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Beautiful Views From An Airplane  
User currently offlineKevi747 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1058 posts, RR: 12
Posted (13 years 1 month 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3880 times:

OK, I'm sure this has been asked here before but I didn't see it. So I want to know about some of the beautiful or amazing things you've seen from an airplane. I'll start:

-Departing YVR at dusk the CPT called me to the cockpit about 30 seconds after T/O to show me the view out the front windscreen. (This was pre-9/11 when we could just use our keys to get in.) We were flying directly at a snowy mountain which looked just like the Paramount Pictures logo mountain. That was very nice.

-I've seen Aurora Borealis while flying over Canada and Greenland. It's really amazing from the air.

-St. Elmos Fire climbing up the windshield of a Super 80. (The CPT played a practical joke on me and told me that if I touched the glass the electricity would be drawn to my hand, like in one of those static electricity balls. Of course, I fell for it and placed my hand on the glass. They had a pretty good laugh at my expense.)

-Flying up the Hudson river while approaching LGA at night once I saw that Manhattan was completely covered by fog and only the glow of the city lights showed the shape of the Island. The best part was that the WTC, Empire State Building, and a few other tall buildings were sticking up out of the "cloud".

-After diverting to Shreveport (while in route to DFW for some training) we took off again to complete the journey. I saw the huge storm clouds that had grounded us. It was the biggest thing I've ever seen in my life. You could see other planes flying past them and the way they looked with the sun reflecting off of them was awesome.

I can still see each of these sites very vividly in my mind when I think about them. It's just one of the extra perks of working on an airplane. So does anyone else have any to share?

"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." --Stephen Colbert
38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineDeltaASA16 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (13 years 1 month 3 days ago) and read 3825 times:

Flying into COS to visit my Grandparents from ATL in a B727, We were decending into Pete Field. Popping in and out of white puffy clouds, my face was glued to the window. And then it happened, Two F-16 fighters in tight formation flew by the window. It felt like they were at hands reach. But then we went back into a white cloud, the fighters were only visible for a few seconds but left me stunned and amazed. It was totally amazing!  Big thumbs up


User currently offlineContinental From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5557 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (13 years 1 month 3 days ago) and read 3812 times:

LH A340 FRA-ORD 2001. We had the best daytime view of Iceland and Greenland! It's spectacular in the air! Plus we saw our contrails from inside the aircraft! It was light out the entire flight, making it really enjoyable for viewing!


User currently offlineRayPettit From United Kingdom, joined May 2002, 608 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (13 years 1 month 3 days ago) and read 3774 times:

The view I remember most was from my very first flight as a seven-year old kid back in 1961. We were up for 15 minutes on the Isle of Wight, England when we flew over the old Queen Mary. Looked superb. I meant to look up the old lady when I was in LA a couple of years ago, but ran out of time.


User currently offlineDC-10 Levo From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 3432 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (13 years 1 month 3 days ago) and read 3762 times:

September 10th 2001 coming back from Menorca, we were allowed to the cockpit half-way through the flight. As I looked out of the cockpit window, I could see the edge of France and the start of Britain and lots of boats passing across the English Channel. It was a great site.


User currently offlineShamrock1heavy From Ireland, joined Nov 2002, 250 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (13 years 1 month 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3734 times:

Dec.2001, UA 930 SFO-LHR
Decending over London at 6 am and it was still dark out. Seeing all the major attractions lit up from above. Picadilly Circus, Millenium Dome and Wheel and Big Ben, etc. Incredible views, then a hard landing! Nothing better!


when in hell, we'll do shots at the bar
User currently offlineIFlyMidwExprss From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 160 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (13 years 1 month 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3685 times:

Back in my F/A days with Ryan International Airlines (operating for Apple Vacations) there were some pretty memorable sights--amazing views of Caribbean island chains en route MKE-ANU/UVF/etc, seeing thunderstorms from the flight deck at night, etc. Perhaps the one that stands out the most in my mind is when we'd be flying northbound at night (usually back to a frigid MKE!) and we'd pass over the Miami metro area. What always got me was contrast between the long string of twinkling lights along the Atlantic coast and the pitch blackness of the interior where the Everglades starts. Just beautiful.
You're right, Kevi747-- the views are a definite perk of the job!

