Boeing 747 Captain Christiaan van Heijst has captured a super shot of a nearly full moon over the majestic Caucasus mountains while avoiding Russian airspace by a mere kilometres margin.
Subscribe to the Airlineratings.com newsletter to get the relevant news first
Video of stunning supersonic flyovers
Stunning videos of Emirates A380 crosswind landings
Travolta’s 707 is closer to its final home in Australia
Christiaan takes up the story:
“The snow-covered peaks and valleys float by and look even better in the silver-white enchanting light. Just beautiful.
“It was roughly at this time that I logged exactly 6,000 hours of flying time on the 747. Six thousand hours… that’s the equivalent of exactly 250 full days. Unbelievable.
“I still remember going through my meteorological theory classes back in 2003 and learning all there is about Pacific trade winds, volcanic ash clouds, equatorial convergence zones and all sorts of other fascinating weather-related stuff. Interesting, for sure, but I was highly doubtful I would ever have practical use of that knowledge since the chances of finding a job back then were close to zero. Let alone flying a large jet that would take me to those exotic regions, but oh boy was I wrong.
“An unconventional path through aviation followed, slowly but surely climbing the aerial ladder towards today. From doing sightseeing flights to crazy adventures on turboprops and eventually making it to the Queen of the Skies, travelling the world today as if it’s nothing.
“In those 6,000 hours on the Boeing 747, I’ve been able to make good use of those meteorological theory classes though, having seen my fair share of thunderstorms, ice and other weather phenomena. Using knowledge and experience to make judgements of the aerodrome forecasts and apply it to the decision-making I’m paid for today.
“Anyway, no matter how many hours aloft, these kinds of privileged views never get boring.
“These images are perhaps not the sharpest (handheld with 0.5-second exposure and ISO values of up to 20000), but the moonlit scenery makes up for it.”
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