Photo of the Week: On the Roads, In the Skies

One of motorsport’s biggest names shared passion for aviation

By BlueSkyStaff

Published December 5, 2022

Read Time: < 1 min


Whether it’s his three Formula 1 championships, surviving a serious crash at the Nürburgring or becoming the first driver to win titles with two different car manufacturers, Niki Lauda is best remembered for his legendary racing career.

What may not be as well known about Lauda is his impact on aviation.

During and following his racing career, Lauda created and owned three different European airlines: Lauda, Niki and Lauda Air. Each operated as low-cost carriers or scheduled charter airlines throughout Europe.

As if running an airline wasn’t enough, Lauda also ran the planes—literally. Lauda held an official pilot’s license and notched over 13,000 career flying hours. He occasionally flew as a captain on his own airline’s Airbus A320 series aircraft.

Do racing and flying have some similarities? Not according to Lauda.

“In racing, there are no rules and you can do whatever you want. Flying is the opposite,” he said. “In flying, you respect the rules and fly the rules. You can’t possibly compare the two.”

Lauda passed away in May 2019, leaving behind an impact on two distinct modes of transportation.

Mark Yazer photographed a Lauda A320 taxiing at Copenhagen Airport in February 2020 months before the airline ceased operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. If there is at least one similarity between racing and flying we can identify, it is the immense passion Niki Lauda shared for both.

Thanks for the pic, Mark!

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.

Go to Top