Utah aircraft’s moonlight flight Gephardt Daily’s ‘Pic of the Night’

Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Oct. 23, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A Utah aircraft’s moonlight flight is Gephardt Daily’s Pic of the Night.

The image of the solitary Cessna making its way through the skies above the Salt Lake Valley was captured Friday about 8:10 p.m. by Gephardt Daily photojournalist Monico Garza.

Garza said he was just beginning to work the night beat when the rising Moon above the Wasatch Mountains caught his eye.

Moments later, the self-described “space-junkie” was peering through his viewfinder at the craters on the lunar surface when he was suddenly boggled by the beauty of a solitary single-engine aircraft as it sailed through the frame.

“I not only love taking pics of the night sky, I’m also an aviation-nerd,” Garza said, “so this photo really hits home for me. It’s kind of timeless and I always wonder where those pilots are headed, who might be up there with them, what they’re seeing, the kind of journey they’re on, and all the adventures that might come their way.”

Garza said he used an online radar tracker to determine the plane was a four seat Cessna Skyhawk registered to an area business and had taken off from Salt Lake International Airport minutes before the photo was taken.

“According to the tracker, the plane was cruising at an altitude of 6,039 feet while heading southbound at 114 mph. That would be ground speed,” Garza said, smiling.

“I told you I was a nerd,” he said with a laugh.

To see more of Monico’s photography, sign up for his Twitter feed.


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