Winners of Our Second Annual Photo Contest

Astronomy Category Winner
Mike Danson (Mt. Evans, Idaho Springs, Colorado) | June 2013. Says Danson, “This photograph includes the Milky Way’s galactic core and spiral arm, with the Meyer-Womble Telescope in the foreground and with the yellow sea of light pollution, which is the entire city of Denver, Colorado.”
Readers’ Choice Category Winner
Liviu Dnistran (Romanian Air Force Base Campia Turzii, Romania) | July 2014. “Always ready, MiG-21 Lancers are the guardians of Romania’s skies,” says Dnistran. “Thanks to the men and women who fly and take care of them, these old ladies still have what it takes. This picture is a ‘thank you’ for the service of the Romanian air force’s men and women.”
People & Planes Category Winner
Jeff Welker (Luke Air Force Base, Glendale, Arizona) | January 2013. “I’ve always been intrigued by the interaction of the ground crews that support military aviation and the pilots that fly these incredible aircraft,” says Welker. “One group does not function without the other.”
Civilian Category Winner
Steve Whiston (Near Colfax, Washington) | June 2012. “I had traveled to the Palouse region to take landscape images of the rolling farmland and the abstract patterns created by the crops being cut in large swaths,” says Whiston. “I was out early one morning and heard the engine from a cropduster, and then saw him dropping down low between the hills and spraying the fields. What caught my eye was the shadow underneath the airplane, emphasizing how low these pilots fly on a routine basis.”
Grand Prize Winner
Jeff Cook (Over Mt. Rainier, Washington) | August 2012. “NASA chose the Museum of Flight to be the recipient of the full-size trainer used by all space shuttle astronauts at the facility in Houston,” says Cook. “Because of its size, the trainer had to be moved by one of the largest transport craft available, the Aero Spacelines B-377-SG/SGT Super Guppy. It took three flights to deliver all the components.”
Military Category Winner
José Ramos (Over the Gulf of Mexico, near the Florida Keys) | July 2014. “VFC-111 Sun Downers commanding officer David Faehnle cloud-surfs his F-5N Tiger II over the Gulf of Mexico,” says Ramos. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with the squadron for eight years, and this is one of my favorite shots. I had the pure luck of catching a double rainbow in the shot. You can’t plan that!”

We’re proud to present the winners of our Second Annual Photo Contest. Our judges selected five winners—a Grand Prize winner, and a winner in each of the four categories: Military, Civilian, Astronomy, and People & Planes. A sixth winner, the Readers’ Choice image, was selected by readers in a two-month vote on our website. Once again, the entries were extraordinary. We received images of E-2Cs heading home after a year-long deployment and World War II aircraft and veterans being honored at airshows around the country. We saw volunteers restoring airplanes and emotional farewells to retiring aircraft. There were photos of distant nebulae and nearby Northern Lights, solar eclipses and the dark side of the moon. You can see the 40 finalists on

Thanks to everyone who entered a photograph or voted in our Readers’ Choice category. In our next issue, we’ll include information about the 2015 photo contest, so head for an airshow, look up at the night sky, or travel to an aviation museum to capture a moment of history, and send us your best shots. 

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