Aviation is fun.
Faithful Blue Sky readers know we love exotic aircraft, colorful liveries, happy passengers, daring pilots and everything else that makes aviation interesting and enjoyable.
But aircraft and their crews also serve very serious—even dangerous—missions every day to maintain safety and even save lives, and for that they deserve our profound respect.
From firefighting planes to military jets to air ambulances and more, there is always someone in the air for the sole purpose of protecting others. Just recently, the 911th Airlift Wing, Pittsburgh’s Air Force Reserve station, returned home after joining the evacuation mission in Afghanistan.
And, at Allegheny County Airport, our general aviation facility in West Mifflin, Pa., helicopters deploy nearly every day to respond to emergency medical calls around Western Pennsylvania.
But we don’t see U.S. Coast Guard helicopters very often (mostly because we’re 400 miles away from the ocean), so we’re grateful for Matthew Slafka’s submission this week.
Matthew saw a Coast Guard team conduct a search and rescue demonstration at the Seafair Air Show in Seattle, reminding him and us of the value of these versatile aircraft and the brave people aboard them who risk their own safety to help others.
To everyone who works in aviation to serve and protect the rest of us, you have our sincere appreciation.
And now we’ll end this week’s feature on an up note with a photo from Kevin Frith, who was out on our ramp after some heavy storms in August. He saw a rainbow, and although that’s not a pot of gold at the end, it still settled on a treasure.
Thanks, Matthew and Kevin!
Our readers continue to pass along shots of unique aircraft, international airports, historical events, gorgeous views and even family vacation photos for this feature. We love them! Keep them coming—you can click here for submission guidelines.
A JetBlue Embraer 190 taxis to the gate at PIT following an afternoon rainstorm. (Photo submitted by Kevin Frith)