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Enstrom among select few helicopters in Washington, D.C. flyover

On May 11, Enstrom Helicopter Corporation had the distinct honor of taking part in a general aviation flyover of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The flyover was in commemoration of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)’s 85th anniversary.

The diverse group of aircraft included 15 chapters of planes, telling the story of GA in America, including aviation’s Golden Age, the postwar boom, and all the way up to modern business jets and wildfire-fighting airplanes. Of the sixty or so aircraft that participated, only three were helicopters, distinguishing Enstrom as part of a select company.

“AOPA sent us an invitation back in January,” said Enstrom Chief Commercial Officer Dennis Martin. “From there, I had to go through multiple briefings and background checks from the FAA and Secret Service. It was a fairly involved process”

FAA personnel and AOPA staff timed the operation to the second, organizing the flight based on aircraft and pilot capabilities. Officials shut down Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport for an hour to make way for the flyover.

Martin flew the Enstrom 480B from Menominee, Michigan to Frederick Municipal Airport in Maryland, where he then flew down the Potomac along the designated flyover route.

After reaching Roosevelt Island, Martin took a turn at the Lincoln Memorial, flew down Independence Avenue, and dipped south at the Hirshhorn Museum. Martin and his fellow aviators flew at an altitude of about 1000 feet, all just a half mile away from the White House, one of Washington, D.C.’s most restricted flight zones.

“It was surreal. Millions of people see these landmarks from the ground every year, but unless you’re the president, nobody gets to see them from the air,” said Martin. “And for the locals, they might typically only spot military aircraft or massive airliners in the airspace above D.C., so for 60 smaller airplanes and helicopters to fill the skies, it must have made for a unique and breathtaking experience.”

Following the flyover, Martin exited the restricted airspace and flew back up to Frederick. He recognized Enstrom’s participation in the flyover as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“But if AOPA ever hosts a celebration like this again, I’d accept an invitation in a heartbeat,” added Martin. “My 11-year-old daughter had a blast flying alongside me.”

For anyone unable to watch the flyover live, a rebroadcast is available here. You can also watch a highlight reel from the event here.
 

About Enstrom Helicopter Corporation
From Rudy Enstrom’s early designs in 1943 to initial testing in a Michigan Quarry in 1957 to aircraft operating on six continents, Enstrom Helicopter Corporation has maintained a reputation for safety, value and performance. Based in Menominee, Michigan and proudly made in the United States, Enstrom has a rich history for design innovation. The goal is to provide helicopters to the customer’s exact specification and deliver support and maintenance worldwide.

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Created 33 days ago
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