Watching Aircraft at National Airport

My bicycle rides quite frequently take me past Washington National Airport and Gravelly Point Park, located at the northern end of the airport’s main runway.  I always stop to take pictures.  Here are a few of the latest.

Wth my zoom lens, I was able to track aircraft that were both landing and taking off on the main runway (RWY 1) at the same time. Here is a sequence of two pictures with one aircraft landing and the other taking off,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand here is another sequence of two pictures where the aircraft that are landing and taking off seem to be closer to each other.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe two sequences seen above took place within minutes of each other.  It is an indication of how busy the airport was at the time I was there.

The bridge in the background in the pictures above is the Woodrow Wilson Bridge that carries Interstate 495 across the Potomac.

There was also activity on the shorter runway, RWY 33, that cuts across the main runway. Some of it took place between the two sequences pictured above.  RWY 33 is used for smaller aircraft when needed.  The fact that this runway was is use is another indication of how busy the airport was.  Here is a sequence of an aircraft taking off while crossing the main runway,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand here is another sequence of a second aircraft landing.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATiming is critical when managing aircraft simultaneously on runways that crisscross each other.  In the picture above, you can see that there is an aircraft waiting for the crossing traffic to pass before heading down the main runway for takeoff.

I found the picture below interesting simply because of the visual impact of the hot gas exiting the engines of the aircraft that is taking off.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe following picture shows a “crabbed” approach for landing. It is used when there is a significant enough crosswind during landing.  The pilot is trying to keep the aircraft in line with the runway while fighting this crosswind.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am posting the picture below simply because I like it!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABeing at Gravelly Point with my camera is one of those simple pleasures that I really look forward to. It is another reason to look forward to the biking season.

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K. Joseph

I am an engineer by training. I am exploring new horizons after having spent many years in the Industry. My interests are varied and I tend to write about what is on my mind at any particular moment in time.

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