User currently offlineArsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7792 posts, RR: 18
Reply 7, posted (13 years 1 month 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3625 times:
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Kuwait airways flt 101 B777 LHR-JFK 1999 - Minutes before landing at JFK, i looked out of my window to the left, and saw the Manhattan skyline. Can't describe it in words, but it was SPECTACULAR!!

In Arsene we trust!!
User currently offlineAviasian From Singapore, joined Jan 2001, 1490 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (13 years 1 month 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3504 times:

Flying from Ulaan Baatar (the capital of Mongolia) towards Seoul-Incheon in a Mongolian Airlines Boeing 727-200 in July 2002 . . .

Seen through a window on the starboard side . . .

a Swiss MD-11, an SAS A340-300, a Virgin Atlantic A340-300 flying in the opposite direction! Though each "meeting" lasted only several seconds, it felt like eternity!

KC Sim

User currently offlineAroundtheworld From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 279 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (13 years 1 month 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3478 times:

My favorite in-flight views have to be anytime flying over or into vegas. Even at 36,000 you can see the lights...marvelous place to see. Also one of my neatest views was on an Air Kenya flight. We flew at very low altitude over the grasslands of Kenya - could pick out elephants, zebras, lions and others. Wish I could find the aircraft type, it was some ancient looking two prop tail-dragger.

User currently offlineMxCtrlr From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 2485 posts, RR: 32
Reply 10, posted (13 years 1 month 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3474 times:

St. Elmo's Fire on the cockpit windows of a B-727 over the Rockies at night! Awesome!

Also, watching cloud-to-cloud lightning at night. Once, I saw lighting come out of the TOP of a huge building thunderhead!

Lastly, seeing the last light of the day disappear over the horizon at altitude at night. What a color show!

MxCtrlr  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Freight Dogs Anonymous - O.O.T.S.K.  Smokin cool

DAMN! This SUCKS! I just had to go to the next higher age bracket in my profile! :-(
User currently offlineAroundtheworld From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 279 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (13 years 1 month 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3473 times:

Okay I'm dying to know....what the heck is St Elmo's Fire? I thought it was an 80's movie...

User currently offlineMik From Switzerland, joined May 2000, 132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (13 years 1 month 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3440 times:

Flight LGW-ZRH with BA 737

It was night and we passed a thunderstorm with heavy lightning. Crazy views of the
clouds when the lightning came up. And of course we had heavy turbulences.

There was a passenger that start praying...landing was smooth.



User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (13 years 1 month 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3306 times:

Nice Clouds ..

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Kees Burger

User currently offlineTreg From Estonia, joined Oct 2001, 544 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (13 years 1 month 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3295 times:

Torino-Munich on a regional jet (One of the Team Lufthansa members). Beautiful morning, blue skies and white, snow-covered Alps. Just awesome!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

User currently offlineN79969 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (13 years 1 month 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3294 times:

UA896 HKG-ORD flies over Taiwan and Southern Japan within the first 3 hours or so. The mist on the mountains of Taiwan is something to see as are the turquoise waters off of the coast of Kyushu.

Come to think of it UA 895 is flown in 16 hours of daylight. The flight goes over some of the most desolate and beautiful regions in the world. In the winter you can see frozen rivers and vast plains of ice.

User currently offlineSk From Germany, joined Apr 2003, 75 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (13 years 1 month 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3293 times:

YVR-FRA with a LH 747-200.
Because of the northern routing the night wasn't one - great experiance to see the sun but knowing that it is midnight.

DFW-FRA with LH 340-200
Starting in DFW - During the flight I could see Washington, New York, Boston, Dublin and Amsterdam - now I understand why other people visit 12 european countries within 4 days  Smile

By the way: I had the same seat with the same crew on the same aircraft as on the flight to Dallas two days before. Only the meals were different Big grin

[Edited 2003-04-25 14:38:27]

User currently offlineLPL From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 1055 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (13 years 1 month 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3279 times:

Flying into LPL is great because I can see my neighbourhood from the air, and it looks quite nice.

