A pilot was en route to South America when he began approaching a thunderstorm. He seized the opportunity to take a photo, and got one just as a lightning strike happened.
The photo was taken over the Pacific Ocean from the cockpit of an airplane. The photographer and pilot, Santiago Borja, says he was circling around it at 37,000 feet altitude en route to South America when he captured this spectacular view.
Borja said it was difficult to get the shot in near-darkness and during a bumpy ride. “Storms are tricky because the lightning is so fast, there is no tripod and there is a lot of reflection from inside lights,” Borja told The Washington Post in an email.
Borja is a first officer for LATAM Ecuador Airlines. The photo was taken with his Nikon D750 camera south of Panama on a Boeing 767-300.
Here is a shot of the photo from Twitter:
— MeteoNetwork (@meteonetwork) July 6, 2016
Of course, the comments section is full of people commenting that it is careless of the pilot to take photos while also flying a plane. But flying a plane is not like driving a car–most of the time, you are on auto-pilot, plus you are not the only pilot.
Of course, you don’t want your pilots too distracted. Back when, a pair of Northwest pilots overshot the airport by 150 miles because they were both using their laptops in the air.
But taking photos mid-flight is hardly “distracting”. Just like pilots taking time to eat an in-flight meal–or even worse, getting up to use the bathroom–is quite alright.
Plus, it’s a really cool photo!