A Flight Simulator Odyssey

by Charles Gulick

Monumental Task

Chart: Washington
En Route Coordinates:
   Aircraft: N16151, E20183
   Tower: --
   Aircraft: 300
   Tower: --
Heading: 099
Time: Daylight

You are pointed to fly straight over the Mall. The fore-ground building is the Lincoln Memorial, which faces the Reflecting Pool, then there's an open grassy area, and then the Washington Monument. At the far end of the Mall is the U.S. Capitol, atop Capitol Hill (which is why you hear politicians and newscasters refer to "the Hill.")

You'll likely need to execute an avoidance maneuver at the Washington Monument.

The Grecian-style Lincoln Memorial was opened in 1922. Inside it is a magnificent, oversize statue of the seated Lincoln, created by American sculptor Daniel Chester French. Though it looks as if it were carved from a single marble block, it actually consists of 28 separate sections.

The Washington Monument, a 555-foot-high masonry obelisk, was opened in 1888. It has 898 spiral steps--but, thankfully, you can take an elevator up.

The U.S. Capitol building was designed by an amateur in a contest in 1792, and George Washington himself laid the cornerstone a year later. (He chopped down the cherry tree. Beware your propeller doesn't chop down his monument.)

As you approach the Capitol, lose some altitude for a closeup look. The facade of the building is well-detailed in the simulation.

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