We actually ended up getting a little more than we bargained for with the space shuttle landing. We were hoping for a low pass, then a landing. We got the first low pass at 9:45. Standing on the roof of the daily garage, we watched the plane come virtually right over the roof of the airport. That caused quite a rise from the crowd.
For the first pass, we stood on a concrete stanchion. By the time the shuttle came around for a second pass, we got smarter and decided to utilize the roof of the car. In keeping with my father of the year status, it seemed totally like the responsible thing to do to let my daughter stand on the roof of the car with me.
We saw the plane looping back from the East, headed South as if it were lining up to land on runway 1R. Instead, they did another low pass, then swung out West just a bit. We could see it make a slow, lazy loop back around to the South side of the airport, then it dropped out of view as it landed. They chose a great runway to land at. It’s the airport’s longest, and it lines up well with the top of the parking garages. So, there were probably about 1000 people on the roof of the garage we set up on, along with a few hundred on a further away garage and a few hundred cars parked along the highway.
Runway 1R ends right by the garage, so the pilots did a great job of taxiing down the far end and turning slowly so we had a great view.
Overall, it was a pretty awesome experience. I never got to see the shuttle take off, so I was pretty excited that both Catherine and I got to experience this. I asked Catherine on the way out if she thought it was good. Her reply, “No, Daddy. It was incredible!”