Aero Crew News & RAA 2021 Photo Contest Winners!


Grand Prize Winner $250

Ian H.

The Royal Megaliner

My best friend Matt was visiting and asked if I would take him to the KIAH so he could try out his new camera.  It was a typical Texas afternoon as thunderstorms popped up while we camped out on the approach end of 8L. COVID-19 was wreaking havoc on the industry and as a young ExpressJet pilot, I knew my days were numbered. The last place I wanted to go was the airport. To put it simply, I was burnt out on aviation. Jokingly, I brought my Canon 60D along to maybe catch a shot of an EMB-145 to show my future grandkids what I flew before the pandemic. As I waited impatiently for Matt to get his fill of airplanes, this mammoth gracefully emerged from the base layer on final. In awe, I scrambled to snap a shot of one of the last A380s to visit. Although the A380 hasn’t returned to Houston, I look forward to the day it does. It will be a welcomed sign of a return to normalcy. Sometimes in aviation we must deviate around unexpected weather; however, with a little patience and planning, we eventually make it to our intended destination. As in the picture, I believe we have just broken out and made it through the nasty weather with the runway in sight. I wish my aviation family a swift and ample recovery!

First Place Winner $125

John L.

Missed on the CAT II

This photo was taken from the jump seat on a commute from MSY-CLT. CLT was down to CAT II ops, but fog was thicker at the central part of the airport, more so than the outer runways. On the taxi in from 36L, we were holding short of 36C behind PSA when a FedEx MD-11 went to CAT II minimums and then missed. The low and thick fog made for a dramatic climb out and photo. 

Second Place Winner $75

Mike A. 

Flying through Northern Lights

On a 747, we were flying from Anchorage to Miami in March 2021. The sky that night had been much more active than any other time I’d seen it before. In fact, a few locals from Alaska who were aboard stated that they had only seen this kind of activity a few times in a decade. It was quite the sight, as you can see. The shot was taken with the iPhone 12Pro Max. Exposure was left open for five seconds. Thanks for hosting contests like this. As aviators, we get to see sights around the world that very few people get to see, and I’m glad we can share them with each other and others outside of our industry. 

Third Place Winner $50

Colin T. 

Fiery Arrival into Indianapolis 

I was flying a Diamond DA40 NG on one of my commercial cross-country flights. This leg was Cedar Rapids, Iowa (CID) back to Indianapolis, Indiana (IND). I was somewhere on the JAKKS2 arrival between cloud layers and I just remember loving the colors of the sunset. 

Runner Up, Rain Alertz Umbrella

Scott A. 

His Touch of Grace

We departed TX at o’dark:30 and arrived to this breathtaking view on the visual into Huber, Utah! I Scott A. was accompanied by First Officer Scott B. 

Ryan P. 

An American A330 on approach to MCO

Runner Up, Rain Alertz Umbrella

The photo is of an American A330-200 landing in Orlando after a short flight from Charlotte. A thunderstorm had just moved through the area allowing us to pass to the east and then to the south providing a beautiful view as the sun sets behind!

Runner Up, Rain Alertz Umbrella

Marc S. 

Snow filled sunset

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Runner Up, Rain Alertz Umbrella

Andres M.

St. Elmo’s Fire over the Bay of Bengal

This photo is the result of perfect timing. It was taken during a stormy night at the Bay of Bengal during weather avoidance. I was able to capture the exact moment the St. Elmo’s Fire flashed out our windshield that night. 

Runner Up, Rain Alertz Umbrella

James B.

Denver Ground Stop

I was sitting in the flight deck of a chartered Boeing 737-800 during a spring storm at Denver International Airport, Colorado. A company 737-400 pulled into the closed ramp where passengers and crew members waited out the storm. The long ground stop and ramp closure allowed for hundreds of photos to be taken until I finally captured the one-in-a-million shot.

Runner Up, Rain Alertz Umbrella

Rusty B.

Lake-Effect Rainbow

I fly for a FedEx feeder operator between Cleveland and Erie each morning which affords me ample opportunity to see various weather around Lake Erie. This was on my return leg to Cleveland and I noticed a rainbow within a small rain shower just north of Ashtabula, Ohio over Lake Erie. 

Runner Up, Rain Alertz Umbrella

Mitch K.

Mexican Sunrise

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Runner Up, Rain Alertz Umbrella

Tyler F.

Departing HNL for CLT

I snapped this photo while departing HNL for CLT after a week in Hawaii with my fiancée. It was a perfect vacation traveling around Oahu and learning about the Hawaiian culture and trying different Hawaiian foods. (I’m still thinking about the Kalua pork eggs Benedict from Goofy Café in Waikiki.) I was lucky enough to score a window seat on the way home while non-reving out of HNL. I got even luckier when we departed runway 8R, which gave us this amazing view of Oahu. You can see Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head and that huge 777 wing. 

Runner Up, Rain Alertz Umbrella

Bruno B. 

Instrument rating? Check! 

Taken at KFRG, moments after passing my Instrument Rating check-ride in May 2020. My DPE spotted T-cells moving from the west and told me to land. After parking, I looked up and spotted this giant cumulus cloud dwarfing the airport. I'll never forget it!

Runner Up, Rain Alertz Umbrella

Andrew S.

The Rainbow at the End of a Storm

The cliché, “good things come after the storm,” held true on this day. It was a 12-hour duty day and seven-hour flying day through some of the best storms summer could throw at us. Constant deviations around storms, ground stops and moderate turbulence was the story of the day. At the time this picture was taken, it was later in the afternoon and the storms were beginning to dissipate. The turbulence improved and the delays subsided. This picture was taken on our last flight of the day during our descent. I have seen double rainbows before, but never a double rainbow seen in a full circle. It only lasted for about 60 seconds. I’m grateful to have seen it, grateful to have gotten a picture of it and grateful to have had such a wonderful ending to an otherwise difficult day.”

Runner Up, Rain Alertz Umbrella

Ian J. 

Dodging Summer Monsoon Cells

My photo was taken coming into the Phoenix area during the summer monsoon season. We had deviated an hour out of our way to get around the weather. While staying a safe distance away, we were treated to a beautiful sight of an intense desert rainstorm. “Approach, we are going to need another 20° right” 


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