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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: [email protected]

Rotterdam from air

The view: Flying over Rotterdam (The Netherlands)

The pilot: Willem de Kleynen

The airplane: Cessna 172

The mission: Shooting a “twilight” picture for an aerial Rotterdam portfolio for the magazine Gers!

The memory: Blessed with being both a pilot and photographer, I am able to combine flying and photography. On assignment for the magazine Gers! I was working on a portfolio of aerial photos from this Dutch city, the second largest after Amsterdam. I wanted to shoot at twilight, thus using the lights in the buildings combined with the ambient atmosphere to make the architecture almost “transparent.” Not instrument-rated, I needed the help of my former examiner Willem to be both my Safety Pilot and PIC, since The Netherlands don’t allow any Night VFR practice. Carefully planning the IFR slot to be able to orbit over the city just as daylight would fade-out eventually worked out in the most excellent way. This picture is about my love for flying and photography, but also about the lasting friendship that aviation can bring.

Click on the photo for a full size image.

Gerhard van Roon
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2 replies
  1. Hunter Heath
    Hunter Heath says:

    Lovely photo and commentary that calls to mind an experience I described in an earlier Air Facts article, flying into Omaha at twilight. I was struck by how much of the cloud cover shown in Gerhard’s photo appears to result from airliner contrails. The airspace over Rotterdam must be busy indeed.

  2. Gerhard van Roon
    Gerhard van Roon says:

    Thank you for your kind compliment Hunter. Indeed is the airspace in the west of The Netherlands very busy since Rotterdam lies ‘under’ the trans-atlantic routes and airways from continental Europe to the UK.

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