I had been in Chicago on business the day before. It was a beautiful morning. Skies were mostly clear. Visibility was unlimited. Air was calm. Temperature was cool (it was late-September). Great day to fly. I had just departed O6C (Schaumburg Regional), about to head home. I decided to take a tour of downtown Chicago, from out over Lake Michigan.
After a nearly 30 year break, I finally had a mission: visiting and tending to my two oldest children who began attending a boarding school in Dillard, Georgia. My wife and two youngest children have now relocated to the area and I commute there on the weekends to be with them. I’m now treated to amazing views like this one, and a warm homecoming, nearly every weekend.
Flying with kids is always more fun than flying solo, and this photo is a great remind why. As Fernando Gonzales-Fisher says, “My grandson touches the window of a Mooney as if he is trying to touch the clouds. What is going through his young mind? We will never know; he will never remember. A moment I will never forget.”
It’s one of the best views any pilot can find, and Antonio Rodriguez shares a great picture of it in this Friday Photo: skimming along the top of the clouds at sunset. He was flying a Piper Archer II to Nebraska with family when he snapped this photo, which beautifully shows the soft colors of the sun on the clouds below.
Although I’ve been to Yosemite a number of times I have never overflown. My friend, plane owner, and pilot Mike has never been there so we took the opportunity. Later, when I was able to better view the pictures, I found that shooting through his windows somehow gave the pictures a black and white appearance.
Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate and you end up fogged in. As Steve Ellis found out, though, that doesn’t have to mean a trip to the airport is wasted. He took this misty photo of his RV-4 on the ground at on a trip to Vero Beach, Florida, which captures the early morning solitude of an airport – complete with a full moon overhead.
Fred Olson was flying from Osceola, Iowa to Harrison, Arkansas on a fairly dreary day when he saw a beautiful shaft of light breaking through the clouds and took this photo. It’s a reminder that aviation delivers stunning views even on cloudy days.
For Erich Gleckler, views like this are called “Magical Cub Moments.” The runway is in sight, the panel is basic, the sun is low – and the weekend is off to a great start. After learning to fly a J-3 from his father, moments like this come often for Erich, where the airplane opens up a view of nature that you just can’t find on the ground.
My wife and I love to explore the Southwest US in search of great hiking. Last year we made an impromptu trip to Sedona from our home base in Los Angeles. Our Mooney cut the 8-hour drive to a beautiful 2-hour flight, allowing us to easily make this trip over a weekend. We were treated to this perfect view on our departure, reminding us that we need to return soon.
There is absolutely nothing better than a taildragger on a grass strip. In this gorgeous, 2-for-1 Friday Photo, Christine Shumway Mortine shares some pictures from a quick lunch flight to Swank Field and reminds us all of how good the flying can be in fall.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.