Monday, December 12, 2011

SWAT Team Helicopter

I had a wonderful trip to Florida recently. It included the usual sun, seafood, and helicopter ride with the NASA SWAT team.
OK, so maybe that last one wasn't so typical. But fortunately it did happen. The Shuttle program may be over, but the Last Shuttle Project is continuing to move forward. We captured some footage of various NASA security teams, including the drug & bomb dogs, the Security Control Room, the Marine Patrol airboats, and the SWAT team.
First Rhonda and I had to complete a little medical check-up to make sure that we were healthy enough to fly. Then the guys took us up so we could see what one of their security sweeps looks like. This guy was sitting behind me...

Rhonda was by by the right door while I was on the left. It was a bit unnerving as they made some of their hard banking turns (I won't even begin to tell you about the wimpy little seatbelt that was holding us in... I don't like to think about it). Rhonda is smiling here despite the fact that I'm looking straight down at her as we bank to the right.

We got some great views of the launch pads. In the foreground is pad 39A, site of the last Space Shuttle launches. The now dismantled pad 39B is visible in the background. 
And we took a few trips around the huge Vehicle Assembly Building. I photographed two shuttle launches from on top of it, and it was strange to see it from this point of view.
We'd like to thank all the security team members for being so great to us while we were there. They went out of out way to make sure we were getting the footage we needed. The helicopter ride was just the icing on the cake. By the end of the ride I think we were both hooked and wanted to do it again. It was a bouncy, choppy flight, but we took video from up there as well. Perhaps I'll have time to put together a quick video montage soon. Stay tuned!

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23 Comments:

Blogger Zak Kates said...

Wow!! That is great Jeff! Jealous!!!!

How did you get this amazing opportunity? Besides being awesome of course...

December 12, 2011 at 3:13 PM  
Blogger Liz Strand said...

That is so awesome! Thanks for sharing that!

December 12, 2011 at 9:57 PM  
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