Friday photo: above the thermal layer

Cruising along at 8500 feet in his Tecnam P2008, Mike Hackney captured this beautiful and slightly strange photo. As he says, "The optical illusion was of a lake covered by a sheet of ice, and the cloud tops emerging. This went on for an hour of flight time. Simply beautiful."

Friday Photo: Dominican Republic from a TBM

The view from the cockpit of a TBM 910 as it cruises along in the flight levels is usually pretty good, but sometimes it's great. Omar Haedo captured one of these unique views as he flew home to Miami, with the sun reflecting off the Caribbean Sea and the cumulus clouds building over the Dominican Republic.

Friday photo: Airbus X3

The X3 was unusual from many different perspectives, not the least of which being the addition of a pair of stub wings with tractor propellers at their tips. The propellers, though appearing to have their own powerplants, were actually driven by the engines that drove the main rotor.
Pipstrel in flight

Friday Photo: storm over the Everglades

The Pipistrel Sinus motorglider is all about fun flying, and that's what Todd Tracy captures in this Friday Photo. His wingtip-mounted GoPro camera shows him soaring over the Everglades in Florida, with a typical summertime rain shower making itself known in the background.

Friday Photo: somewhere over the rainbow

Returning east at 11,000 feet from Saint Jude’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, to Asheville, North Carolina, on an Angel Flight mission. Major thunderstorm activity over Knoxville. ATC queried me, “Do you want to divert north or south? Suggest south.” Good choice.

Friday Photo: the sun sets on a rewarding flight

Sometimes you're so busy flying that you forget to take a photo until after you've landed. That's what Tom Kingston shares in this Friday Photo, but what a great way to remember a flight—a beautiful sunset in the western sky serves as a colorful reminder of a great flight in his Cessna 172.

Friday Photo: one last flight

As partners sharing ownership of a Nanchang CJ-6A and four and a half years and many hours of fun and adventure in the Decathlon, it was our last flight as co-owners. My longtime friend, who took this shot, had lost his medical due to a stroke. 

Friday Photo: Southern Utah paradise

Just another day in the Southern Utah paradise. My buddy always says “if there’s a bump in the world, this is where you’ll find it” but this day, the air was smooth as glass.

Friday Photo: Resting

Birds of a feather flock together, and you really notice it when the airplane has such a unique silhouette. Chris Priaulx saw these two airplanes on the ramp at Wendover, Utah (ENV) some years back, parked in their unique, nose-down position.

Friday Photo: under the bridge

The mission on this day was to get out of the house (pandemic blues) and shoot some practice instrument approaches in typical August hot, humid southeastern Virginia weather. The pilots were rewarded with an interesting sight, as a US Navy ship was passing through the York River Coleman Bridge.

Friday Photo: morning over the Cascades

I took an early morning summer flight across the Cascades in Oregon on a perfect morning. Unlimited visibility, no wind, an almost eerie lack of any sign of civilization. As I neared the middle of the mountain range, I saw this stunning lineup of (from the left) Mt. Jefferson, Three-Fingered Jack, Mt. Washington, and two of the Three Sisters. A timeless moment that signals the best of the flying experience.

Friday Photo: sunrise over Virginia

Early morning always reminds me of a fresh start, a new day, and a chance to learn and gain experience(s) as a pilot. While crawling out of bed seems less than desirable at 0500, views like this are rare, priceless, and worth every effort to capture aviation moments in time like this.

Friday Photo: Florida Keys

We cancelled IFR west of Boca Raton and descended VFR with flight following to fly the east coast line down to the Keys and out to Marathon. ATC was unbelievable! I was handed off to FLL tower to facilitate flying through their airspace. Traffic was not bad and ADS-B In made others easy to find. Great views the whole way! Just beautiful...

Friday Photo: Florida sunset

Sunsets are spectacular anytime airplanes are involved, and this Friday Photo proves that you don't even have to be flying for that to be true. Kent Meyer took this gorgeous photo as the sun set over his Challenger 350, on the ramp at Inverness, Florida. It's enough to make you want to drive to the airport and go chase the sun.

Friday Photo: Puget Sound fun

Puget Sound in Washington is an ideal place for a general aviation airplane. The distances are short, but roads are few, so a quick flight can take you a world away from the busy streets of Seattle. In this picture from Kevin Knight, Mother Nature gets an assist, as the sun breaks through a broken layer of clouds, highlighting the water below.

Friday Photo: thunderstorm at sunset

Harvey Swift sums it up well: "As a captain on the 737, I get to see many great sights. I managed to get a good one here." His breathtaking photo is a reminder of how beautiful—and dangerous—Mother Nature can be.

Friday Photo: safe from the storm

In tropical countries storms build up very fast; you must be aware of that and take care of you and your plane. That's what Santiago Arbelaez is doing in this week's Friday Photo. It shows his 1954 Piper Pacer tied down at Tolu, Colombia, in preparation for a nasty storm.

Friday Photo: sunrise over Georgia

In the summer months here I love sunrise flights. It's cooler and you beat the heat, humidity, afternoon thunderstorms, and convective turbulence. It's also pretty quiet up there with little air traffic. But it requires waking up around 0500 to get to the airport early enough to catch the sunrise airborne.

Friday Photo: a busy rain cloud

I was flying up to our family cottage in Gravenhurst, Ontario. The visibility was excellent and there were lots of fluffy white cumuliform clouds starting to tower up all around. This one caught my eye because it was pretty much on its own and it was producing a strong column of rain.

Friday Photo: Indonesian island off the wing

Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world, with over 17,000 total islands. Emiliano Beltramone captured a picturesque one from the right seat of a Cessna Caravan in this week's Friday Photo. The remote island with tree-covered hills and a lagoon looks right out of a postcard.