'AOPA Pilot' 2007 General Aviation Photography Contest

Cream of the Crop

December 1, 2007

Winter wonderland, daisies, and delight capture the essence of general aviation

Congratulations and a heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated in the 2007 AOPA Pilot General Aviation Photography Contest. The contest was a phenomenal success thanks to your enthusiastic contributions of more than 2,000 photos portraying favorites: spouse, kids, self-portraits, hot-air balloons, pets, aerials, Cubs, and the occasional floatplane at sunset moored at an idyllic anchorage.

AOPA Pilot's staff thoroughly enjoyed sorting through the many delightful photos to discover the five best pictures received each month—and you were ready with thousands of votes to put your favorite "photo of the month" on the winner's podium each time.

Download PC-based screen saver Download a PC-based screen saver of the 2007 photographs (file size 4.8 MB; requires QuickTime 4.0).

But nothing can compare to the final round: Your enthusiasm for the 15 finalists in the five categories—aircraft, airports, pilots, altered, and aerials—had AOPA Pilot editors tally more than 13,000 votes to determine the first-, second-, and third-place standings in each category, including the grand award honor.

So without further ado—here are your winners.


Grand Award, First Place, Aircraft
Plane Formation
Marcia Gitelman

While riding as a passenger in a Swearingen SX-300—the lead airplane during a fly-over at Ormond Beach, Florida—Marcia Gitelman aimed her camera through the window to capture three SX-300s and an L-29 as they turned left, in right echelon formation. The flight was in celebration of the one-hundredth anniversary of Glen Curtiss' motorcycle speed record.

Second Place, Aircraft
Cirrus SR20 Preflight
Tai Crosby (submitted by Edward Makaron)

Edward Makaron convinced his buddy Tai Crosby to take a picture of him while boarding a Cirrus SR20 at California's Van Nuys Airport. Crosby snapped the image from Hangar 32 at Van Nuys. Makaron entered the clever shot in the contest.


First Place, Airports
Parking at Buckhorn Ranch
Andy Young

Located near Crested Butte in Colorado, this private-use airport's picturesque parking spot carpeted with daisies caught the eye of Andy Young, of Engelwood, Colorado. The airport is located at an estimated 8,980 feet. Young's winning picture also earned him the March photo of the month spot.

Second Place, Airports
Lightning at Ankeny
David Benna

David Benna of Ames, Iowa, was at the right spot just at the right time. He skillfully caught a dazzling moment in time when a Shorts aircraft was being loaded while lightning storms were striking the Ankeny Regional Airport in Iowa.

Third Place, Airports
Short Final
Micah Maziar

Micah Maziar is an air traffic controller at Toledo Express Airport in Ohio. While on an airfield tour with one of his coworkers, Maziar saw this Cessna Skyhawk on final and hurried over to the light stantions to frame the photo.


First Place, Altered
Aviation Day at Withham
Frank Seymour

This beautiful T-28 Trojan was sitting on the ramp at Stuart's Witham Field in Florida, during an aviation day celebration. As the sun poked around the corner of the tower it just lit the airplane, and Frank Seymour, of Jensen Beach, Florida, seized the moment to take this winning picture. The airplane's full color is set against the background, which was sepia toned.

Second Place, Altered
Tower Man
Curtis Chapline

Curtis Chapline, decided at the last minute to fly his Cessna 172 to an air show at Lone Star Executive Airport near Conroe, Texas. The controller and the little umbrella perched atop the tower among the various jets and military aircraft immediately caught Chapline's attention.

Third Place, Altered
Posterized Cub
Mike Likavec

Piper Cubs take the limelight when it comes to nostalgia and happy feelings. And, no surprise here, AOPA Pilot's staff took another look when they saw this colorful display taken at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Florida, by Mike Likavec of Chester, Virginia.


First Place, Aerials
Long Nguyen

Shadows can be mysterious and captivating: They sure grabbed the attention of all three Aerial winners. This first-place photo taken by Long Nguyen of Seattle, Washington, celebrates just the right canvas and timing during sunset, when a breathtaking forest cast these special shadow lines.

Second Place, Aerials
South Shore Skyscrapers
Trish Sauve

During the late fall in 2006, Trish Sauve and her friend were flying a Grumman Tiger at 2,000 feet along the coast south of Boston. Sauve grabbed a great photo opportunity with the sun casting long shadows, to snap these beach homes, resembling the Manhattan skyline.

Third Place, Aerials
Shadow Trike
Thomas Close

Thomas Close of Del Mar, California, managed to capture the silhouette of this Australian Wizard 3 weight-shift model, while he and his friend Howard Hall were flying a dawn patrol jaunt in California's Anza-Borrego desert. Close snapped the shot over his shoulder.


First Place, Pilots
Gracie and Dean
Gail Beardsley

Two grandchildren enjoying an introduction to flight—Project Pilot here we come! Gail Beardsley of Temecula, California, could not have picked a better moment to show off how grandpa prepared to take his grandkids for a ride. The joy of flight is apparent, not to mention contagious—so spread the word and share the picture with your young friends.

Second Place, Pilots
A Day of Skiing
Chris Flowers

Chris Flowers of Anchorage got it right when he captured the adventure, accomplishment, and solitude of 65-year young and 4-year pilot Reudi Homberger, who slalomed back to his airplane after a day of skiing in Wrangell-St. Elias Park.

Third Place, Pilots
Stan Berger

New Years Day, 2007, and a passion for photography and aviation turned into a great photo opportunity for Stan Berger as he snapped a picture of his wife Clara at the controls of their Cessna Skyhawk over the New Jersey shore at 2,500 msl. The air was crisp as evidenced by Clara's hat.