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01st Mar 2023

Pilot does 360 in mid-air so passengers can enjoy Northern Lights

Charlie Herbert

Best seats in the house.

An Easyjet pilot decided to do a 360 in mid-air – so his passengers could get a spectacular view the Northern Lights on Monday night. The plane was on a return flight from Reykjavik, Iceland to Manchester Airport, when the Aurora Borealis began.

So, the pilot thought he would treat his passengers to a front row seat to the dazzling display. Photographer Adam Groves, who had returned from an engagement weekend away in Iceland, shared incredible pictures of the view from the plane on Twitter.

He wrote: “Big thanks to the @easyJet pilot of EZY1806 from Reykjavik to Manchester who did a 360 fly by mid flight to make sure all passengers could see the incredible Northern Lights.”

The flight path was also recorded by FlightRadar, showing the route over the ocean, and the exact spot where the plane loops in the air, Manchester Evening News reports. This was the only sighting of the Northern Lights that Adam and his partner managed to get during their trip.

He said: “We had been half expecting them as the aurora forecast was high, but low cloud cover in Iceland over the past week meant we didn’t see them from land. We were hoping to see them while we were out there but didn’t get the chance. We took off and half way into the flight the pilot turned all the lights off and the view was out the left window. We were sat on the right hand side and after two to three minutes the pilot switched back and did a 360 loop around for everyone to see.”

The Northern Lights occur when a strong solar flare on the Sun’s surface is directed towards Earth, firing charged particles which reach our atmosphere. These particles interact with oxygen and nitrogen which then emit green and red colours over our poles.

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