Gravelly Point

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senduhelp

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Anyone ever been to Gravelly Point in Arlington to watch planes come and go from DCA? I am planning a trip this weekend and wondered how your visits have been. Please post any important info I need to know before going. Thanks for the info.
 

Jonesym20

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Great place! Whenever I have family going in or out of DCA I always make time to go and watch planes. If you have your scanner it makes it even more fun. Fun for families, individuals, etc.. also a great place for a picnic.

I can't think of anything important, just enjoy yourself.
 

dtab55

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Parking is hit or miss sometimes. You can only access the park from the GW Parkway north coming from alexandria, via south has no entrance. Other then that, bring some sun block, sunglasses and ear plugs. :)
 

EricCottrell

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Hello,

I was staying in Crystal City a few years ago and was able to use the Mount Vernon Trail to walk over to Gravelly Point. The trail goes through Gravelly Point.

You can enter the connector trail near the Crystal City Metro Station from Crystal Drive between 15th and 18th Streets. There is a sign, and you'll see a big plaza area with a couple of waterfalls right by the entrance. That takes you on a ramp to the Mt. Vernon Trail. I think it was a 10 to 15 minute walk from Crystal City to Gravelly Point and it takes you along the west boundary fence of the airport..

73 Eric
 
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immelmen

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Please please PLEASE, do not use flash photography after sunset when the river visual or either LDA is in use and the RAIL lights are not on. You would be surprised how very distracting it can be when rolling out of the turn at 200 ft

You would also be surprised how many people do this.
 

LEH

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Please please PLEASE, do not use flash photography after sunset when the river visual or either LDA is in use and the RAIL lights are not on. You would be surprised how very distracting it can be when rolling out of the turn at 200 ft

You would also be surprised how many people do this.
You'd be surprised how many people with new digital cameras don't know how to turn them off. Others just think because it's dark or low level light and the subject is 100 yards away, they need a flash (wrong).

Folks, much beyond 20 feet the flash, especially the little one built in the camera, won't illuminate the subject, but it does bother everyone else. I took some photos at a Gordon Lightfoot concert recently. Forgot I had the flash on when I started. So 427r is the one with the flash, nice shot of the backs of the peoples heads. The (465r) other is stage lighting only from the same seat.
 

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LEH

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No, he's still going at 68 or so (think he was born in 1939). Another folkie who did pass away recently (Jan 19) was John Stewart shortly after a show in San Diego.

P.S. Let's not steal the thread. Someone got me on the use of a flash.

Gravelly Point sounds interesting. May need to check it out when I get up to the DC area with some extra time.
 

EricCottrell

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Hello,

I heard the comment that if the flash was effective hundreds of feet away then you blind people nearby and cause all sorts of problems. Reminds me of all the flashes going off in the stands when Manny got his 500th. BTW It is likely Utah Phillips who died in May.

When I was at Gravelly Point they were using Runway 1 so it was noisy and fun watching the planes lifting off and going overhead. I want to go there when Runway 19 is in use to see some landings.

Do they still do Follow the Potomac approaches into DCA? I remember what seemed to be a 45 minute period of low and slow as my flight years ago landed at DCA from the south. I bet it is interesting to see some landings on 19 if these approaches are still used.

I am going on vacation next month and may get to Washington. I have to visit the point again.

73 Eric
 

senduhelp

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Thanks to everyone for your info. I went on Sunday and my family had a blast. That truly is an amazing place to watch planes. They had runway 1 in use so many planes were taking off right over our heads. I also believe it would be cool to watch them land sometime on runway 19. I recommend taking your scanner and plugging in the tower frequency. That just makes the experience even more enjoyable. I will have to revisit that location many times. Thanks again.
 

AB4BF

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Noise cancelling headphones work wonders for aircraft scanning (up close). I got some cheap Sony's from target - couldn't afford the Bose!
Barry
 

immelmen

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Hello,



Do they still do Follow the Potomac approaches into DCA? I remember what seemed to be a 45 minute period of low and slow as my flight years ago landed at DCA from the south. I bet it is interesting to see some landings on 19 if these approaches are still used.

73 Eric
sure do. when the weather is VMC the river visual is used--vectors to join the river over chain bridge then follow the river(or the strobes if at night). If its not so nice out and the winds are strong from the south then the LDA Runway 19 or the Rosslyn LDA are used.

Either way the low and slow(ie fun/hard part) only lasts about 3 minutes. .

... if you have a scanner to listen to Washington tower(NEVER call them Reagan tower!) here is some inside dope on if the pilot flying shot a good approach(applies for A320 and 737s). If he did not overshoot final and uses Runway 22 as a turnoff he is average.....if he makes Delta he is good......if he has to go to Alpha, he screwed up.
 

gcgrotz

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Anybody ever see all the YouTube videos of the airport in St Maarten? The 747s land right over the beach and when they spoolup at that end for takeoff the cars on the road will stop. Some good videos of people getting blown off the beach and sandblasted.

Sorry for the hijack...

When I used to live at the Beach, there was a good parking lot off Military Hwy by the Norfolk Airport where you could watch. Always saw lots of fans there. I used to meet my wife for lunch there when we were dating and sit and eat in her convertable with the top down and the scanner going. Very romantic!
 
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