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  #1  
Old 06-12-2017, 08:45 PM
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Lycosaurus Lycosaurus is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 604
Default June 2017 - Capital to Capital (Ottawa to Washington DC)

Ottawa to Washington DC

I have wanted to visit Washington D.C. for the longest time. My first visit was many years ago (I was 18 then, can you believe it) with my high school friend Jack. We managed a trip to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, and I remember how I was in awe of the space ship displays.

There are strict procedures to flying within 60nm of the D.C. area. A quick 40 minute online course allows you to fly the Special Flight Rules Area using appropriate procedures. If you want to fly any closer, then you need to get fingerprinted and submit to an FAA and FBI background check before you are issued a PIN for filing special flight plans. This allows access to the Maryland Three airports, of which one is College Park (KCGS). KCGS allows you to get close enough to the city that you are only a 10 minute walk away from the College Park Metro station.

In the past, the fingerprinting and background checks had to be initiated in D.C., and would typically take up almost a whole day. Our good old friend Vlad got it done over a year ago. Recently, a little over a year ago, they eased up on the application procedures like allowing to have fingerprints taken by local law enforcement and submitting forms and signatures remotely. This also includes a Facetime or Skype interview with the airport management. While there are still some hoops to jump through as a Canadian, I managed to get it done with minimal travel from Ottawa. I will be creating another post on the process that worked for me. Meanwhile here is a presentation I found on the interweb for those that just can’t wait. (Check out the Maryland Three airports for more information as well):

http://www.flying20club.org/document...esentation.pdf

EDIT: I have posted some info on how to get the PIN for the FRZ here:
http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...38#post1181338

I was anticipating this trip, as I was celebrating my 60th birthday, and what better way than to fly to a great destination with Shirley for an extended weekend celebration. We booked the Friday off and monitored weather. Two days before the trip I received a call from the College Park airport manager saying that they had the PIN for me (THE secret decoder ring), allowing me access to fly into the airport. YES! The stars had aligned. Forecasts showed great weather along our route and at the destination.

I have to say that the staff at College Park was very helpful and supportive in obtaining my FRZ access quickly. Public thanks go to Lee Sommer (KCGS manager) and Katie Hefner (KCGS asst. manager).

Flying IFR instead of VFR inside the Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ) is somewhat easier (more foolproof), so that is what we planned to do.


I had planned out the flying routes (no canned routes available), filed a flight plan for CYRP to KART, eAPIS (passenger manifest), contacted US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) for an appointment and made last minute preparations. Hotels were getting scarce, and either way, they are super expensive in DC. We decided to try out airbnb, and that was one of the many great decisions on this trip.

We were up around 5am on Friday and obtained last minute weather briefings from the FSS folks in Canada and USA, spoke to our friends at CBP to confirm the appointment at Watertown (KART), and filed the FRZ flight plan with Potomac.



Great weather…


Watertown (KART)
The flight only took 40 minutes, and we monitored our flight progress with the GPS ETA so as to arrive as per the agreed time of 8:00am.


A quick showing of credentials to the CBP officer, and we were ready to top off on fuel as a precaution. We received our expected route by phone (as filed), and departed (8:30am), picking up our clearance airborne.


Shirley managed to capture a lake shaped as a horse (maybe a fox).


After a short 2 hour flight, we had reached D.C. (or at least College Park MD). The Washington Monument can be seen in the background (look hard). When you are flying, it seems like it is so much closer.


College Park Airport: “world's oldest airport in operation, established in 1909 when Wilbur Wright arrived at the field to train two military officers in the US Army.”


Brought our own improvised propeller lock - hefty bicycle cable with a motorcycle disk lock. That should do the trick. The airport also provides a lock and cable if visiting aircraft don’t have their own.
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Alfio
RV-9A Ottawa, Canada
First flight Dec. 18, 2008
over 850 hrs tach.

Last edited by Lycosaurus : 06-18-2017 at 07:53 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-12-2017, 08:47 PM
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Lycosaurus Lycosaurus is offline
 
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While the motto below may not always ring true, the landing may not be as much fun if the pilot was intercepted by an F15 in the FRZ.


College Park has an aviation museum. We ran out of time for visiting the CGS museum this time around. We will definitely be back for that one soon…


Ten minute walk to the Metro


Not long after we were at the Smithsonian Air and Space museum.








It has been 42 years since the last time I visited.


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Alfio
RV-9A Ottawa, Canada
First flight Dec. 18, 2008
over 850 hrs tach.

Last edited by Lycosaurus : 06-13-2017 at 04:12 AM.
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  #3  
Old 06-12-2017, 08:48 PM
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Lycosaurus Lycosaurus is offline
 
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Our RV9’s panel is a few switches short of being called a command module.




Sometimes a camera's perspective does funny things.


We walked by the Canadian Embassy. Wow, really nice setup we have there.




Our host Rand lives in Takoma Park, MD. Nice quiet neighborhood.


