How Much Damage Does Marine One Cause to the White House Lawn When It Lands?

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Gregg Gray:

Marine One does almost no damage to the White House lawn. It does blow lots of pollen out of the trees, however. If it has been a while since the lawn was vacuumed, little bits of debris are blown from the lawn onto the awaiting people and surrounding area. It is really harsh when the lawn has been recently aerated.

Everything on the lawn has been selected to withstand twice the downward thrust of the helicopter (which isn't cheap). Anything below a certain weight has to be fastened down with appropriate screws or latches.

In the photo below, you can see the three big circular pads it lands on. They are 8 feet across (the dimensions are set by the height of the doorway where they are stored), and they spread the load of the chopper out over a much wider area than just landing on the grass would do.

Marine One lifts off from the South Lawn of White House, July 16, 2010
Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

The grass gets bent a little bit, but it springs back within an hour or so in sunshine. The landing pads aren't out there very long—30 minutes tops.

What does happen is that those individuals who have worn a dress or skirt to see the president’s arrival have to hold their garments down to keep them from being blown over their heads ... Any topcoats that aren't buttoned up will often fly all over bystanders as well. As the old saying goes, “Hold onto your hats.”

The Marines [who pilot the helicopter] have it down to a science ... They do it very well and very smoothly and, in gymnastics terms, they “stick the landing.” The hardest part of it all is storing those three landing pads, as they take up a lot of room.

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Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture


This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

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The Reason Your Dog Follows You Everywhere

Crew, Unsplash
Crew, Unsplash

Depending on your mood, a dog that follows you everywhere can be annoying or adorable. The behavior is also confusing if you're not an expert on pet behavior. So what is it about the canine companions in our lives that makes them stick by our sides at all times?

Most experts agree on a few different reasons why some dogs are clingy around their owners. One is their pack mentality. Dogs may have been domesticated thousands of years ago, but they still consider themselves to be part of a group like their wild ancestors. When there are no other dogs around, their human family becomes their pack. According to Reader's Digest, this genetic instinct is also what motivates dogs to watch you closely and seek out your physical touch.

The second reason for the behavior has to do with the bond between you and your pet. As veterinarian Dr. Rachel Barrack told the American Kennel Club, puppies as old as 6 months can imprint on their human owners like they would their own mothers. Even older dogs will bond with the humans in their lives who show them care and affection. In these cases, a dog will shadow its owner because it sees them as an object of trust and security.

The last possible explanation for why your dog follows you has more to do with your treatment of them than their natural instincts. A popular training tactic is positive reinforcement—i.e. rewarding a dog with treats, pets, and praise when they perform positive behaviors. The point is to help your dog associate good behaviors with rewards, but after a while, they may start to associate your presence with rewards as well. That means if your dog is following you, they may be looking for treats or attention.

A clingy dog may be annoying, but it usually isn't a sign of a larger problem. If anything, it means your dog sees you in a positive light. So enjoy the extra companionship, and don't be afraid to close the door behind when you need some alone time.