My 4 favourite private jet photos

Like all of my fellow team members at PrivateFly, I’m more than a little obsessed about aircraft. But my passion for private jets also extends to being an aviation photographer, and my days off from PrivateFly are often spent at the end of a runway or travelling overseas to airports and airshows to capture the perfect aviation moment.

I’m often found at the end of a runway, camera in hand (or I should say cameras, as usually I’ll have two with me, the Canon 1D mark IV and Canon 1Ds mark II.)

I’ve been photographing aircraft for ten years now. And while I’ll happily photograph any type, I particularly enjoy capturing images of private jets. That’s where my two passions come together. The private jet evokes a sense of glamour and mystery unmatched in other forms of transport. I never tire of looking at them and capturing them on the ground and in flight.

I’ve taken countless images around the world, day and night, in a wide variety of situations. So it’s a tough choice to pick, but here are my favourite pictures from the last decade.

1) The Falcon 20 at sunrise

This was taken at NBAA 2013, one of the world’s biggest private aviation conferences, where the ramps are packed edge to edge with private jets. It was sunrise at Las Vegas McCarran International, and spotting an opportunity to create an artistic silhouette, I rushed over to the airport perimeter fence to snap the moment.

Alex Peake_Falcon 20_smaller

© Alex Peake


2) Snow blasted by a Boeing BBJ

I’d say this is my favourite moment from the past 10 years photographing aircraft. The location is Samedan (St Moritz), Europe’s highest commercial airport that is used exclusively by private jets. I found myself in the heart of the Swiss Alps, knee deep in snow, 20 meters from the end of runway 21, with temperatures reaching as low as -13C. This BBJ blasted over the top of me at less than 100ft – it was a definite moment when the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.

Alex Peake_BBJ Samedan_smaller

© Alex Peake

3) The Lockheed Jetstar landing

Here is one of the most iconic aircraft in private aviation, the Lockheed Jetstar, which I captured landing in Geneva in May 2012. Once owned by the likes of Elvis Presley, US President Lyndon Johnson and Bob Hope, the 4 engined Jetstar began a new era of private jet powered aircraft. Today, there are less than half a dozen flying examples around the world, so I was particularly happy to get this shot.

Landing the Lockheed Jetstar

© Alex Peake


4) Gulfstream G550 on a winter’s night

Technology is expanding the limits of what can be achieved photographically. On a cold night in January, I was positioned on the 6th floor of a multi-story car park, looking down on Zurich’s runway 28. Extracting the maximum performance out of my camera by turning the ISO up to 52,000, I was able to capture this Gulfstream G550 on departure, just moments before it faded into the night sky.

© Alex Peake

To enjoy more examples of Alex Peake’s aviation photography visit

There are many other striking visual examples of private jets moments. If you want to see more, take a look at the winning photos from the PrivateFly Private Jet Photography Awards. Launched to mark 50 years of private jets, the awards were judged by leading names in travel and aviation photography.

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