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Pilot's time-lapse footage captures incredible beauty of flying at night

An amazing video, filmed from the flight deck of a commercial long-haul flight, has captured a view of the night sky not usually seen by slumbering passengers. The video, shot by pilot Sales Wick, shows a plane taking off from Europe and heading towards South America. The plane flies along the Alps towards Switzerland before taking a turn to join the Rhone Valley towards the Mediterranean Sea. ( More...

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George Lane 7
Direct link to the original source:
John Cotton 2
Thanks. He has a host of great stories and pictures there.
Very beautiful. I miss the Military Flying days and this beautiful views across the Pacific and Atlantic. Now days flying civilian traffic in the U.S. we don't get to see much of this.
Seth Stoll 8
ncpilot 4
At about the 5-7 second point, you can see 2 satellites. They disappear when they go behind the Earth's shadow. Beautiful video.
John Gerty 3
I'm always in a window seat and always wish I could get the view from the office, up front. I've seen the aurora twice ORD-BOS and ORD-FRA. Caught Greenland twice. Watched the Big Dipper disappear over the northern horizon and saw the Southern Cross for the first time, from a window seat.
AWAAlum 5
Geeze people ! Do we really have to argue about every single thing? Real vs. photoshopped? So what? Sit back, watch the video, and be awed by the beauty.
Dave Mathes 2's gettin' better....
Nope. Can't just enjoy something. Gotta complain about everything. The only reason I contributed to the discussion is because, for once, I actually know what the heck I'm talking about!
Dave Mathes 2
it's gettin' better...
AWAAlum 1
Your alleged expertise in no way takes away from the enjoyment of this video. So I stand by my "So what?" I'm sorry for you and wish you could find pleasure in it rather than picking it apart.
I think you missed the point of my reply and my implied sarcasm. I am agreeing with you. You can view my other comments below to see what I mean. Have a nice weekend!
Dave Mathes 2
it's gettin' better
AWAAlum 1
Mea culpa. I wasn't able to get that message from this posting. Probably the lead-in "Nope" made me leap to the wrong conclusion.
No worries. I forget that the tone of sarcasm in my head does not always translate to the screen. Thanks for the civility.
Ravee Kurian 2
Absolutely stunning... seems to go right along with Mark Vanhoenacker's book "Skyfaring"
Ralph Torres 3
Thanks for the tip about Mark's book. NY Times review was very positive and looks like it will be a fun and enlightening read.
Ravee Kurian 2
If you liked the book review, check out this multimedia essay called "In Flight" that Vanhoenacker wrote seemingly as a companion to the book launch in 2015.
Absolutely gorgeous video!!!!
John Fahey 1
One of the most beautiful videos I have ever seen. Would make me want to be a piolot for sure.
joefly09 1
This totally stunning flight at night. Wow
Mark Sternat 1
What is the soundtrack for this video?
fourthgenz28 1
That is spectacular! Seeing that night sky is a reminder how of small we are.
Buzz Schranz 1
I had the pleasure of flying the North Atlantic Chicago to Europe all nighters for ten years. The view from seat 1A could be stunning, especially the summer Aurora Borealis and the 4th of July.
You folks always get the best seats in the house. Thanks for sharing! Amazing.
Dave Mathes 1
...I found myself trying to scroll my screen to take in more of tne view....
That made my morning, many thanks!
This is Amazing that's why I love 💘 the sky it takes the stress of the day away wish I was a pilot its gorgeous up there
As an Employee of United Airlines flying on a pass from EWR to FCO flight 40 flight was full
and asked me if I would like cockpit jump seat 767-400 I will never forget the view the beauty of the night sky SPECTACULAR
bashdan 1
One of the BEST "Office views" in the world! Nice share!
Arm chair coaches decide it's fake... :-) ok then
It appears some other air traffic photo bombed the video clip on that voyage.
scottph59 0
Great video.
Karen Riggs 0
Absolutely breathtaking! Viewing this dramatically helps to relieve stress and for a few moments allows you to view a beauty that most never see!

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Laura, totally possible to shoot this and very real. Please don't dismiss an individual's skill and hard work on their craft with uninformed opinions.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Bryan Nethery 17
Not true... note the orientation of the Milky Way at the beginning of the video vs. the end... starts almost perpendicular to horizo, rotates 60 degrees clockwise by end of flight. For a south-bound flight, that's the correct direction and would correspond to about 6 hours. That seems reasonable for the cruise portion of a long-haul flight that looks like 10-12 hour overall duration.
I'm not well-versed in the movement of the night sky, but I am in the art of photography. This video is very real. There's definitely plenty of post-processing to make this look so great, but it's not "Photoshopped" in the pejorative sense of the term.
Of course stars did move in time in relation to horizon, also the plane was changing heading. However, I doubt the sky is not added later in software - you need to expose image for at least minutes (hour, more probably) to get the photo of such huge amount of stars. And then the lower part of footage (ground) should be overexposed.
Not true. A bright night sky has more to do with aperture and ISO than shutter speed. It's possible to get very bright stars, and the Milky Way, with shutter speeds as "slow" as 1 to 2 second if one has a very large aperture (1.8, 1.4) and one's camera has a very high ISO. Sales uses a Sony A series camera, which have ISO's in the hundreds of thousands. Exposures of the night sky in the minutes or hours range gets one blurred stars, as the Earth's rotation is much faster than it seems when the workday is coming to an end! Source: read Sales blog commentary, am a commercial photographer and former pilot.
Ravee Kurian 2
So glad to read this. Will go to Sales' blog as well. Thank you!
Here's a link to the story. His description of how he captured the shots for the video is in the comments section. Enjoy!
Ravee Kurian 3
Yes, I wondered about that too. The skyscape captured in the video requires a long exposure and to avoid light streaks caused by the earth's rotation, I believe that camera would also need to be synchronized to the earth's rotation. I suppose it is possible that he set up two cameras on the flight deck to capture this and then combined them later. It is still very beautiful though even if it is more art and perhaps less real-time imagery.


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