Landing at LAX form LHR is also interesting because you fly over Las Vegas and you can just see Hollywood in the distance.

User currently offlineMighluss From Spain, joined Oct 2001, 988 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (13 years 1 month 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3262 times:

St. Elmo's fire:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jake
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © AirNikon

User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 43
Reply 19, posted (13 years 1 month 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3184 times:

A lousy scan, but you get the gist of it:

User currently offlineDIA From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3273 posts, RR: 24
Reply 20, posted (13 years 1 month 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3172 times:


Otherwise known as the "Grand Canyon Line"

I've always gotten a spectacular geographic/geologic view, especially sitting on the south-side of the a/c both ways.

Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
User currently offlineGroobster From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 312 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (13 years 1 month 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3164 times:

Seeing Mt Fuji popping up out of the clouds when departing NRT bound for LHR on Saturday 11th Jan 2003.

Took some great pics, alas not uploaded them anywhere yet.

Next flights: MAN-YYZ-YYC-YVR-MAN
User currently offlineLjungdahl From Sweden, joined Apr 2002, 923 posts, RR: 28
Reply 22, posted (13 years 1 month 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3146 times:


As you might know, there is also possible to get an impressive view over Grand Canyon while approaching Las Vegas from the east.

Some other views that impressed me, years ago, was flying over Greenland in clear weather, enroute CPH-JFK, and after that make a parallel approach to JFK with a Pan Am DASH-7.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Johan Ljungdahl
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Johan Ljungdahl

Johan (Ljungdahl)

User currently offlineN777UA From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (13 years 1 month 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3136 times:

Flying into any of the Hawaiian Islands is gorgeous...I had an awesome pic flying right over Diamond Head & Waikiki, taken from United flight 53 LAX-HNL (777ER), but airliners.net didn't accept it. Oh well.

User currently offlineFL350 From Belgium, joined Feb 2003, 517 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (13 years 1 month 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3106 times:

Anyone has performed the nite approach to MEX know what I mean, everytime I visit my familly I look forward to this beautifull sight... Daytime is breathtaking also, try to book a left window seat.


Fabrice Sanchez - Brussels Aviation Photography
25 Jaws707 : On a SAS flight from CPH-ORD, while flying over Iceland I was able to see mountain peaks and volcanos peaking out through the clouds and it was an abs
26 DIA : Ljungdahl: Yes, you're right. LAS is very nice indeed. By the way, I like that JFK approach pic with the PA Dash-7. . .fond memories. DIA
27 Post contains images Dragon-wings : Seeing a sunset for the first time from the air Seeing the Manhattan skyline at night
28 VASI : - On a Narita to Zurich flight I saw Mount Fujiyama and when reaching Zurich in the late afternoon we entered a holding where I saw the glowing Alps i
29 Post contains images Delta-flyer : Here's one of my favorites, my son took over the Alps enroute from Paris to Budapest, on an AF 737-500 Pete
30 N79969 : Also saw a full moon reflecting off the Bay on a clear night on arrival into SFO once. Spectacular.
31 Rw774477 : the beach @ SMX ! rw774477
32 Fanofjets : I recall flying over a thunderstorm one early morning, seeing the clouds flash and glow against the dark sky. I was aboard a Swissair CV990 circling o
33 Post contains links and images Aussie_ : The approach into Cuzco in the Andes of Peru is breathtaking. Surrounded by snow capped peak you make a tight turn into the steep mountain valey, over
34 Post contains images Mas a330 :
35 Redngold : LAS-ABQ on a Southwest Airlines 737-200. We flew right over the mountains at Flagstaff, and saw the Grand Canyon from about fifty miles out. Absolutel
36 Goingboeing : The most beautiful view I've seen from any airplane? Hands down, it has to be my daughter sleeping in the seat beside me.
37 Csavel : Lima - Iquitos flying over the Andes, then watching the Andes drop away suddenly and seeing the verdant Amazon basin, green like I've never seen in my
38 LMML 14/32 : I've seen the Red Arrows performing a smoking 9 ship loop below us over Cyprus. If ever there was one occasion I wish I had the camera with me, which
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