Friday Photo

Friday Photo: Isla Culebrita

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For Omar Haedo, flying his Mooney Acclaim Ultra is just an efficient way to get around as he manages his health insurance company in the US Virgin Islands. But a commute like that does have its benefits, including wonderful cockpit views like the one shown here. This shot is of Isla Culebrita, just off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico.

Friday Photo: Mt. Hood reflections

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An inky black, velvety smooth departure emerging into a beautiful dawn. The passengers I am on the way to carry are two upbeat, optimistic friends who treat their cancer together with low-dose chemotherapy. I look forward to lifting their spirits by both flying them and by telling them funny stories and jokes from court and life.

Friday Photo: closing in on Telluride

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I was flying with one eye watching for landing sites – the only way I fly the Rockies in a single engine piston. (It seems there is always someplace to go near the airways – hope I never have to prove it!) I managed to stop my ground scan long enough to take this picture. You can see the ski runs above Mountain Village in the distance. Beautiful place to live and fly.

Friday Photo: Chipmunk at rest

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The Irish Historic Flight Foundation operate a number of historically significant Irish Aircraft. Here an ex-Irish Air Corps DHC1 Chipmunk and its pilot (out of shot) get a well-earned break from training the latest volunteers in the joys and foibles of the beautiful DeHavilland Chipmunk. In the air a locally-based (EIMH) Citabria makes the most of an Irish summer’s afternoon.

Friday Photo: Melbourne from a helicopter

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There’s nothing quite like that first flight as pilot in command. For David Booth, it was extra special because he was flying his adult children. The view of Melbourne from his Robinson R44 helicopter is great, but even better was “the surprise and amazement when they found out that their father had learned to fly.”

Friday Photo: Sunset over the Columbia Mountains

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That first long cross country flight is always a memorable experience, and for Kevin Cook it was even better – just look at that sunset. But what he remembers most are the helpful controllers throughout his flight. As he says, “We truly have an amazing ATC system in place in the US.”

Friday Photo: Monument Valley

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It looks like a setting for a Western – because it is. The sandstone buttes of Monument Valley, on the border between Arizona and Utah, appear in many famous movies but they are even better in person. Richard Garnett shares a photo of the otherworldly scene in this Friday Photo, taken from a Piper Archer during a cross-country training flight.

Friday Photo: a great-looking panel

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For Vini Khurana, checking out in his first airplane was a dream come true. He took this photo on a training flight and it shows a stunning view. The Pipistrel Virus is packed with Dynon avionics that light up the panel, but the view out the front window isn’t bad either.

Friday Photo: Rocky Mountain National Park

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Rocky Mountain National Park is a stunning 265,000 acre park in northern Colorado, famous for the Trail Ridge Road and its spectacular vistas. In this Friday Photo, Daniel Hesselius shares his unique view of the park, one that’s even better than the Trail Ridge Road. He took this photo from the left seat of his Baron as he cruised back to Denver in clear skies.

Friday Photo: Isla Palomino

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Sometimes everything comes together: a high wing airplane, a beautiful Caribbean island, and a friend to share the flight with. That’s what Reinaldo Marquez shares in this Friday Photo, and it looks pretty good to us. The view is of Isla Palomino beach, on the southern edge of a small island just off the coast of Puerto Rico.

Friday Photo: sharing the sky

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I hadn’t been to the Reading WWII Weekend at KRDG in many years. As I was going through my photos picking out the best shot of each airplane in the show I stumbled across this shot of the P-51 along with a small winged friend sharing the sky. I’d love to say, it was planned, but it wasn’t. Never saw the bird while making the photo.

Friday Photo: a Cub at rest

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This is recreational aviation at its very finest. Pete Aarsvold shares a photo of two pilots relaxing on a bench, right next to a Cub Crafters Sport Cub sitting on an immaculate grass runway. Looks like the start of a great day.

Friday Photo: cranberry harvest

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Cranberries are knocked off their bushes while the bogs are flooded, allowing them to be corralled for harvest. We may be flatlanders here in this part of our state but the water views (both coastal and lakes) make it beautiful flying country. This annual sight is always one of my favorite iconic views of the Cape Cod area.

Friday Photo: the Twelve Apostles

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Towering over the shoreline of Port Campbell National Park in Victoria, Australia, the Twelve Apostles is a unique formation of limestone stacks. Neil Sidwell captured a great photo of this unique vista from the cockpit of his ICP Savannah. While many visitors see it from the nearby road, there’s nothing like an aerial view.

Friday Photo: chasing the rainbow

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Every pilot has spent time in an FBO waiting out weather. For a lucky few, that patience is rewarded with a beautiful view. That’s what happened to Rick Kennett as he climbed out of St. Louis in his Cessna 340. The stormy clouds supplied the perfect rainbow, which he followed on his way home.

Friday Photo: Indonesia airstrip

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For Caravan pilot Peter Santana, simple grass or dirt strips are nothing new. In fact, such challenging airports are just part of the job. But while many are challenging to land on, there’s something very beautiful about strips like the remote Koropun airstrip in Papua, Indonesia. It’s certainly not flat and there are tall cliffs off the end, but it’s an essential lifeline for villagers there.

Friday Photo: a GoPro view of Argentina

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Pilot and aviation enthusiast Agustin Rubiños describes it as, “vuelos divertidos en Skyhawk.” As this week’s Friday Photo shows, he does indeed have a lot of fun flying around Argentina. In this photo, taken from his wing-mounted GoPro, he’s soaring over the vast plains in his Cessna 172M.

Friday Photo: the plains of New Mexico

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What a spectacular sight. The plains of West Texas and Southeast New Mexico seem to go on forever and with the vibrant blue of the sky contrasted by the white of the puffy cloud, well it was a picture worth putting in the family photo book.

Friday Photo: sunset over a grass strip

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Words cannot express the feeling that comes over you as you leave the earth and look around at God’s creation. As the sun begins to disappear on the horizon, and the shadows begin to stretch across the ground, for the moment, the earth seems to be calm and peaceful.

Friday Photo: pancake ice formation

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Goetz A. Giessler captured a unique perspective from the cockpit of his Zlin Savage Cub as he did some ground reference maneuvers above the Rappbodetalsperre in the Harz Mountain Range, Germany. He remembers “the fine lines of pancake ice crust formation in a freshwater lake, painted in contrasting colors and shadows beneath cool calm air.”