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Space Shuttle Discovery final mission Dulles (HD Video)

On Tuesday 4/17/2012 Stephen T, Neal and I flew the 182RG down to Dulles to witness the arrival of Space Shuttle Discovery atop the modified 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. Truly a sight I will not soon forget!

The Flight:
We met at Morristown at about 05:45 for a planned 06:30 departure in Neal’s Piper Arrow but had to switch airplanes due to a failed magneto check on run-up. Neal called clearance delivery and changed our N number (great idea Neal). I booked the 182RG via my iPhone as we taxied back to the West Tie Down. Steve completed the pre-flight of the 182rg as Neal and I put the Arrow back. After all that we were somehow still pretty much on schedule with a “wheels up” time of about 6:45…. NOT BAD!

The flight down was uneventful except for the strong headwind. I hung out in the back and enjoyed the view.

The arrival at Dulles went well. We landed on runway 1R and taxied down to Signature at the far end of the same runway.

Departing Morristown

The Video:
The video originally started with footage of Discovery’s final flight but I had to remove it due to copyright issues. It now starts with some photos (from the NASA website) of the final flight and after that,  moves on to the arrival at Dulles including my video footage of the two fly-bys and some of Stephens photos.

My video tribute set to God Bless America. Includes fly-by and some ground shots. Starts a bit slow though. The original (with the launch) was better.

RAW Footage (no music)

Heading home:
After the shuttle landed I filed for our first leg Dulles to York PA KTHV for lunch. On departure I snapped a quick shot of Dulles. Not bad for an iPhone! The flight over to York was a bit bumpy below 5000 but not terrible. I brought 57T in for a nice and short approach and landing (even surprised me since I was a bit out of practice).

On departure from Dulles

After lunch Neal offered the next leg back to Morristown to me. (Thanks again Neal). I flew back direct VFR with flight following and flew the RNAV 5 approach at Morristown. I had to slow down to accommodate for an approaching jet that tower wanted to fit into the sequence ahead of me. It worked out but required that I slow down to 65 knots or so vs. my normal approach speed of 90. No big deal.

My landing wasn’t as nice as it was in York but with a little bump of power I saved it.

Click to view Stephens Photos

Flight description: Morristown NJ Dulles International for the Space Shuttle arrival.
Aircraft: Cessna 182RG N4757T
Pilot: Stephen T (KMMU to KIAD) Mike B (KIAD to KTHV) (KTHV to KMMU)
Flight rules: IFR / VFR
Weather conditions: VMC.
Winds: (MMU to IAD) surface winds out of the north gusting to 13 knots.
Ceiling: Clear.
Flight time: Total 3.9 (split three ways).

Until next time; happy safe flying everyone!
Thanks for taking the time to read about our latest adventure. Please feel free to add your comments below.

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  • Great video.  Wish I could have seen that in person, but I did get to see Discovery roll in from 100 feet away, larger than life.  Got some great pics and videos.  Extra bonus: the club member who was able to join me was a club CFI, so I got to fly our 182RG IFR both ways.  150 knots definitely gets the job done.  Took me almost as long in rush hour traffic to drive from CDW back home than IAD->CDW.

    Enterprise is supposed to make low approaches near the Statue of Liberty Monday AM.

  • Thanks Josh,
    I just added the RAW footage as well. Check it out. More footage but no music and about a tenth of the work. 😉

  • 150thaero

    Great video presentation of the shuttle landing. You must be a Yankee fan. 

  • Ha ha. It was actually a recording from the last day of the last shuttle mission. Guess someone at NASA also likes the Yankees. 🙂

  • Good to see Discovery in the sky once again, too bad it had to be on the back of a 747.  

  •  Yea.. Such a shame they canceled the program. I just hope the replacement is a success. 

  • wow great flight 🙂

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Amanda Michelle (Younkin) Franklin 3/14/1986 – 5/27/2011 Click for information on Amanda