On Apr. 17, Space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a NASA B747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) (NASA 905 – radio callsign “Pluto 95 Heavy”) flew over the Washington skyline.
Chased by a NASA T-38 (radio callsign “Pluto 98”), the SCA, that had taken off from Kennedy Space Center, circled four times over the Capitol area, before landing on runway 1R at Washington Dulles airport at 11.05 LT. Civil arrivals at Dulles were temporarily placed into holdings by the ATC controllers, while the “Plutos” performed their flyover.
As the SCA moved to land, the T-38 chase was so low on gas it requested an expedited landing on runway 1C due to fuel state.
Someone noted the T-38 pilot had a frog in his mouth. Not for watching the last landing of OV103, but for his own fuel status?
Photo Credit: NASA/Robert Markowitz
Discovery, the first orbiter retired from NASA’s shuttle fleet, completed 39 missions, spent 365 days in space, orbited the Earth 5,830 times, and traveled 148,221,675 miles.
NASA will transfer Discovery to the National Air and Space Museum.
On Apr. 23, NASA’s 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) with Enterprise will fly at a relatively low altitude over various parts of the New York City metropolitan area between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. EDT.
Did you see the black shape that flew after the 4th and last fly over? We wondered if it was a drone.
No, if you have a video or image showing it, let me know, I’ll check it.
The shape most likely was one of the three news helicopter filming the landing.
It was great to listen how the ATC controller handled the situation and even allowed one of them to hover right beside the tower.
There were clearly multiple T-38’s involved because I saw one land while another was in formation with the 747. My guess is they had 3-5 to cover the Cape and DC areas.
Doubt they had 3-5. No need for that many.
News reports had 2 prepositioned in DC and a third filming the departure from the Cape.