Friday photo: Burning Man 2015

Editor’s note: This is the latest installment in our weekly series called simply the “Friday photo.” Each week we’ll share a great photo taken from the cockpit – one that shares the joy, beauty or fun of flying. If you’d like to join in, send your photo and description (using the format below) to:

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The view: Black Rock City / Burning Man 2015 (88NV)

The pilot: Jim Salters

The airplane: 1978 Cessna 182Q

The mission: Gifting highly-coveted scenic flights over Burning Man

The memory: Taking off and landing on the desert floor is one of the biggest thrills of my 5-year flying career. People come out every day with the hopes of a scenic ride. This flight a young couple had waited for two days without success. Day three was their lucky day and after the flight, the young man was so ecstatic about the experience that he promised to get his license as soon as he got home! I also minted my first “mile high club” members on a flight earlier that day…


  • Nice. I’m hoping that for my fourth burning man I’ll fly myself in (it was actually the final motivator for getting my ASEL rating), but I’m feeling guilty in advance for taking a club plane to the playa. What state is your plane in after the trip?

    • As a virgin burner I took my Grumman to 88NV. Tape every single orifice and door seals etc and you should be fine. Despite the frequent white out conditions on the playa my plane was in good shape when I went to head home. Shrewd advice on the 88NV message board was to not do a carb heat check on the ground to avoid getting the dust in the engine. Fly-ties are awesome, and very necessary.

  • If I’m going to pay far more than a ticket on United to get there ($500-700 vs $2000), I want to give rides to make the expense more worthwhile; so taping everything up is not an option.

    • Not at all Michael. Many of our pilots tape and untape every day. Keep in mind they don’t actually do the taping or removal. If you ask your passengers to help they will enthusiastically do all the work as their gift to you. All you do is direct. A secondary advantage is that tape doesn’t always last the week and becomes MOOP on the playa for someone to pick up.


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