Larry Brock was flying home to Williston, Florida in his M20F Mooney when he looked out the window and saw a beautiful sight. Beneath the bright Florida sun, the white, puffy clouds reminded him of attic insulation. As he says, that’s sort of what they are.
Weather is a constant challenge for pilots, but every once in a while, it’s also responsible for great beauty. This week’s Friday photo was taken from Larry Emmons’s Cirrus SR22, while flying home to Denver from Mexico. His view was of a dark cloud and a rain shower over New Mexico, but also of a beautiful rainbow.
It’s an airport that should be on every pilot’s bucket list: First Flight Airport at Kill Devil Hills, NC. Steve Ellis captured the sight from his RV-4 on a day trip to the airport, which perfectly shows the Wright Brothers monument in the foreground and the runway behind it.
Sunrises always look best from the cockpit, and this week’s Friday Photo proves why. The tip tank on Craig Cameron’s F33A Bonanza is just visible in the foreground as the sun slowly rises off the wingtip. Craig was headed home, and this view over Kansas City as he climbed out offers a reminder to all pilots that the early bird gets more than just a worm.
Breaking out on top of a cloud deck on a gray day is an amazing feeling. Patrick McClure did that recently and found a companion off the left wing: the second tallest mountain in the lower 48. In a turbo 182 with G1000, there’s plenty of performance and situational awareness to sit back and take in the view.
Not every photo has to show a stunning sunset or a towering mountain to capture the fun and adventure of flying. This week’s photo shows a Cessna 172 taking off from one of the US’s busiest general aviation airports: Scottsdale. Braxton Norwood was chasing his shadow on a gorgeous day in Arizona.
This week’s Friday Photo raises the bar for $100 hamburger missions. Nic Fabert sent in this picture of a Cessna Caravan on floats, beached in a cove in Australia. His mission was simple: lunch on a beach. But it’s enough to make any pilot dream of the ultimate getaway.
Fall in the Rocky Mountains is a beautiful thing. In this week’s Friday Photo, Jim Densmore shares a gorgeous shot of the aspens in Wolf Creek Pass. The view was from his Cessna 180 on a trip home from the AOPA Fly-in in Arizona.
This is what flying is all about. Steve Ellis loves to give airplane rides to kids (he’s working on his 3rd guest logbook), and this early morning flight with 12-year old Luke Kallaher was just about perfect. In this week’s Friday Photo, you can enjoy the smile of a kid at home in a J-3 Cub with the windows open.
It was a perfect day for flying, with light winds and unlimited visibility. We took off from our home base at KSAW and flew north along Lake Superior. The areas of peak color vary dramatically and seeing it from the air is really the best way in this remote area.
After a long day of waiting for some storms to pass, James Heidbrink was just hoping to get up in the air for a quick flight. Little did he know that he would be rewarded with such a beautiful view out the window of his Cessna 172. This week’s Friday Photo is a reminder that even the most simple flights can offer a memorable experience.
There are plenty of stunning mountain ranges in the western US. But for sheer drama and beauty, it’s hard to beat Grand Teton National Park. Dale Morris took this week’s Friday Photo of Grand Teton from the cockpit of his Piper Comanche 250, on a gorgeous VFR day.
Weather transitions from warm to cold fronts often produce fair weather scattered to broken cumulus clouds. These had a ceiling of about 5000 feet and ragged tops up to 9500 ft. Flying VFR through cloud alleys on a sunny day can be very enjoyable, but should only be done if you are also IFR rated just in case.
On a return trip from Georgia, while being vectored by ATC, Ed Loxterkamp took this beautiful picture of downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Seven bridges and an airport are all visible on a gorgeous day. As he says, “The freedom and perspective that flying provides is extremely unique and memorable!”
We flew direct to the Grand Canyon to fly northbound on the “Zuni Point Corridor” (depicted on the Grand Canyon National Park Special Flight Rules Area chart). We then turned back southbound to land at Valle (40G) just south of the Grand Canyon airport (GCN) to stop for fuel and some friendly conversation. The views of the Grand Canyon were spectacular. It’s truly one of those awe-inspiring moments that you will never forget.
Lauren McGavran finally achieved a lifelong dream when she earned her Sport Pilot license. Taking advantage of this, she took an old friend (and fellow new pilot) along for a flight in a Remos GX. The two friends flew over the iconic Pueblo Bonito in the Chaco Culture National Historic Park of New Mexico, where she snapped this photo.
The sunsets always look best after some time in IMC. That’s what Rick and Karen Mills saw from their 1949 Ryan Navion, as they flew home to Louisville, Kentucky. The setting sun over Central Tennessee made for the perfect ending to a beautiful day.
Most pilots can think of at least one experience that made them appreciate the power of Mother Nature. For Joel Graham, it was this picture, captured from his Piper Arrow on the way to the Florida Keys. It shows towering storms over the Everglades, and “has a way of reminding you how small you and your airplane really are.”
Wow. That’s about the only reaction that seems appropriate after seeing this week’s Friday Photo. Ethan Levi’s wife snapped this photo of a beautiful rainbow just off the wing of their Mooney as they were vectored for the ILS 13R approach into Hillsboro, Oregon. Hopefully good weather and light winds were at the end of this rainbow.
Peter Hudson (photographer) and I happened to witness Mother Nature in all her fury as the “Blue Cut Fire” raged on day one. The awe of the strength of a wildfire like this is quickly tempered by the enormous consequences it has to everyone and anything in its path.