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.
The final entry in our Friday Photo Weekend is from Ryan Biziorek. He describes this beautiful shot as, “Serenity and sunshine above cloud tops on a late winter day in March perfectly framed by the dash and glare shield. A great reward for a newly minted multi-engine and instrument rated pilot. This is what the ratings are for.”
Another great memory for our Friday Photo Weekend. Canadian pilot Simon Pinsonneault took a memorable flight through the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley in a Cessna 172RG and all he could say is “wow!”
The fourth picture in our celebration of Friday Photo Weekend shows the power of Mother Nature. Jim Yares was commuting from Northern California to Southern California in a Cirrus SR22 when he saw the sun breaking out underneath a dark cloud. He captured this stunning photo, which is at once beautiful and intimidating.
The third installment of our Friday Photo Weekend. This one comes from Adam Thomas, who was out for a leisure flight in a Piper Tomahawk, just about to cross the coast of Lake Erie in Canada, when he took this picture. As he says, “all the weather came together.”
The second installment in our Friday Photo weekend series comes from Fernando Gonzalez-Fisher, who took a photo of the cloud-covered mountains of Monterrey, Mexico, from his Mooney M20M. The speed brakes are retracted and the airplane seems to be racing along, but the rugged mountains below are a reminder that all flights must eventually end.
You won’t have to wait another week for your next dose of Friday Photo. It was one year ago this month that Air Facts launched this popular weekly feature with the impetus of friends sending us photos of their flights home from Oshkosh. Thanks to all the readers who have submitted photos all year long. Today through Sunday, we’ll be posting a whole bunch of Friday photos, so stop by Air Facts often to see the latest.
It’s hard to take a bad photo from an open cockpit biplane. But add in the beauty of America’s biggest river and the setting sun and you have a magical scene. Gareth Williams captured the moment in this week’s Friday Photo, as he flew a 1942 Stearman just south of Memphis.
They say the early bird gets the worm, but if you’re a pilot you get a whole lot more. This week’s Friday photo, from pilot Ray Baca, shows the sun peeking over the horizon in El Paso, Texas. The gorgeous purple and orange colors painting the clouds will be familiar to any pilot who has taken in the view before.