Friday photo: early morning departure


The moment: Beautiful cloud formation on this early morning departure

The pilot: Eric Radtke

The place: Jack Edwards Airport (KJKA), Gulf Shores, AL

The aircraft: Piper Aztec

The memory: There’s nothing like the serenity of an early morning departure. After a fun week vacationing at the beach, the outer bands of clouds from tropical storm Hanna created this beautiful scene looking east toward Florida into the early morning peeks of sun.


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It was his first airplane trip at age seven that made Eric decide to become a pilot. "While boarding the airplane, a flight attendant noticed my interest in the flight deck and urged me to go talk to the pilot. I give a lot of credit to that pilot for my career choice." He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and went on to an airline career. Eric now heads Sporty’s flight school and directs the University of Cincinnati’s Professional Pilot Training Program. In addition, Eric serves as a Captain in Sporty’s corporate flight department.