Monday, March 23, 2015

Big, loud, low Osprey aircraft over Columbia Heights this morning

Helicopters over Columbia Heights aren't rare, with many police, military, or civilian birds (or Marine One) traversing the skies on a regular basis. However, today was unusual, in that a very loud, very low aircraft seemed to be circling the area. It was so loud that my windows were shaking, which I can't remember happening before.

Twitter user @grahammcdonald snapped a picture of the machine, which is a V-22 Osprey, a tilt-rotor aircraft. That means it can take off like a helicopter but its twin rotors can tilt so it can fly like a plane as well.

They're used frequently in the military, like in Afghanistan to transport troops, and there's also one in the Presidential helicopter fleet.

It's unclear what that one was doing in the skies above our neighborhood -- exercises, perhaps? Though another one was spotted last Thursday as well near the Pentagon, with a guess that it was for a funeral at Arlington Cemetery.

Weird. Did you see (or hear) the Osprey today?

Photo by @grahammcdonald


  1. My windows rattled too. Who in the world thinks it is ok to fly such a vehicle over a residential neighborhood?

  2. I saw it walking my dog. Looked like it was a couple blocks over (like around the area between Sherman and Georgia around Lamont) but of course couldn't say for sure. Was there for about an hour. Pretty cool to see close up, but could understand the noise/windows rattling issue.

  3. Saw it from my office in Rosslyn, heading in the direction of the Pentagon.

  4. Saw it while walking down 14th Street toward the metro. Was flying very slowly over DC USA. Glad others noticed it too, thought it was very strange.

  5. Saw it up in chillum. Flew over my head and then headed south over ft. totten. Was definitely not in a rush.

  6. Saw it plus 4 other helicopters flying very slowly and side by side headed south over 270 this afternoon. Very strange.

  7. Better get used to it. Sometimes the presidential helicopter routes come over our neighborhood and the Osprey has joined that squadron. This will be an ongoing occurrence. Not very stealthy.

  8. The Osprey is in Crystal City today, flying low and shaking all the buildings and windows. I saw it over 395 a few weeks ago.


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