How to Watch ‘Parade of Airplanes’ Over Washington

Dozens of aircraft are set to participate in the National Celebration of GA Flyover of the National Mall on May 11.

The top of the Washington Monument, lower right, appears below the photo aircraft as AOPA President Mark Baker pilots his Cessna 208 Caravan during a March 24 practice flight for a GA flyover of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to help celebrate AOPA’s 85th anniversary scheduled for May 11. [Courtesy: AOPA/ David Tulis]

Dozens of aircraft are set to take to the sky over the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Saturday in celebration of general aviation's history. 

The “parade of airplanes” flyover event, which is sponsored by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), will begin at 11.30 a.m. EST from Frederick Municipal Airport (KFDK). The Washington portion of the flyover is expected to start around noon.

"The flyover will consist of 15 different 'chapters' telling the story of GA in America, starting in the golden age and continuing to the present day," AOPA said in a statement. "Two dozen groups of aircraft will fly the 88-mile round trip from FDK down the Potomac River. The formation will be led by AOPA president Mark Baker in his historic Beechcraft Staggerwing."

AOPA flyover route map. [Courtesy: AOPA]

Parade Route

Washington has some of the most restricted airspace in the country and includes Prohibited Area P-56, which was created after 9/11. The event required coordination of more than 11 agencies, including the FAA, air traffic control, TSA, and U.S. Secret Service, according to AOPA.

According to AOPA, the flyover route will go past the Lincoln Memorial, down Independence Avenue, and over the Washington Monument.

Map of AOPA flyover in Washington, D.C. [Courtesy: AOPA]

The aircraft will be expected to fly at 90 knots at an altitude of 1,000 feet, ensuring they are visible from the ground. The flyover will also be broadcast online

Kimberly is managing editor of FLYING Digital.

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