I spent most of the week in Washington DC for meetings with the aviation industry. Monday morning, before flying to Washington, I took the altimeter and altitude encoder to First Air Avionics for the required biannual calibrations. They weren’t quite due yet, but the altitude encoder had obviously drifted out of tolerance, as the pressure altitudes it reported differed from the two altimeters.

Tuesday morning, the NASA guy at the meeting mentioned that the Space Shuttle Discovery was scheduled to fly over the National Mall that morning before landing at Washington Dulles Airport to be enshrined in the National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center. We were close to a Metro stop, so we agreed to take a break from the meeting to witness this historic event, then work late to make up the lost hour. Fortunately I had decided to bring my camera that morning. Normally I would have left it in the hotel room, but I stuck it in my satchel for some crazy reason.

We came out of the Smithsonian Metro stop moments before the 747 with Discovery on its back came into view. We watched it pass by the Capital Building and White House, and I got this shot as it flew westwards.

I got this great close up shot as it made it’s next pass east bound. Then we headed back into the Metro to get back to work.

It was great to have seen Discovery on its last flight, but very sad to know that these magnificent machines will never go to space again.

This weekend the weather was pretty poor, but I did get a very short flight off after reinstalling the altimeter and altitude encoder and doing a static system leak check.