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Posted 01/09/2023 in Travel Destinations

Experiencing the Northern Lights: Top Destinations for Pilots

Experiencing the Northern Lights: Top Destinations for Pilots

For private pilots seeking a breathtaking and unforgettable aerial experience, flying under the Northern Lights ranks at the top of the bucket list. The natural phenomenon, also known as the Aurora Borealis, is not only stunning but also adds a magical layer to your flying adventure. So, where are the best destinations to fly for witnessing this marvel? Let's take a flight through some top spots.

Why the Northern Lights Are a Must-See for Pilots

The Northern Lights present an awe-inspiring sight from the ground, but the view from the sky is unmatched. Witnessing these ethereal lights while in control of an aircraft adds an incredible dimension to the experience, something that every pilot should aim to experience at least once.

Top Destinations for Northern Lights Flights

Tromsø, Norway

Located above the Arctic Circle, Tromsø offers one of the most reliable spots for Northern Lights sightings. The city has multiple small airports ideal for private aircraft.

Fairbanks, Alaska

A well-known hotspot for Aurora sightings, Fairbanks provides clear skies and long, dark nights. Plus, the local aviation community is welcoming to private pilots.

Yellowknife, Canada

Another popular location in North America, Yellowknife boasts less cloud cover than other regions, increasing your chances of a clear view.

Lapland, Finland

If you want to add some European charm to your Northern Lights excursion, head to Lapland. This Finnish destination offers an excellent opportunity for private pilots to explore the Arctic skies.

Flying Tips for Northern Lights Adventures    

  • Plan Around Solar Activity: The lights are more visible during periods of high solar activity, so monitor forecasts. 
  • Equip for Night Flying: Ensure your aircraft is well-equipped for night flights and that you're comfortable with the additional challenges that come with flying in the dark.        
  • Consult Local Pilots: Local aviators can provide insights into the best routes and times to experience the lights.

Pre-Flight Planning

Remember to consider the following aspects before you embark on your journey:    

  • Weather conditions and forecasts   
  • Airspace regulations, especially if flying internationally    
  • Fuel availability at your chosen destinations

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Tromsø a popular destination for viewing the Northern Lights?

Tromsø is above the Arctic Circle and offers high chances of clear skies, making it ideal for viewing the Northern Lights.

What are some flying tips for Northern Lights excursions?

Planning around solar activity, equipping your aircraft for night flights, and consulting local pilots are essential tips.

What should pilots consider in pre-flight planning?

Consider weather conditions, airspace regulations, and fuel availability before taking off on your Northern Lights adventure.


Experiencing the Northern Lights from the cockpit is an unforgettable event that combines the joys of flying with the wonders of nature. By selecting the right destination and conducting thorough pre-flight planning, you're well on your way to an adventure of a lifetime.