Historic DC Flyby for the retiring Space Shuttle Discovery

I headed to Arlington Cemetery to catch a shot of the Space Shuttle on its way to retirement at the Udvar-Hazy Center, National Air and Space Museum near Dulles Airport this morning.  Unfortunately, the traffic getting there and the flight pattern didn’t make for the best shots.  It flew directly over me, as you’ll see.  It was still a thrill to see it.  The better viewing was probably over by the Washington Monument or I hate to say it, on the roof of my house which I contemplated.  I’m sure at the Udvar-Hazy parking lot it was pretty good viewing, too.  My daughter even sent me an iPhone shot from her high school. Ultimately, I decided I wanted the DC backdrop.

I wasn’t in position for the first pass, which was a little earlier than predicted and came from behind. Everyone was caught off-guard by the initial approach.  Since when does government work get done early?  And, I was almost to the point of leaving when it passed over the second time.  I hadn’t heard any reports say it would make several passes.  It made a total of three flybys. Unfortunately my footage is all handheld.

This was the first use of my new Jag35 rig and ultra new Nikkor 2.8, 24-70 lense, which worked great under unpredictable conditions.

Anyway, it reminded me of the few times when I caught sight of the Concorde passing through the area when it was in operation.