Friday Photo: storm over the Everglades

Most pilots can think of at least one experience that made them appreciate the power of Mother Nature. For Joel Graham, it was this picture, captured from his Piper Arrow on the way to the Florida Keys. It shows towering storms over the Everglades, and "has a way of reminding you how small you and your airplane really are."

Friday Photo: Monday over the rainbow

Wow. That's about the only reaction that seems appropriate after seeing this week's Friday Photo. Ethan Levi's wife snapped this photo of a beautiful rainbow just off the wing of their Mooney as they were vectored for the ILS 13R approach into Hillsboro, Oregon. Hopefully good weather and light winds were at the end of this rainbow.

Friday Photo: Blue Cut Fire

Peter Hudson (photographer) and I happened to witness Mother Nature in all her fury as the "Blue Cut Fire" raged on day one. The awe of the strength of a wildfire like this is quickly tempered by the enormous consequences it has to everyone and anything in its path.

Friday Photo: Diamond Twinstar on top

The final entry in our Friday Photo Weekend is from Ryan Biziorek. He describes this beautiful shot as, "Serenity and sunshine above cloud tops on a late winter day in March perfectly framed by the dash and glare shield. A great reward for a newly minted multi-engine and instrument rated pilot. This is what the ratings are for."

Friday Photo: Monument Valley Stone Statue

Another great memory for our Friday Photo Weekend. Canadian pilot Simon Pinsonneault took a memorable flight through the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley in a Cessna 172RG and all he could say is "wow!"

Friday Photo: sun peeks out behind a storm

The fourth picture in our celebration of Friday Photo Weekend shows the power of Mother Nature. Jim Yares was commuting from Northern California to Southern California in a Cirrus SR22 when he saw the sun breaking out underneath a dark cloud. He captured this stunning photo, which is at once beautiful and intimidating.

Friday Photo: Tomahawk over Lake Erie

The third installment of our Friday Photo Weekend. This one comes from Adam Thomas, who was out for a leisure flight in a Piper Tomahawk, just about to cross the coast of Lake Erie in Canada, when he took this picture. As he says, "all the weather came together."

Friday Photo: Mooney over Mexico

The second installment in our Friday Photo weekend series comes from Fernando Gonzalez-Fisher, who took a photo of the cloud-covered mountains of Monterrey, Mexico, from his Mooney M20M. The speed brakes are retracted and the airplane seems to be racing along, but the rugged mountains below are a reminder that all flights must eventually end.

Friday Photo: Table Rock, South Africa

You won't have to wait another week for your next dose of Friday Photo. It was one year ago this month that Air Facts launched this popular weekly feature with the impetus of friends sending us photos of their flights home from Oshkosh. Thanks to all the readers who have submitted photos all year long. Today through Sunday, we'll be posting a whole bunch of Friday photos, so stop by Air Facts often to see the latest.

Friday Photo: the mighty Mississippi

It's hard to take a bad photo from an open cockpit biplane. But add in the beauty of America's biggest river and the setting sun and you have a magical scene. Gareth Williams captured the moment in this week's Friday Photo, as he flew a 1942 Stearman just south of Memphis.

Friday Photo: El Paso sunrise

They say the early bird gets the worm, but if you're a pilot you get a whole lot more. This week's Friday photo, from pilot Ray Baca, shows the sun peeking over the horizon in El Paso, Texas. The gorgeous purple and orange colors painting the clouds will be familiar to any pilot who has taken in the view before.

Friday Photo: Mount Rushmore from a Bonanza

Mt. Rushmore is one of the most famous landmarks in all of America, but it arguably looks better from the air. ATC is usually accommodating of a detour, too. This week's photo captures the four faces, from the cockpit of a Bonanza on the way to Oshkosh.

Friday Photo: marine layer over San Francisco

Private pilot John Belnap was flying to Salinas, California for some weekend work when he snapped this amazing photo. A familiar sight for California pilots, it shows the marine layer rolling in around San Francisco. The low sun, reflected off the high wing of the Cessna, illuminates a beautiful scene.

Friday Photo: Mt. Cook in New Zealand

Mt. Cook is one of the most beautiful places on earth and a must-fly place for every pilot. What an adventure flying through the valleys of this mesmerizing scenery of glades, glaciers, fjords, off shore islands and mountains. Combine beautiful scenery and wonderfully warm, friendly, people and you have my most memorable flight experience in 39 years.

Friday Photo: Hudson River SFRA

It's still one of the best flights a pilot can make: flying up the Hudson River past New York City at low altitude. Pilot John Phillips did it recently with some flying club friends in a Cessna 172, and he shares a spectacular picture of the Freedom Tower in Manhattan. It's this week's Friday Photo.

Friday Photo: a trip over the Alps

This week's Friday Photo comes from French pilot Georges Casanova, who took this beautiful shot while crossing the Alps in a Pipistrel motor glider. The tallest peak in the Alps, Mont Blanc, towers over the building clouds in the valley. A memorable sight for made so much more impressive when seen from the cockpit of a small airplane.

Friday Photo: an airport wakes up

After a near-record setting blizzard the weekend before, the Trenton airport was covered in two feet of snow. After digging out, pilot Greg John headed out for an early morning training flight. The sun rose in the east, painting the high overcast in beautiful shades of orange, yellow and purple. Another beautiful Friday Photo.

Friday Photo: Owens Valley solo flight

Tyler Core snapped this beautiful picture on a solo flight to practice maneuvers. The view is of the imposing Mt. Tom, rising nearly 10,000 ft. over the Owens Valley in the foreground. As Tyler says, "the Owens Valley is one of the most beautiful valleys to live in and the outstanding views coupled with the minimal air traffic around KBIH makes this a unique place to learn."

Friday Photo: sunshine after the cold front

John Gill spent a solid day flying in IMC and shooting approaches for a recent Angel Flight. Closer to home, has was rewarded with this view of the late afternoon sun shining through gaps in the clouds, illuminating other cloud layers below. As he says, it was "God's paintbrush giving a ray of hope after a hard day."

Friday Photo: how many souls on board?

They don't get much better than this Friday Photo. Pilot Chuck Tippett took his first selfie on the way to the beach with his two grandsons and the family dog. A 45-minute flight certainly beats a two hour drive, and the memories will last a lifetime. Rarely has the cockpit of a J-3 Cub looked better.