Friday Photo

Friday Photo: the Rio Grande

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The route south from Albuquerque, New Mexico, follows the Rio Grande as it winds from Colorado towards the US-Mexico border. Jason Harrison got a great picture of big river, a patch of green in the desert, as he cruised along in his Cessna 182. If nothing else, it’s a great way to check your navigation skills.

Friday Photo: airplanes, large and small

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An airplane is an airplane: lift, thrust, weight, and drag apply to all of them. But as Ross Clarke shows in this Friday Photo, there is a tremendous variety of machines. Here, his 1300 lb. Jabiru is parked next to a retired Qantas 747, maximum weight of over 800,000 lbs. Which one would you have more fun flying?

Friday Photo: chasing the shadow

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Even after 10,000 hours, Claudia Garces loves the thrill of landing. Of course, when your airport is 4,950 ft above sea level, in the middle of a city surrounded by mountains, it is a little more interesting. “Every landing is an exercise of concentration and precision, and that’s exactly what makes it special.”

Friday Photo: Moscow under a HUD

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Richard Pittet was in the middle of a 17-hour flight to India when he took this utterly unique photo. It shows a very high tech heads-up display in the right seat of the Boeing 787 he was flying, with the glowing lights of Moscow below. Not a bad view from 38,000 feet and Mach .85, in our opinion.

Friday Photo: Georgia sunset

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In flying over 25 years together, my wife and I witnessed probably the most luminous sunset as it reflected and radiated from underneath the impending cloud formations to illuminate our aircraft and the landscape with such an amazing orange brilliance. It was truly a spiritual experience that only flying can produce.

Friday Photo: two unique airplanes in one shot

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Here’s a pair of airplanes you don’t often see in the same picture: the giant Antonov AN-124 and the even rarer Boeing 747 Dreamlifter. Ernie Borjon was in the right place at the right time to see the Russian freighter take off while its smaller (not by much) rival sat on the ramp. The combined weight of these two heavy haulers is over 1.5 million pounds!

Friday Photo: a Diamond over Detroit

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Composite wings are good for a lot of things. While low drag is first on the list, they also do a great job of reflecting the colors of the sky, as this photo from Tim Crawford shows. The pinks and oranges from the sun are visible above, while the glowing lights of Detroit are visible below. Even better? This photo was taken on Tim’s wife’s first general aviation flight.

Friday Photo: sunset over a tip tank

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There’s something about a Bonanza wing, especially when it has a tip tank at the end, that frames a picture so well. In this stunning shot, Karl Kleiderer shares the view from his A36 as he flew over Charlotte, North Carolina in search of fall colors. The sunset looks almost as if it were painted with a paint brush.

Friday Photo: Wichita fog

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Early morning flights are the best, and this Friday Photo is just another example. Mike Buettgenbach snapped this photo of south central Kansas from the cockpit of his RV-12 (which offers an incredible view), showing the last remnants of morning fog clinging to the river valleys. Definitely worth waking up for.

Friday Photo: on final for Telluride

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Jason Harrison was flying his Cessna Turbo 182T from Albuquerque to Colorado for his 50th birthday when he took this dramatic shot of Telluride. A unique airport, TEX sits on a mesa over 9,000 feet above sea level. When the weather is good, the views are spectacular.

Friday Photo: Isla Culebrita

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For Omar Haedo, flying his Mooney Acclaim Ultra is just an efficient way to get around as he manages his health insurance company in the US Virgin Islands. But a commute like that does have its benefits, including wonderful cockpit views like the one shown here. This shot is of Isla Culebrita, just off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico.

Friday Photo: Mt. Hood reflections

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An inky black, velvety smooth departure emerging into a beautiful dawn. The passengers I am on the way to carry are two upbeat, optimistic friends who treat their cancer together with low-dose chemotherapy. I look forward to lifting their spirits by both flying them and by telling them funny stories and jokes from court and life.

Friday Photo: closing in on Telluride

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I was flying with one eye watching for landing sites – the only way I fly the Rockies in a single engine piston. (It seems there is always someplace to go near the airways – hope I never have to prove it!) I managed to stop my ground scan long enough to take this picture. You can see the ski runs above Mountain Village in the distance. Beautiful place to live and fly.

Friday Photo: Chipmunk at rest

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The Irish Historic Flight Foundation operate a number of historically significant Irish Aircraft. Here an ex-Irish Air Corps DHC1 Chipmunk and its pilot (out of shot) get a well-earned break from training the latest volunteers in the joys and foibles of the beautiful DeHavilland Chipmunk. In the air a locally-based (EIMH) Citabria makes the most of an Irish summer’s afternoon.

Friday Photo: Melbourne from a helicopter

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There’s nothing quite like that first flight as pilot in command. For David Booth, it was extra special because he was flying his adult children. The view of Melbourne from his Robinson R44 helicopter is great, but even better was “the surprise and amazement when they found out that their father had learned to fly.”

Friday Photo: Sunset over the Columbia Mountains

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That first long cross country flight is always a memorable experience, and for Kevin Cook it was even better – just look at that sunset. But what he remembers most are the helpful controllers throughout his flight. As he says, “We truly have an amazing ATC system in place in the US.”

Friday Photo: Monument Valley

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It looks like a setting for a Western – because it is. The sandstone buttes of Monument Valley, on the border between Arizona and Utah, appear in many famous movies but they are even better in person. Richard Garnett shares a photo of the otherworldly scene in this Friday Photo, taken from a Piper Archer during a cross-country training flight.

Friday Photo: a great-looking panel

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For Vini Khurana, checking out in his first airplane was a dream come true. He took this photo on a training flight and it shows a stunning view. The Pipistrel Virus is packed with Dynon avionics that light up the panel, but the view out the front window isn’t bad either.

Friday Photo: Rocky Mountain National Park

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Rocky Mountain National Park is a stunning 265,000 acre park in northern Colorado, famous for the Trail Ridge Road and its spectacular vistas. In this Friday Photo, Daniel Hesselius shares his unique view of the park, one that’s even better than the Trail Ridge Road. He took this photo from the left seat of his Baron as he cruised back to Denver in clear skies.

Friday Photo: Isla Palomino

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Sometimes everything comes together: a high wing airplane, a beautiful Caribbean island, and a friend to share the flight with. That’s what Reinaldo Marquez shares in this Friday Photo, and it looks pretty good to us. The view is of Isla Palomino beach, on the southern edge of a small island just off the coast of Puerto Rico.