearing supersonic speed.
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Old Aug 1, 06, 5:26 pm   #6
 
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[quote=53flyer][quote=slawecki] there are convoys of heli running low(under DCA flightpath) up to the federal area from Quantico. they frequently are in a hurry, so run at close to max speed. the rotor tips approach/exceed the speed of sound,
Quote:
FYI, a limiting factor in helicopter airspeed is that the blade tips cannot go supersonic. The aerodynamics and shock wave effect associated with supersonic flight would cause the rotor blade to go badly out of balance and self-destruct. You are correct, however, that at high speed the tip of the advancing rotor blades are nearing supersonic speed.
google search indicates that the blades are not ss, but the air they push off goes supersonic. seems to be called "shock noise"
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Old Aug 1, 06, 5:54 pm   #7
 
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If there are unmarked black helicopters hovering over you 24 hours a day, then meet me at the secret location. I'll call Fox Mulder and tell him what the true story really is. If the smoking man contacts you, say nothing of our plan. If you don't hear from me by Friday, then they already have me. Save yourself and get to the safe house.
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Old Aug 1, 06, 7:11 pm   #8
 
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Medevac transports and protecting the riverfront

Some of the military helicopters are transporting returning injured soldiers to various medical facilities.

Sometimes the law enforcement and medevac helicopters are checking out the waterfront sights along between assignments.
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Old Aug 1, 06, 8:04 pm   #9
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If a helicopter is high up and hovering, it's probably just observing things below. I don't think they're as bothersome when they're high up.
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Old Aug 2, 06, 4:13 am   #10
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They make so much noise. Isn't there someone in power who gets woken by these hovering aircraft that could tell them to go away.

A warning to those who travel to Washington DC and want to sleep, watch out for noisy choppers!
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Old Aug 2, 06, 4:14 pm   #11
 
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I've been to DC several times in the past 5 years, and never really noticed more noise than any other city.
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Old Aug 2, 06, 6:34 pm   #12
 
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Was the President on the move? I saw black helicopters hovering near DTW once while I was driving towards the airport. From my view it looked weird as they could have been in the approach path to 23L/R (over interstate 94). Once I saw Air Force One parked way off to the south of the airport, it made sense.
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Old Aug 2, 06, 7:01 pm   #13
 
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My apartment faces generally North/Northwest. I routinely see helicopters flying NE to NW and vice versa (mostly medical "lifeflight" type).

I see Bell-looking copters (Park Service, DC PD) flying over the NW area (Dupont Ciircle area) all the time.

Over Naval Observatory, see Presidential marked copters flying from way-upper NW (Bethesda/Chevy Chase Area) down towards Observatory then frther south over the GW/Foggy Bottom area towards the Potomac.

Finally, up and down the Potomac - Bell-looking, plus others (possibly military and Marine/Presidential-marked) heading around.

In short, just about everywhere. They're like sirens in DC, common, everywhere, you don't even notice 'em.
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Old Aug 7, 06, 11:29 am   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenery
They make so much noise. Isn't there someone in power who gets woken by these hovering aircraft that could tell them to go away.

A warning to those who travel to Washington DC and want to sleep, watch out for noisy choppers!
Having been in the DC area for close to four years I can say that you just learn to ignore them and carry on with your day.
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Old Aug 8, 06, 6:17 am   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GWU ESIA STUDENT
They also patrol the airspace in and around DC. Customs rotates Black Hawks that are equipped to track small aircraft that drug smugglers use to DC to moniter the air space around the area.

????? where these small aircraft coming from, and where are they landing? I don't think small craft are allowed within 25 or 50 miles of George's bunker.

In fall and winter, when boat traffic is very light on the Potomac, I am frequently followed by a coast guard(blue/orange) heli when I drive my boat up the potomac toward dc.
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