Arlington abuzz over low-flying helicopters – WTOP
Some Arlington County residents are unhappy about the helicopter traffic throughout the county. Wait a minute, I thought the helicopters were a perk of living in Arlington!
I lived in Pentagon City for 6½ years, in a building (The Potomac at Riverhouse) which is a block away from the Mixing Bowl — the I-395 Shirley Highway/VA 27 Washington Blvd interchange*; many helicopters fly over I-395 at a fairly low altitude throughout the day. I enjoyed all the helicopter traffic because helicopters are really cool. Sure, there is the whole “protecting us from threats” function of many of these helicopter trips, so liking them is akin to the “I ♥ Jet Noise — the sound of freedom” saying you here around Air Force bases and Naval Stations, but helicopters are great just for their own sake. Growing up, I lived in Vienna, under a higher altitude helicopter corridor and it was also great. I’m probably still in the same helicopter flight path where I work in Tysons Corner. Where I live now, the west end of Alexandria near I-395, has many of the same helicopters that Arlington does. I enjoy them and so does my son.
In fact, after the Pentagon was attacked and the pad was destroyed, I missed the constant helicopters flying around. It didn’t feel like home without them.
By the way, funny story about those helicopters. I knew somebody who lived in Riverhouse over 40 years ago. The helicopters were flying by back then too. Years later, he met a helicopter pilot and somehow they got on the topic of the flybys, specifically on Saturday mornings. The pilot volunteered that he flew lower than normal those days because there was a redhead on high floor who used to do her calisthenics with the blinds open and “nothing on but the radio.” Well, the pilot did not know that the radio was on, just that nothing else was.
*The original Mixing Bowl was the Shirley Highway (then VA 350) interchange with Washington Boulevard. It was rebuilt around 1971 and turned into one of the largest interchanges in the world. Unfortunately, The Post ignored this and started referring to the Springfield Interchange as the Mixing Bowl — one of the worst things they ever did.