Friday Photo

Friday Photo: sunrise over a Cirrus wing

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Sometimes, Mother Nature knows best. After evening storms delayed Salim Helou’s flight home until the next morning, the sun made a grand appearance over the co-pilot’s wing. The Cirrus SR22 meant Salim made it to work on time, but the view was the real prize.

Friday Photo: Phoenix sunset

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Photographers call it the golden hour for a reason. As this Friday Photo from Kimberly Prodan shows, the time just before night falls is utterly amazing – especially from an airplane. This photo captures the emerging lights of Phoenix below, while the sun’s fading light paints the horizon.

Friday Photo: Colorado mountains

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A cool, clear day in the mountains of Colorado is hard to beat. As Greg Chestnut shows in this photo, it’s even better with a high wing airplane. He took this photo while flying his Cessna 182 to Las Vegas, as he passed over the Uncompahgre Wilderness Area near Telluride.

Friday Photo: a not-so-dry lake in Australia

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Lake Eyre in Australia covers half a million square miles, but it’s almost always dry. Not for Jeff Brooks. He captured this otherworldly picture of the lake after it had filled up with water that flowed 1000 miles down hill to the lowest point in the country. The sleek wingtip of his Long-EZ perfectly frames the scene.

Friday Photo: an Austrian castle

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A European vacation turned into an unexpected flying adventure for Bob Bickford. In this Friday Photo, he shares the view from the cockpit of a brand new Diamond DA40NG, which he got to fly from the Diamond factory in Wiener Neustadt, Austria. As he says, it’s not every day you get to see a castle on final approach.

Friday Photo: a rainy sunset

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Viewing a sunset from the cockpit of a small airplane is always beautiful, but add in some clouds and maybe even a little rain and things get even better. Rick Spencer took this photo from his Cessna 182 on the way home to Arkansas from South Carolina, and the variety of colors makes for a gorgeous end to the trip.

Friday Photo: snowy mountain peaks

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The Rocky Mountains are famous for offering stunning views of snowy mountain peaks, but the Monashee Mountains in Canada are close behind. In this Friday Photo, Ken Finlayson shares a picture he took of the range while on a cross country training flight. Not a bad office view.

Friday Photo: San Juan Islands

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Many people outside the Pacific Northwest don’t know about the San Juan Islands, but to those who do know, they are a favorite flying spot. Bill Lombard shares this photo of the deserted islands just outside of Seattle in this Friday Photo. He took it from his Cessna 182 on a return flight from completing some IFR training.

Friday Photo: Banks Peninsula, New Zealand

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New Zealand sometimes looks like another planet, and this Friday Photo shows why. Andre Michaelides took this photo of the Banks Peninsula from his Piper Warrior, which shows ancient volcanic rock, a beautiful blue-green lake, and the Southern Alps mountain range all in one shot. As he says, it’s “scenery for the soul.”

Friday Photo: Angel Falls, Venezuela

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Angel Falls is undeniably breathtaking from any perspective. With a height over 3,200 feet, it is the highest uninterrupted waterfall on Earth and a powerful testament to nature’s power. Some 80 years after American pilot Jimmy Angel first flew over the falls, Douglas Olivares snapped this photo from his Cessna 172, complete with a partial rainbow.

Friday Photo: The Tetons

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The Northwest United States offers plenty of stunning vistas, making it a favorite for pilots – especially when the weather is good. In this Friday Photo, Duane Root shares a beautiful shot of the snow-capped Tetons, shot from his F.8L Falco as he flew to Montana for an AOPA Fly-in. As he says, “It’s views like this that remind us why we love flying!”

Friday Photo: Western Australia from a 172

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Geoff van Schie flies his Cessna 172M on volunteer missions to teach Christian Value Educational classes to mainly indigenous children in four remote schools in Australia. This photo was taken at the end of a five-day trip, for a total of 8 hours for the week, much of around IFR weather.

Friday Photo: Santa Barbara smoke

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Ronald Hays has been flying for a while – over 3,000 hours in 18 years, from Alaska to Guatemala – but he says “the scariest departure ever was from our home airport.” This week’s Friday Photo shows why, as thick smoke from the Thomas fire in Southern California fills the air. It was a scary sight, but at least Hays was on his way to cleaner air.

Friday Photo: Oshkosh!

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The world’s largest fly-in starts next week in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. To celebrate, this week’s Friday Photo shows a great scene from AirVenture 2017, as a 1944 Howard is parked beneath a deep blue sky that is punctuated by a skywriter’s “EAA script.” Happy Oshkosh week!

Friday Photo: bridge across Sarasota Bay

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Florida is a pilot’s paradise, as Todd Sullivan’s photo shows here. He was flying a Cessna 182 on a beautiful day in February when he took this photo of the John Ringling Causeway Bridge, which connects Sarasota and the beaches. The best part is soaring above that traffic stuck on the bridge.

Friday Photo: The Hague from a Cessna 172

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Long before 9/11 it was already prohibited to fly over the city centre of Dutch adminstrative residency The Hague. The royal palaces, the medieval court housing the parliament and senate are strictly forbidden to overfly below 3,000 ft AGL. To take pictures of the city I flew exactly along the border of the prohibited airspace.

Friday Photo: Trimotor view

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This isn’t your everyday wing photo. One look at the aileron and the back of the underwing engine reveals this to be an antique Ford Trimotor. Rick Torres snapped this photo from a passenger seat in the iconic airliner, as he flew over the Salinas Valley in California.

Friday Photo: sharing a sunset

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Gary Travis has been flying for over 40 years, but he admits that “skies like this always take my breath away.” This picture was taken on one of his many flights in his Piper Dakota, which he often uses to share the beauty of flying with others. Sharing aviation and enjoying the view never get old.

Friday Photo: Sportstar sunrise

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There’s no better time to fly, as Tom Smith shows with this Friday Photo. He was in his Evektor Sportstar on his way to a safety seminar when he snapped this photo of the sun rising over the horizon. The high clouds are painted that magical shade of orange, and you can tell the air is perfectly smooth.

Friday Photo: Misty Mountain Hop

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The best aerial photos combine a great scene, dramatic lighting, and an element of mystery. Vaughn Schultz has all three in this photo of the volcanic lava domes called the Sutter Buttes. A soft sunlight comes through the clouds and highlights the jagged edges of this unique area, as seen from a Cessna 172 XP.