Sunset wing

Friday Photo: sunset over South Carolina

For Duncan Witte, the shorter days of fall aren't all bad, especially when his Piper Arrow is involved. "I really enjoy evening and night flying in the autumn. The weather is getting cooler, the air is smooth, and you sometimes get a spectacular sunset like this one."
Ercoupe takeoff

Friday Photo: Miss Piggy and me

Still can't believe I can fly by myself at the age of 70. What an accomplishment for a farm girl from Kentucky. The thrill of flying friends and family or just getting away from the earth when you just want to be alone... I always say it's as close as I can get to God and not die, He and I talk a lot when I'm up there.
MTN airport

Friday Photo: waterfront runway

I started my Private Pilot journey at this airport at Middle River Aviation. In the spring I did a fly over of the airport, doing a transition over the class delta airspace due to the DC SFRA and Aberdeen Proving Grounds restricted area. And then three months later I became a one tenth owner of a Cessna 172SP hangared at this same airport. I had no idea at the time that it would become my home airport as an airplane owner.

Friday Photo: peeking into North Vietnam from Laos, 1972

Looking east across the Annamite Range that lies between North Vietnam (NVN) and northern Laos with the monsoon weather over NVN. On this particular mission, I stayed in Laos. A few weeks later, I flew down the "Fish's Mouth" (at one point, the border between NVN and Laos looks like the mouth of a fish jumping out of the water, east to west, to catch a lure).
Cirrus over mountains

Friday Photo: Appalachian Spring

The ballet Appalachian Spring was written by Aaron Copland in 1944. Created as the war in Europe was drawing to an end, the titular orchestral suite captured the imagination of Americans who were beginning to believe in a more prosperous future, a future in which men and women would be united again. A powerful song and an equally powerful vision. This photograph, taken on an Angel Flight, visually captures the hope offered every spring.
Sunset DTW

Friday Photo: Detroit sunset

This was our second father/son trip to Oshkosh in our jointly-owned 210 but our first one while flying at sunset, which made for a very memorable view of DTW, downtown Detroit, and the various airports in the area where Dad learned how to fly many years ago.

Friday Photo: landing on the centerline

No matter what the rest of the flight looked like, a great landing means touching down right on centerline. David Smith shows that perspective in this Friday Photo. He was landing a Cessna 172 at Harford County Airport in Maryland when he adjusted his airspeed, managed his descent rate, worked the rudder, and kept it right in the middle. No easy task with the wind blowing (note the windsock).
Stearman

Friday Photo: a Stearman patiently waits

This was the end of day 7 of a 9-day journey flying cross country to get the plane to its new home in May of 2020. We had been battling high winds and turbulence for seven hours by the time we landed at Winslow, AZ (INS).  We pushed the big biplane out of the wind and into the hangar that the airport FBO made available to us. After closing up the doors and unloading, I took a minute to take in the view.
Buffalo

Friday Photo: Buffalo at night

Two pilots, one airplane, and a mission to fly for dinner—that's the start of a fun flight. Add in a calm night and the twinkling lights of Buffalo, New York, off the wing and you have the perfect flight. That's the view Mark Bellis and Marc Volpe share in this Friday Photo.
Sunset with airplane

Friday Photo: sunset departure

"Few things in life can beat the view of a beautiful fall sunset framed in the wings of your favorite biplane," says Todd James. It's hard to disagree after seeing his photo, which shows a Marquart Charger MA-5 lifting into the skies with a glowing yellow sun on the horizon.
Cessna 206

Friday Photo: Cessna 206 ready to fly

SVCS is a general aviation airport located a dozen miles south of Caracas, Venezuela, and separated from the city by a low mountain range. That makes the perfect backdrop for Francisco Salas's beautiful Friday Photo, which also includes some picturesque clouds framing the stout Cessna 206.
Sunset Warrior

Friday Photo: flying into the sunset

This picture sums up a flight with a lot of important elements: an airplane, a father and sons, a great sunset, and the promise of a Christmas together. Michael McDaniel captured it all on the way home to Decatur, Alabama, in a Piper Warrior late last December.
C-47 view

Friday Photo: C-47 wing view

Tony Buttacavoli has flown a lot of airplanes in his long career, including the Boeing 747. But flying an old C-47, the military version of the legendary Douglas DC-3 airliner, is his favorite. This picture shows the distinctive radial engine and big prop hub, with the gorgeous colors of a Michigan autumn in the background.

Friday Photo: Sunset over Syracuse

This was taken by my CFII as I was flying. The lake in the picture is Onondaga Lake in Liverpool, NY. We took off from Syracuse Hancock International Airport to log some night flying hours. I love flying over Syracuse during the night because it has spectacular city lights.
Sun under wing

Friday Photo: fire and ice

Tom Dorl was on a training flight in a Cessna 172 over the York River in Virginia when he spotted this beautiful scene. As he reminds us, "Sometimes you gotta look outside and appreciate the beauty of flight and the freedom it provides."

Friday Photo: Bahama blue

The islands of the Bahamas never cease to amaze. The combination of white sandy beaches and beautiful blue water makes for the perfect flying destination and a great view. Paul Harding captures this color palette with a shot of the Schooner Cays, as seen under the wing of his Cessna 172.
Moon

Friday Photo: 737 moonshot

When jogging through the Clingendael Park, I noticed the rising full moon and the afternoon’s peak of traffic approaching for Schiphol Amsterdam Airport flying exactly north of my position, straight into the direction of the upcoming full moon. I rushed back home to get my 200 mm telephoto lens and was lucky to capture an airplane flying the RNAV36 towards RWY 36L at approximately 1500 ft AGL.

Friday Photo: sunrise through a tilt-rotor

During September of 2018 Bell Helicopter was deep into flight test operations with their advanced military-oriented V-280 tilt-rotor testbed. The latter is a competitor in the US Army's Future Vertical Lift initiative which is on-going as these words are written. As the aircraft was being towed into position, I saw an opportunity to possibly catch the dawn sun through the open cabin doors as the aircraft moved slowly across the ramp. The result is what you see.

Friday Photo: snowy mountain peaks

Clay Thomas captures the beauty and peace of a glider flight in this gorgeous Friday Photo. As he describes it: "Soaring down the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, 606 kilometers round trip, maximum altitude 17,915 feet, maximum rate of climb 1,200 FPM, maximum airspeed 165 knots. Fuel burn, zero."

Friday Photo: a lonely airplane in the desert

I flew to the remote Alvord Desert to camp under the stars in a dark sky. It was dark, but storm clouds blocked the stars each night. The days were filled with the subtle beauty of desert mirages and absolute silence. A real dose of solitude.