A FedEx Boeing 767-300F parked at PIT's cargo ramp during a morning sunrise. (Photo submitted by Jim C.)

Photos of the Week: Aviation’s Frenemy

For being almost completely intangible, clouds have an omnipresence that affects nearly everything around them one way or the other.

People have, of course, been making weather predictions based on clouds for millennia, and despite our increasing sophistication in that area, sometimes it feels like our accuracy hasn’t improved much from the sundial days.

Overcast days can make us gloomy. On the other hand, cloudless days full of sunshine brighten everything, literally and figuratively.

In aviation, clouds are more than just puffy accumulations of vapor that are sometimes shaped vaguely like kangaroos, or an indication that you might need an umbrella before heading to bingo.

On not-so-good days, they can be harbingers of bumpy flights, as the air currents and humidity combinations that create clouds and storms also cause turbulence that pilots try to avoid but often must just power through. No one likes that.

But on good days, clouds can offer a dramatic backdrop for, say, a blooming sunrise seen from PIT’s cargo ramp on the first day of fall. Jim C. managed to capture that scene as a FedEx plane transferred the day’s deliveries.

And, as we’ve said before, perspective means everything, and clouds can also create a breathtaking “landscape” if your plane is soaring above them. Rachael Piccolino started her Spirit Airlines flight to Mexico with that kind of scenery this summer and shared it with us below.

Seeing that just puts us on cloud nine. Thanks, Jim and Rachael!

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.

For being almost completely intangible, clouds have an omnipresence that affects nearly everything around them one way or the other. (Photo submitted by Rachael Piccolino)

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