Friday Photo: in formation over Indianapolis

An air-to-air photo shoot turned into a memorable shot for pilots Jim David and Bill Smith. Here, Smith captures a busy scene, with David's Cessna 182 cruising over downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. The photo includes the city's football stadium, basketball arena, and famous racetrack.

Friday Photo: Mount St. Helens

It's been over 35 years since its last major eruption, but Mount St. Helens is still churning beneath the surface. You wouldn't know it from this peaceful Friday Photo, though. Joe Moilanen was flying a Cessna 170 past the northeast side of the snowy peak when this photo was taken.

Friday Photo: Three photos from an airline career

A special Friday Photo this week, as longtime contributor Tony Vallillo shares three of his favorite shots from his 31 years as an airline pilot. The list includes a beautiful picture of New York, an Airbus A340 from underneath, and a Boeing 767 in loose formation over the North Atlantic.

Friday Photo: bucket list flight

What's the most fun you can have in a small airplane? The list is long, but flying a seaplane should be near the top. In this week's photo, Richard Gentil takes us to seaplane Mecca - Jack Brown's Seaplane Base. The photo shows him taxiing out in a J-3 Cub for a lesson at this famous Florida school.

Friday Photo: High above it all

This isn't your typical Friday Photo. Reuben Keim shares a shot from the tail of his Cessna 182 as he soared over Laurel River Lake at 7500 feet. The sky is blue, the visibility is fantastic and the flying was good - everything for a good day in the air.

Friday Photo: Orlando sunset

Sometimes it's the simple flights that deliver the best views. In this Friday Photo, college student Steven Myers shares a beautiful sunset over Orlando, Florida, from his Cessna 172. He captured the scene while doing some pattern work.

Friday Photo: forest fire off the wing

Jim Yares took this photo while flying his Cirrus from Buchanan Field in Concord, CA, to North Las Vegas, NV, via the famous “Trona Corridor” — a VFR path cut through the Edwards Air Force Base complex. This is a great way to get from Northern California to Las Vegas without going high over the hostile mountain terrain of the central Sierra Nevada.

Friday Photo: Santiago, Chile

Santiago, Chile's capital and largest city, has a memorable skyline - not for the buildings, but for the snow-capped Andes that tower over the city. Gaspar Galaz was flying his Piper Archer over the city on a beautiful day when he snapped this photo of the scene. It's this week's Friday Photo.

Friday Photo: the view is worth it

Some student pilots have a unique perspective on learning to fly. In this week's Friday photo, Jason Clishe says, "As a student pilot and photographer, views like this are one of the many things that get me excited about aviation."

Friday Photo: San Francisco Christmas flight

How do you celebrate Christmas Day? For Dave Kramer, there's no better way than to go flying. He took this photo from the cockpit of a Citabria, as he cruised over San Francisco Bay on Christmas Day, enjoying the beauty and peacefulness that pilots love so much.

Friday Photo: a pink King Air wing

The sun is a talented artist, especially at dawn and dusk. This week's Friday Photo shows how the canvas is often an airplane, not just the surrounding clouds or earth below. Jeff Greer snapped this photo of the King Air he was flying as the sun painted it a beautiful shade of pinkish orange. Another memorable view that's only available in the air.

Friday Photo: Catalina pokes above the fog

Flying offers some great views - even if you're not the one flying. In this week's Friday Photo, Carlos Gonzalez captures an amazing view of scenic Catalina Island, just off the coast of Southern California. As the marine layer covers the Pacific Ocean, the hilly island sticks up out of the mist, like an aircraft carrier in the clouds.

Friday Photo: Sunset over Puget Sound

High wing airplanes make for great picture frames. In this Friday Photo, the sun sets over the Olympic Mountains as Steve Phoenix cruises along in his Piper Pacer. The sun is framed between the struts, while the light bounces off the water of Puget Sound below. Peaceful, beautiful, and exactly what makes flying so rewarding.

Friday Photo: overhead Amsterdam airport

Passing through the CTR of Schiphol, one of the busiest airports in Europe, is a granted privilege for private pilots who are familiair with the CTR of EHAM. Preparation is key - knowing which runways are in use, wind direction, etc. - so that controllers can give direct commands which are followed promptly.

Friday Photo: Ayers Rock, Australia

Ayers Rock is a famous sandstone monolith in the remote Northern Territory of Australia. It's a popular tourist destination, but it's difficult to reach by car. In an airplane, however, it is a scenic and unforgettable flight, as Bob Main shows in this week's Friday Photo. He calls it, "the trip of a lifetime."

Friday Photo: Manhattan over the nose

New York has one of the most famous skylines in the world, and there's no better way to see it than from the cockpit of an airplane. Jody Kochansky was lucky enough to get a view of Manhattan from his Cirrus SR-20 on a perfectly clear day, and he shares it in this week's Friday Photo.

Friday Photo: Wichita sunset

It was a silky-smooth IFR flight from KIXD to 1K1 for Dianne White. She was treated to this beautiful sunset, a view those on the ground didn’t have the benefit of enjoying that winter evening. As she says, "We pilots get to enjoy so many breathtaking sights those on terra firma never get to see."

Friday Photo: Capitol emerges from the fog

Flying as a helicopter air ambulance pilot in Washington, DC, can be a stressful job. But as this week's Friday Photo shows, it can also offer some unique views. While most pilots will never get this close to the US Capitol, pilot John Guazzo got to see it covered in fog from 900 feet.

Friday Photo: rough country

The southwest United States is a wonderful place for flying, says Barrie Strachan. The weather is often clear and the scenery is often striking, as this week's Friday Photo shows. This picture, taken from Barrie's SingSport LSA, shows Coyote Gulch in southern Utah. It's makes for a great view, but it's "a hell of a place for an engine out."

Friday Photo: beach campfire by a seaplane

With seaplanes, it's not just about the journey - sometimes the destination is pretty good too. This Friday Photo from Scott Magie will have you wishing you could jump into the picture. A campfire on the beach in front of a Beaver. What's not to like?