Friday Photo

Friday Photo: the sun sets on a rewarding flight

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Sometimes you’re so busy flying that you forget to take a photo until after you’ve landed. That’s what Tom Kingston shares in this Friday Photo, but what a great way to remember a flight—a beautiful sunset in the western sky serves as a colorful reminder of a great flight in his Cessna 172.

Friday Photo: one last flight

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As partners sharing ownership of a Nanchang CJ-6A and four and a half years and many hours of fun and adventure in the Decathlon, it was our last flight as co-owners. My longtime friend, who took this shot, had lost his medical due to a stroke. 

Friday Photo: Resting

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Birds of a feather flock together, and you really notice it when the airplane has such a unique silhouette. Chris Priaulx saw these two airplanes on the ramp at Wendover, Utah (ENV) some years back, parked in their unique, nose-down position.

Friday Photo: under the bridge

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The mission on this day was to get out of the house (pandemic blues) and shoot some practice instrument approaches in typical August hot, humid southeastern Virginia weather. The pilots were rewarded with an interesting sight, as a US Navy ship was passing through the York River Coleman Bridge.

Friday Photo: morning over the Cascades

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I took an early morning summer flight across the Cascades in Oregon on a perfect morning. Unlimited visibility, no wind, an almost eerie lack of any sign of civilization. As I neared the middle of the mountain range, I saw this stunning lineup of (from the left) Mt. Jefferson, Three-Fingered Jack, Mt. Washington, and two of the Three Sisters. A timeless moment that signals the best of the flying experience.

Friday Photo: sunrise over Virginia

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Early morning always reminds me of a fresh start, a new day, and a chance to learn and gain experience(s) as a pilot. While crawling out of bed seems less than desirable at 0500, views like this are rare, priceless, and worth every effort to capture aviation moments in time like this.

Friday Photo: Florida Keys

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We cancelled IFR west of Boca Raton and descended VFR with flight following to fly the east coast line down to the Keys and out to Marathon. ATC was unbelievable! I was handed off to FLL tower to facilitate flying through their airspace. Traffic was not bad and ADS-B In made others easy to find. Great views the whole way! Just beautiful…

Friday Photo: Florida sunset

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Sunsets are spectacular anytime airplanes are involved, and this Friday Photo proves that you don’t even have to be flying for that to be true. Kent Meyer took this gorgeous photo as the sun set over his Challenger 350, on the ramp at Inverness, Florida. It’s enough to make you want to drive to the airport and go chase the sun.

Friday Photo: Puget Sound fun

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Puget Sound in Washington is an ideal place for a general aviation airplane. The distances are short, but roads are few, so a quick flight can take you a world away from the busy streets of Seattle. In this picture from Kevin Knight, Mother Nature gets an assist, as the sun breaks through a broken layer of clouds, highlighting the water below.

Friday Photo: thunderstorm at sunset

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Harvey Swift sums it up well: “As a captain on the 737, I get to see many great sights. I managed to get a good one here.” His breathtaking photo is a reminder of how beautiful—and dangerous—Mother Nature can be.

Friday Photo: safe from the storm

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In tropical countries storms build up very fast; you must be aware of that and take care of you and your plane. That’s what Santiago Arbelaez is doing in this week’s Friday Photo. It shows his 1954 Piper Pacer tied down at Tolu, Colombia, in preparation for a nasty storm.

Friday Photo: sunrise over Georgia

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In the summer months here I love sunrise flights. It’s cooler and you beat the heat, humidity, afternoon thunderstorms, and convective turbulence. It’s also pretty quiet up there with little air traffic. But it requires waking up around 0500 to get to the airport early enough to catch the sunrise airborne.

Friday Photo: a busy rain cloud

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I was flying up to our family cottage in Gravenhurst, Ontario. The visibility was excellent and there were lots of fluffy white cumuliform clouds starting to tower up all around. This one caught my eye because it was pretty much on its own and it was producing a strong column of rain.

Friday Photo: Indonesian island off the wing

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Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world, with over 17,000 total islands. Emiliano Beltramone captured a picturesque one from the right seat of a Cessna Caravan in this week’s Friday Photo. The remote island with tree-covered hills and a lagoon looks right out of a postcard.

Friday Photo: an advancing storm

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I was on the first leg of my long solo cross-country, where the route was FMY-OBE-PGD-FMY. The storm was forecast to stay west of OBE, and this picture was taken as the storm cut off my path to OBE. I had clear skies to my right, so I executed a 180-degree turn to the right and returned to FMY from the southwest while remaining clear of clouds. I repeated the flight the following day to completion.

Friday Photo: Father’s Day Flying Fun Times Two

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This Father’s Day will be hard to top. Two years ago I surprised my Dad and landed in his back yard on Father’s Day morning for coffee. During coffee I asked him if he would ever fly with me. He said “No freaking way!” But I guess he had a change of heart… here’s proof that he flew with me two years later to the day.

Friday Photo: dodging storms in an R44 helicopter

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Avoiding thunderstorms in a helicopter is different than an airplane. Instead of weaving around building cumulus clouds up high, it often means weaving around dark rain shafts. This picture of an imposing storm over Colorado shows this procedure in action, as John Grasberger flew his Robinson R44 home from Oshkosh.

Friday Photo: tilt-rotor formation

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During February of 2015 I was called in by Don Barbour of Leonardo Helicopters to photograph the company’s newly-acquired-from-Agusta-Bell Model 609 prototype in advance of the then-upcoming Heli-Expo event in Orlando, Florida. The aircraft was being repainted in Eastern and Bristow (both prospective buyers at the time) markings in order to provide a fresh perspective for the event.

Friday Photo: vuelos divertidos

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With small action cameras like the GoPro finding their way into many flight bags, pilots have a new perspective to share with the world. In this beautiful picture, Agustin Rubiños shows the wingtip view of his Cessna 172 as he cruises over the Pampas plain in South America.