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Lifestyle

This Pilot Shares Surreal Snaps To His Instagram.

When I was younger, I always wanted to be a pilot, but this was before I realised I had a huge fear of heights. 34-year-old Christiaan van Heijst realised his dreams to be a pilot,  he is a senior first officer and cargo pilot, and flies the Boeing 747-8 and -400 Freighter — and he’s racked up 8,000 hours of flying time.

On top of his responsibilities as a pilot he also freelances as a travel blogger and regularly updates his Instagram feed with pictures taken from his cockpit. As you can guess, picture up at 37,000 feet are way better than measly snaps on the ground. From blinding sunrises to the Northern Lights- even the odd lightin strike makes an appearance on his feed.

 

A post shared by Christiaan van Heijst (@jpcvanheijst) on

 

A post shared by Christiaan van Heijst (@jpcvanheijst) on

 

The Aral Sea, or what is left of it, as seen from above. Once, the Aral Sea was once one of the largest lakes in the world with an area of roughly 70.000 km2 and was home to a large population that was depending on its fish and freshwater. Located in Central Asia, on the border with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the lake was fed by rivers coming from the high mountains from the Himalaya mountains. Since the 1960’s, the Soviet government diverted the rivers that were feeding the lake, causing it to shrink at an alarming rate ever since. The disappearance of the lake did not only affect the local economy that was largely depending on the wildlife in and around the lake, but also the health of all of those that were living there because of an acute shortage of fresh water and heavily polluted remnants of what used to be a huge lake. Here and there in the dry desert, ships and abandoned villages and harbors can be found that serve no purpose anymore. The exposed dry lakebed is causing frequent dust storms, influencing the entire climate in the region. Fortunately, attempts are being made to restore large parts of the Aral Sea, but with no certain outcome. Nonetheless, its unique blue colours are beautifully contrasting with the salt plains and are a delight to see from high above. #aralsea #aral #kazakhstan #landscape #world #worldfromabove #aerial #lake #water #sky #environment #landscapephotography #instagood #instadaily #photodaily #photoaday #photography #photo #photoart #jpcvanheijst #nikon #d800

A post shared by Christiaan van Heijst (@jpcvanheijst) on

 

St Elmo’s fire. Somewhere over the Atlantic between South-America and Africa we encountered a huge front of active thunderstorms. Flying in thick clouds with zero visibility, we had to rely on our weather-radar to get a clear image of the weather ahead. It was obvious that there was no way to fly all around this squall line of entangled thunderstorms that stretched across our route for hundreds of miles to either side. Coming closer, the radar provided us with a more detailed image of the interior of the clouds ahead, enabling us to plan a route through this maze of violent weather. This time though, we immediately understood that we won’t get away with a smooth passage. The storms had almost grown together into one, forcing us to find the ‘least’ violent spot to fly through. Our long range HF-radio was already rendered completely useless with the nearby storms that charge the atmosphere and our airplane, thereby blocking all signals to and from the outside…. Full blog can be read here; https://jpcvanheijst.com/blogs/2017/06/574544-st-elmo-s-fire-4-minute-read #stelmosfire #elmosfire #aircraft #airplane #boeing #boeing747 #747 #cockpit #flightdeck #pilot #piloteye #pilotlife #thunderstorm #cloud #cloudporn #instaweather #instaflight #instagramaviation #instaaviation #aviation #flight #avgeek #instadaily #photodaily #photoaday #photography #nature #jpcvanheijst #nikon

A post shared by Christiaan van Heijst (@jpcvanheijst) on


“Flying in thick clouds with zero visibility, we had to rely on our weather radar to get a clear image of the weather ahead,” he wrote. “It was obvious that there was no way to fly all around this squall line of entangled thunderstorms that stretched across our route for hundreds of miles to either side.

“Coming closer, the radar provided us with a more detailed image of the interior of the clouds ahead, enabling us to plan a route through this maze of violent weather. This time though, we immediately understood that we won’t get away with a smooth passage. The storms had almost grown together into one, forcing us to find the ‘least’ violent spot to fly through.”

 

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