Friday Photo

Friday Photo: waiting to land

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SCTB is a busy general aviation airport on the eastern edge of Santiago, Chile, with a busy flying club and restaurant on the field. This photo from Gaspar Galaz shows the lineup for the runway as he approaches to land, with the airport looking like an oasis in a desert of buildings.

Friday Photo: Monterey Bay

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The low sun angle illuminating the ocean swell and surface wind waves in fine detail—flying home at the end of a beautiful day. We take turns with one flying outbound and the other back. I was lucky to have the right seat for this shot. To me this photo is reminder of why I love flying, purely for the opportunity to see the world in a different way.

Friday Photo: USNS Comfort in New York

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Flying is one of the few aspects of life that continues much as before during the COVID-19 quarantine. Today (4/12) was a beautiful spring day, and we took advantage of the near-empty airspace to escape our confinement in our cramped New York City apartments and fly in formation overhead Newark Airport (with one solitary Delta departure) and take the tour of the city we have flown single-ship many times.

Friday Photo: anticipating flight

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After a week in self-imposed quarantine, I decided to socially distance myself in the clear blue western sky over Texas. A creature of habit as all pilots are, I interrupted my preflight ritual of fully opening the hangar so as to avoid making contact with a fellow pilot who happened upon my same idea. Looking out through the partially opened hangar door as I’ve never before thought to look, I was rewarded with stunning contrasts.

Friday Photo: a quiet Dulles Airport

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Generally Friday afternoons are a hive of activity at Dulles Airport outside of Washington, DC, with a steady stream of incoming 777s and A380s from Europe and Asia all arriving within a few hours. Today, however, with all the coronavirus cancellations, Dulles was a perfect spot for a couple of touch and gos on runway 01C.

Friday Photo: a road in the clouds

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Charlie Tillett was flying east from Columbus, Ohio, in his Piper Meridian when he took this shot. There was an overcast layer between 1,000 and 2,000 ft, and he passed over I-77 just south of where the highway passes through New Philadelphia. You can clearly see the road’s path in the cloud, with disruptions caused by road heat.

Friday Photo: the White Mountains are white

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It was one of those beautiful, severe clear winter days we get in New Hampshire. From time to time I overfly Mt. Washington and visit my dad’s ashes, which I spread from a plane back in 2006, in accordance with his wishes. Here’s the view from my 1974 Piper Cherokee Six.

Friday Photo: Philadelphia at dusk

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There’s a time, right after the sun has set but before the sky is completely dark, when flying is just about magical. Kevin Davis captures this moment in his Friday Photo. You can see the soft blanket of a city turning the lights on while the horizon slowly fades away. A perfect time to be in a Cessna.

Friday Photo: shiny shoes

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Nearing the end of my rotorcraft private add-on, I accomplished the three-point solo cross-country. With the collective friction on, I had a hand free to grab a couple of photos. This one was actually taken by accident, but I thought it was kind of a fun view.

Friday Photo: formation flight on Remembrance Day

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Neil Sidwell shares this unique photo: a beautiful view of Melbourne and the Shrine of Remembrance (just visible over the inspection hatch on the cowl of our plane) as he flew in a formation of four aircraft over the Shrine in honour of those who had fallen in combat.

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.