Washington D.C. is the most prestigious, powerful, and most importantly, surveilled places in America. There is quite possibly nowhere else that is as restricted, with justifiably good measure. Helicopters let alone airplanes, cannot fly in the airspace very often due to the severe restrictions and how hard it is to get permission to fly in that airspace around the capital, which is why we can’t wait to tell you about our experience participating in the Arsenal of Democracy flyover from our helicopter during this historic event!
This past Friday, May 8th, 2015 marked the 70th anniversary of the Allied Forces declaring victory in Europe during World War II, also known as VE Day. In Washington D.C. on this 70th Anniversary, the Arsenal of Democracy organized a World War II Victory Capitol plane flyover, featuring over fifty vintage airplanes from the time period arranged to represent the chronological progression of the war. The formations represented the War’s major battles, “from Pearl Harbor through the final air assault on Japan, and concluding with a missing man formation to ”Taps”. Never before has such a collection of WWII aircraft been assembled at one location, to honor the large assemblage of veterans gathered at the WWII Memorial for the ceremony.”
With full clearance from every possible US Government Agency and Department, NYonAir was selected to capture aerial HD video and still imagery of this unprecedented event over the National Mall in D.C. . This epic undertaking took over 1 year to set up! They even had to close Reagan International Airport for one whole hour to make this happen. A WHOLE AIRPORT! We (NYonAir) were given unprecedented access to the Washington D.C. airspace, and if you’re unaware of just how much of a big deal that is, it’s a big deal.
This is what our Pilot and VP of Production, Rob Marshall, had to say about the opportunity to fly the helicopter during the flyover event, “This was an amazing piece of history to be a part of, especially over OUR nation’s Capital. As I was filming the continuous wave of WII ward birds (from 2000′), I thought about how the pilots and crew fought for our freedom 70 years ago in these amazing aircrafts. I was honored that The Arsenal of Democracy asked us to be a part of this historical event. Before we flew, we were given an American flag. The flag was placed in our windscreen and flew with us. Awesome! Awesome!”
The Federal Aviation Administration, The Transportation Security Administration, the Secret Service, and the National Parks Service all joined in on the decision to grant approval for up to 70 airplanes (including us) to participate in this spectacular and historic event. Bombers and fighters flying 1,000 feet off the ground in the highly secured airspace above the Capital and the White House. Some of the planes, following the flyover, were on display on May 9th at the museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.
All photos by NYonAir COO, Tim Orr.
With the first stats from the Arsenal of Democracy at 50,486 Round Trip Miles, 6,000 Flyover Miles, 56 Aircraft (plus 2 Photo Birds), 4,000 Gallons of fuel, and 1,100 gallons of oil, the World War II FlyOver Event (#ww2flyover) was a great success and we loved being a part of every minute of it!
Written by Jackii Sovern.