I proudly understood that reference
Or, a big reason why Steve didn’t ask Tony for help. For all he knows, Tony either is working with HYDRA or has had his defenses hacked by HYDRA.
Just went to see it again and wound up discussing this in the pub afterwards. L asked why he didn’t call Tony.
The film’s modelled on various 70s’ classics, including Three Days of the Condor (which is probably why Redford leapt at the role of Pierce).
The clue’s in the title. Three days. Day One, mid afternoon, probably, Fury is attacked.
They go after the helicarriers on the morning of Day Four. So the main action takes place in a 72-hour period.
Night One: Winter Soldier attacks Steve’s apartment.
Day Two: attack at SHIELD, escape, link up with Natasha.
Night Two: Camp Lehigh.
Day Three: shenanigans.
Night Three: raiding the museum, hopefully some sleep.
Day Four: helicarriers.
(My personal headcanon is that they didn’t break into Fort Meade. Steve asked nicely, and as the Army didn’t know he was a fugitive from SHIELD, who we can see were not generally publicising it, some fanboy general who already knew Sam was willing to let the Falcon kit go for a quiet undercover assignment.)
Quite apart from the safety aspect of being tracked or being worried that Tony was compromised, they just didn’t have time.