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Dear PoPville – Anyone Know Why the Marine One Helicopter Frequently Flies Over Columbia Heights?


Photo by PoPville flickr user JosephLeonardo

Dear PoPville,

My two-year-old son loves helicopters, and I guess we watch them like people in rural or suburban areas might watch for birds. In doing so, I was very surprised to note that the president’s helicopter, Marine One, (or a helicopter that looks just like it) frequently flies over Columbia Heights. Do you or any of your readers know why?

Here’s the birdwatching data: Probably once a week, I will see a single Marine One helicopter (dark green bottom, white cap, sometimes flying low enough I can see “United States of America” on the side) flying over Columbia Heights. Occasionally we see two. Most recently I saw a single helicopter Jan. 7th at noon, right over my house on Harvard Street. I’m pretty sure it’s not President Obama traveling, at least not most of the time — the helicopter sightings do not always match up with his travel schedule and I think he always travels with 2 helicopters.

But what *are* they doing? Is there a Marine One parking lot or service station somewhere beyond Columbia Heights? Do the pilots just love to fly the friendly DC skies?

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