Solo over York County

I flew all over the place solo today. It was an absolutely smacking day to be flying. Perfect visibility. Clean air. I flew north out of Frederick and basically flew over multiple friends and points of interest



This is Swan Lake Farm from above. My wife rides her horse here occasionally, and we are friendly with the owner and a number of other riders here. Its no small place!


I continued north flying roads I know well from growing up. I flew from Littlestown PA to Hanover and north up route 194. I flew over our old farm in Wellsville, PA. A lot of work has been done to this property since my mother and I were there in middle school. Two ponds have been added, a large addition to the bank barn, and general renovation. The place looks good.




Next up I did some low passes over our friends Nikki and Isaac’s farm outside of East Berlin, PA.

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On my way back down south I flew over Hanover, PA. Hanover is where I went to high school (South Western). I went to 5 different school districts growing up, and I think 6 different farms, but I’ve always claimed Hanover as my home town.


Speaking of South Western – here is my high school from the air. South Western is a very good school district.


My buddy Chad’s mother lives in this development.


Hey its my place again. (Red house, red barn / garage)


Yard Hopping

Today is definitely up there among the coolest flights yet in the helicopter. I grabbed the helicopter from Frederick and met my buddy Mike in Westminster.


From there we proceeded north to my father’s house. There we demonstrated a max performance takeoff – which for the uninitiated is pretty cool, especially in the R-44 with power to spare. This was followed by a flyby of my friends Heather and Brian. Heather snapped the following photo as we flew over.


From here we followed some roads north to Glenville PA. My buddy Dusty has a large farm out this way, and we’d chatted a few times about me stopping in with the helicopter. A quick text revealed he was home and we had permission to land.











Ski Whitetail in the R-44

For once weather and my schedule cooperated! I’ve had to cancel a ton of flights lately. This one popped up, and as I’m heading to the airport, I asked myself – where am I going to head? A few texts later my buddy Tom agreed to be my passenger and we were heading for some sightseeing. First we flew over his house south of Frederick in Urbana, MD. Then we flew north over Ski Liberty.


Next we headed west for an approach at Hagerstown, and then over Ski Whitetail.



After passing White tail we noticed a concrete tower high in the terrain. Doing a closer inspection revealed the tower appears to be abandoned. It looks pretty sturdy – I’m quite sure you could do a pinnacle landing on that baby in the helicopter! (No I did not!)



After that we pass this facility also at a high elevation and very remote. Clearly associated with AT&T.


When I got home I had to do some google research of these two facilities. The tower turns out to be an abandoned Presidential Emergency Facilities Microwave Relay Station called “Cannonball”. More can be found on the site here. The tower was abandoned in 1977 and is currently privately owned.

The AT& T facility is still active, having been built in the 1960s, and hardened against nuclear attack. The exact purpose of the facility is clearly classified – so one can assume secure government communications. More info can be found here. 

There is a broken PDF link in the first link about the tower. However I was able to find the PDF which contains far more information. I pulled it down so that it doesn’t disappear from the inter webs. Presidential_Emergency_Facility_Cannonball