I had just arrived at the hermitage on my day off this past week when a storm of Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks came thundering over, seemingly causing earthquakes. This is the usual experience as this exact spot is where one might set up a chair and watch an airshow of all that which is old and new and experimental of anything directly or remotely related to the military or our intelligence services, well, if the thick forest canopy didn’t block one’s view.
One might also see some version of Boeing’s Attack Helicopter 64 Apache:
Or a Bell Attack Helicopter 1W Super Cobra:
Or, if you’re lucky, you might even see General Atomics’ Gray Eagle derivative of their MQ-1 Predator attack drone:
Sadly, a Boeing CH-47 Chinook crashed out some years ago near to the hermitage:
Outside of these guys, planes or all sorts also use this flight path, including Boeing’s FA 18 of whatever version:
Just because the hermitage is on the most remote ridge of the Smoky Mountains doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have what is perhaps by far the most protected airspace in the world. As I understand it, there are, above, fully nine levels of military experimental airspace. Almost an Area 51.
But that’s NOT why it’s the most protected air space. Instead, the angels are there.