Friday Photo: the White Mountains are white

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.
Telluride

Friday Photo: on final for Telluride

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.

Friday Photo: Isla Culebrita

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

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

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

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

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."
Columbia Mountains

Friday Photo: Sunset over the Columbia Mountains

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."