Friday Photo

Friday Photo: California poppy bloom

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The Walker Canyon poppy bloom made national news for its beautiful scenery. But Fred Greensite had the best view: “Vastly more extensive, and much more awe-inspiring, than the ground level media views online and on TV had indicated. The mountains looked like they were on fire. The throngs of people arriving by car and exploring on foot missed out on so much.”

Friday Photo: sun painting the clouds

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Sunsets are always beautiful from the cockpit, but they’re even better when a high cloud layer is involved. This photo from Joe Creecy, taken from his Cessna 182, shows the low sun over Nashville as it paints the clouds with shades of orange, yellow, and purple. Another “why I fly” moment.

Friday Photo: sunset over Istanbul

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While flying his Piper Meridian back from Balikesir, Necmi Cicekci “flew over Turkey’s most beautiful western coast. After investigating the Syrian migrants who had to cross the Aegean Sea, I had a great sunset on the way back to Istanbul. The sun was saying to us, ‘goodbye.'”

Friday Photo: Boulder from a 172

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Colorado is a beautiful place to fly, and you don’t have to be in a high performance airplane to enjoy the view. This Friday Photo comes from Rob Hitchcox, who was flying a Cessna 172 over the flatirons around Boulder when he took this photo. The best part? He had passengers along.

Friday Photo: Angel Flight passenger

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For doctor and pilot Ruffin Benton, flying patients for Angel Flight is the most rewarding kind of trip. He took this photo on a recent flight to Baltimore with a patient on board. While she’s headed for tough cancer treatment, the picture is all about the peace of flight.

Friday Photo: sunset in Denmark

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Fly 20 miles west of Copenhagen, Denmark, and you’ll find a beautiful coastline of islands and peninsulas. That’s where Natalie Kjaergaard was flying in her Aeroprakt A22 one afternoon when she took this beautiful photo of the sun going down over the water. Another classic sunset view from the left seat.

Friday Photo: Chicago lights

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For John Banas, this flight was anything but routine. As he describes, it was the “first time my wife went flying with me. She’s somewhat of a white knuckle flyer, but she was thrilled with the view from the little Skyhawk. Chicago seems to be laid out specifically for people why fly GA aircraft at night.”

Friday Photo: an ocean of clouds

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Sometimes the sun and clouds combine for the perfect cockpit view. That’s what helicopter pilot Scott Monroe saw on this day over Oakland, California. The rolling wave of clouds was highlighted by a low sun angle and framed perfectly by Mt. Diablo in the background. For folks on the ground, it just looked like a cloudy day.

Friday Photo: Swiss peaks on a solo cross-country

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This week’s Friday Photo comes from Aaron Ochsner, who says, “When I was a kid, I used to hike up this mountain every weekend with my dad (you can see the trail snaking up the side). Today I got a bird’s eye view of that same peak. Soon I’ll be able to take my dad up to see it with me.”

Friday Photo: FL430 from a Lear 45XR

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Paul Bowen says, “This was taken on my first ever flight in the Lear 45 since my sim training at CAE Dallas West. Watching the sun set from 43,000ft on your first ever real jet flight is a truly unforgettable experience. And what better aircraft that the truly iconic Lear!”

Friday Photo: Chicago sunset

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Why we fly – that’s Scott Fernandez’s three word summary of this photo, and it explains pretty well the magic of being a pilot. Watching the last light fade from the western sky as you climb out in a light airplane is both exciting and peaceful, and it is indeed why we fly.

Friday Photo: T-34 formation

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The T-34 Mentor has a long history as a military trainer, and training is exactly what Facha Reynaldez and Gabriel Freijo were doing when this photo was taken. But instead of a single T-34, this photo shows off four of them in formation over a dam south of Córdoba State, Argentina. The water an the sky are both blue, both the pilots were too busy watching their wingman to notice.

Friday Photo: Australian lake

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Australia is famous for its varied terrain, from beaches to mountains to deserts. In this Friday Photo from Down Under, Neil Sidwell shares a photo of Lake Eildon. This sprawling, man-made lake northeast of Melbourne is nestled in between the 3,000 foot peaks of the surrounding mountains, all part of Lake Eildon National Park.

Friday Photo: Cincinnati from a Caravan

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They call it the office with a view, and for freight pilots that means a lot of night views. For Peter Schmotzer, a beautiful view of the Ohio River snaking through Cincinnati at night was just another day at the office. At least when your office is a Cessna Caravan.

Friday Photo: steam gauges or glass?

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Pilots often argue whether new digital displays are better or worse than traditional round instruments. This photo from EAA AirVenture adds a new twist to the long-running debate. At least in this case, the younger generation is voting for glass!

Friday Photo: on top in a Cirrus

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It had been a long day already – 2 hour flight training in Naples and then dodging thunderstorms in southern GA on my way to Louisville. The peace in that view was a welcome sight which relaxed me before I arrived in Louisville with a 40 KT blow from 290, forcing me to abandon 2 approaches at KLOU and divert to KSDF.

Friday Photo: a wingtip rainbow in Colombia

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When you’re practicing aerobatics, it helps to have a good visual reference for your maneuvers. Santiago Arbelaez found the perfect one on a flight in his RV-4 – a vivid rainbow off the right wing. Here’s hoping 2019 brings you many spectacular views like this from the cockpit.

Friday Photo: Merry Christmas from a floatplane

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My loving wife let me implement “my Retirement Plan” a little early and purchase this airplane this past fall. I raised two US Marines, hence the USMC mascot – and yes Rock has been flying as well for the past 8 years! I will be offering seaplane instruction soon.

Friday Photo: a French chateau from the air

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The historic Chateau de Chantilly is just 30 miles north of Paris, but looks like a time capsule from the 19th century. Philippe Platek was flying over it on a beautiful day when he took this photo from his Tecnam P-2008JC. It shows the Grand Chateau and the stunning formal gardens. The perfect flight for a general aviation airplane.

Friday Photo: the Swiss Alps

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The weak sun of October had not completely removed the fog in the south of the Black Forest and over Switzerland. The Alps were sticking out of the cloud layer in the South. The air was smooth at FL090. I was crossing the arrival sectors of Zurich and the controllers had given me the most direct route that I could dream of.