Boeing 747 pilot Christiaan van Heijst has captured an awesome photo of the moon from his cockpit.
Christiaan takes up the story.
“My captain taking a few minutes to stretch his legs and enjoy his heated meal, leaving the flight deck to me. I love being alone up here at times, with total quietude and a view that’s reserved for me alone.
“Most people visiting the cockpit of a 747 are fascinated by the number of dials, lights, and displays, asking about speeds, altitudes, and technical background. I know the 747 by heart and can tell you all about the various pump pressures, fuel usage, landing procedures, and techniques to battle even the worst winter crosswinds.
“Yeah sure, I can tell you about some exciting real-life accounts and what it’s like to fly this machine. Most of them are in awe of the technical details and surprised by the initially deceptively small size of the cockpit windows. A bare glimpse of my true experiences of the last decade. Windows that show an entire universe to me when I lean forward during flight.
“In all honesty, the 747, just like my camera, is just a means to an end for me. I need to be out there, far beyond our limiting life on the surface. I did not become a pilot for the uniform, the promised income, or the so-called glamour. I have to see, document, and share what’s beyond reach for most of us here on Earth. Convinced that those unique (over)views and experiences will give people a much broader idea of what an amazing planet we were born and raised in. A unifying sense of awareness perhaps, I don’t know.
“It’s with flights like those I tend to dim all the lights and feel a need to press my face against the forward window: gliding over moon-lit landscapes filled with clouds the size of mountains and flashing storms, far below and so far away. Stars by the billions: a promise of more to come.
“Delhi Control continues to shout instructions to all the other pilots out here, glad I was able to check in on time. Just a few more hours and we’ll leave the subcontinent of India behind, venturing through the moon-lit skies of Southeast Asia before the sun will rise eventually somewhere above the massive Indian Ocean.”
Christiaan is one of the world’s leading aviation photographers and more of his work and more close encounter (s) can be found here. You can follow Christiaan on Instagram here: @jpcvanheijst