Washington seems to have a great sense of humor…at least how I read this ad... but boy, finding a bag full of money would really be nice.
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Alfio
RV-9A Ottawa, Canada
First flight Dec. 18, 2008
over 850 hrs tach.

Last edited by Lycosaurus : 06-12-2017 at 09:15 PM.
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  #4  
Old 06-12-2017, 08:49 PM
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Lycosaurus Lycosaurus is offline
 
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National Library of Congress










The Capitol


There are free guided tours. We did not have a reservation, however depending on how busy they are, they try to fit you in. Highly recommended.


Postcard Perfect.
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Alfio
RV-9A Ottawa, Canada
First flight Dec. 18, 2008
over 850 hrs tach.

Last edited by Lycosaurus : 06-12-2017 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:50 PM
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Lycosaurus Lycosaurus is offline
 
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Lincoln Memorial






Upon the recommendation of our host Rand, we celebrated my 60th at the Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington’s oldest bar and restaurant. Great food, drinks and company. Glad we had to take the Metro back

The next day we sauntered off to the Smithsonian National Zoo near Woodley Park Metro station.


The zoo was under renovation, but the real reason we went to this zoo was to see the Pandas.




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Alfio
RV-9A Ottawa, Canada
First flight Dec. 18, 2008
over 850 hrs tach.

Last edited by Lycosaurus : 06-12-2017 at 09:20 PM.
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  #6  
Old 06-12-2017, 08:51 PM
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Lycosaurus Lycosaurus is offline
 
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Time to head back to the airport and to the weather briefings, secret-handshake flight plans, Canadian customs declaration etc. I had already filed the eAPIS on Friday, so that was taken care of. Fuel fill up and a one night parking charge waived, we were ready to go. No clearance delivery frequency on the field, so you need to call them 5 minutes before takeoff by phone.

My expected flight route was already entered in the GPS, so that helped a lot. Soon we were in much cooler air following the controller’s directions. We departed at 5 PM on Sunday, and arrived at CYRP about 2 hrs 40 min later.


While the return flight could have been completed VFR, we chose to fly at 9,000 ft with 17C for temperature. We encountered some clouds in northern NewYork and flew between layers.






Amazing view from something you built in your garage. Keep pounding them rivets.


Sometimes some photos turn out so amazing that you feel the need to post a slightly different one


All in all, an amazing weekend. This was the best 60th birthday ever Actually, this trip is one the greatest highlights since flying our RV9a. We highly recommend taking the time and (now) minimal effort to get the FRZ PIN to access the Maryland Three airports. They are open for business and will bend over backwards to protect private aviation. Do check them out.
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Alfio
RV-9A Ottawa, Canada
First flight Dec. 18, 2008
over 850 hrs tach.

Last edited by Lycosaurus : 06-13-2017 at 10:58 AM.
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  #7  
Old 06-12-2017, 08:52 PM
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Is aircraft theft a problem there or is it required due to being within the DC area? I have never seen prop locks used in my travels.

Just curious - TJ
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Northwest Regional 52F
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  #8  
Old 06-13-2017, 10:44 AM
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Noah Noah is offline
 
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Great trip write up, thanks Alfio! I didn't know that going to DC is no longer required for the interview to get the PIN to fly into the Maryland Three airports, so that's great too! I loved the photos at the end, very surreal. Happy 60th!
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Highest Regards,

Noah Forden, RV-7A

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous menů for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible. -T.E. Lawrence
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Old 06-13-2017, 02:03 PM
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Infidel Infidel is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying again! View Post
Is aircraft theft a problem there or is it required due to being within the DC area? I have never seen prop locks used in my travels.

Just curious - TJ
Yep, prop locks required-National security deal.

Great write up!
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Old 06-13-2017, 09:32 PM
glasgowboy glasgowboy is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lycosaurus View Post
Time to head back to the airport and to the weather briefings, secret-handshake flight plans, Canadian customs declaration etc. I had already filed the eAPIS on Friday, so that was taken care of. Fuel fill up and a one night parking charge waived, we were ready to go. No clearance delivery frequency on the field, so you need to call them 5 minutes before takeoff by phone.

My expected flight route was already entered in the GPS, so that helped a lot. Soon we were in much cooler air following the controller’s directions. We departed at 5 PM on Sunday, and arrived at CYRP about 2 hrs 40 min later.


While the return flight could have been completed VFR, we chose to fly at 9,000 ft with 17C for temperature. We encountered some clouds in northern NewYork and flew between layers.






Amazing view from something you built in your garage. Keep pounding them rivets.


Sometimes some photos turn out so amazing that you feel the need to post a slightly different one


All in all, an amazing weekend. This was the best 60th birthday ever Actually, this trip is one the greatest highlights since flying our RV9a. We highly recommend taking the time and (now) minimal effort to get the FRZ PIN to access the Maryland Three airports. They are open for business and will bend over backwards to protect private aviation. Do check them out.
Great story Alfio, Janice wants to go back to Hawaii for my 60th, it was a no brainer until now!

Thanks

GIME GIME Shock Treatment
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