Two different scheduled flights performed the rare maneuver, turning 360 degrees so everyone on board could admire the Northern Lights. An EasyJet plane that was en route from the Icelandic capital Reykjavik to Britain’s Manchester and a Finnair flight between Kuusamo and the Finnish capital Helsinki surprised passengers.
Sarah Hitchen, who was on her way to England from Iceland, explains The Washington Post on the surreal experience. She had only seen “a tiny bit” of the Northern Lights until last Monday.
That changed on board the plane. The EasyJet pilot announced after takeoff that the Northern Lights would be clearly visible on the left side of the plane. All the lights went out in the cabin and the passengers and crew waited anxiously.
“There were a lot of ohs and ahs,” said Hitchen, who was sitting on the right side of the device and couldn’t see anything. “Until the pilot said on the intercom that he was going to turn the device over so that everyone could admire the phenomenon.”
“I’ve never seen anything so spectacular,” says Hitchen. After the flight, several passengers shared images of the plane on Twitter. They all thanked the driver for the extra lap he did.
“Still special for a Finn”
In a statement, EasyJet said the pilot performed a “controlled” maneuver to make the Northern Lights visible to everyone. Finnair airline, which also had a plane that circled, says something like this is quite rare. Normally this only happens when the weather is bad. But, says a Finnair spokesperson, “this time it was about time”. The plane landed on time in Helsinki.
Finnish Finnair pilot Tuomo Järvinen says he has never seen the Northern Lights so clearly in his 20 years of flying over Finland. “Even for a Finn it was special.”
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