WASHINGTON (WJZ)—Don’t panic if you see large planes flying unusually low over Maryland roadways next week. It’s all part of a major plan by NASA to help study air pollution over major cities.

Derek Valcourt explains where you’ll be seeing some of those low-flying planes.

The study will focus on air pollution over many of Maryland’s major roads, from Baltimore’s beltway, to the 95 corridor, even over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

This is no ordinary plane, it’s a specially fitted NASA aircraft designed with equipment to measure air pollution levels in flight. And starting next week the skies over Maryland will become a pollution detection playground for the plane and for NASA scientists.

“The public I think is very interested in knowing where air pollution problems are the largest, and then they have the ability to make their own decisions about their own activities and times and places they would like to avoid,” said Dr. James Crawford, NASA atmospheric scientist.

Maryland’s Department of Environment already has six pollution monitoring stations on the ground, but they’re spread out and only can tell you pollution levels in the immediate area.

On the other hand, NASA satellites already monitor air pollution across the globe, but those readings have their own problems.

“But you can’t really tell from the satellite data itself whether that pollution is somewhere higher in the atmosphere or down near the surface,” said Dr. Kenneth Pickering, NASA atmospheric scientist.

That’s where these special planes come in.

 They’ll fly low over busy roadways collecting data and then fly in spiral patterns over the six ground monitoring stations Maryland already has in place, helping NASA scientists to determine how much air pollution is down where we breathe.

 “It’s a challenging mission,” said Rich Rodgers, NASA research pilot. “One of the most challenging because we are doing it over the top of Washington, D.C. and Baltimore this summer.”

NASA pilots are now warning Marylanders to be on the lookout as their planes fly as low as 1000 feet off the ground in the coming month.

Test flights will begin next week. NASA says in all they expect 14 science flights in July, taking their planes from Washington beltway over Baltimore and up to northeastern Maryland near the Delaware line.

The flight dates will be determined by the weather and announced by NASA by 5 p.m. the day before a flight.

Comments (104)
  1. DonS says:

    Whether pro or con on any given subject; It is amazing to me how uneducated you the general public are. Yet, you are willing to open your mouth and let everyone know. Amazing!

  2. Mike says:

    wow, i have lost hope for the people who commented on this article…
    i hope everyone is trolling

  3. Jeremy Ron says:

    I find it funny how they don’t mention F.E.M.A.s involvement in this at all on this story also….

    This is not a good thing,if F.E.M.A. is involved in any aspect of this they aren’t just looking for any old pollution! F.E.M.A.who 1st brought us the use of US Military acting here on US soil which is against everything Americans hold Dear as well as the illegal unarming of Katrina victims Legal Arms by pure force and intimidation at the Gun Point of the US Military In Citizens Faces!! Of course this was all done while people were still clinging to roof tops desperately preying for help to arrive but they was too busy taking away Americans Legal Guns!!

    Either they are testing the levels of the chem-trails they are loading on us or they are doing military reconnaissance to find out areas of interest and control, so that all those troops/arms being reported moving all over the east coast have some intel to follow up on!?! Why are military weapons and vehicles being moved all over the east coast with F.E.M.A.’s help or direction and why are they being moved in tractors and other public means of transportation rather than military convoys..maybe they don’t want people to know what’s going on..!? the only answer i can come up with why the military would leave such weapons virtually unprotected in the transport process!?! or they want them to get stolen, either way you spin it IT ISN’T GOOD FOR ANY OF US!!!

    WAKE UP AMERICA THIS SHI IS FOR REAL!!! Do some research yourself!

    1. Jeremy Ron says:

      We are probably looking at the pretenses into the east coast being ground zero for the next H.A.A.R.P. experiment!!!

    2. Jeremy Ron says:


      and i quote”Maryland Emergency Management Agency contacted Harford County to alert them to the coming science flights and the county notified county employees.” this is a F.E.M.A. branch!!!

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