Pilot performs mid-flight maneuver to give passengers a rare view of the northern lights

On Monday night, passengers aboard easyJet flight 1806 from Reykjavik to Manchester were treated to something special. The pilot took a surprise loop detour mid-flight to allow passengers on both sides of the plane to witness the breathtaking aurora borealis.

Adam Groves, one of those lucky travelers, expressed his gratitude and posted incredible photos of the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, on Twitter. He thanked the pilot for “doing a 360 fly by,” allowing everyone on board to glimpse nature’s splendid sight.

In response to the news, easyJet told Simplemost that the move was performed safely and in consultation with air traffic control. The company also sent the following statement:

“We are pleased that the Captain on our flight from Reykjavik to Manchester on Monday evening was able to perform a controlled manoeuvre in order to allow passengers to witness an amazing display from the air of one of nature’s greatest sights, the Aurora Borealis. Our crew will always go above and beyond for our customers and we’re delighted to have been able to share this special view of the Northern Lights with them.”

Other pilots of the U.K.-based airline apparently followed suit, judging by tweets such as this one by passenger Clodagh Cremen.

“A massive thank you to the pilot & crew on @easyJet flight EZY6942 going from Iceland to Edinburgh this evening,” Cremen said. “A spectacular aurora took off & we were all treated to a full 360° turn to get a view of it – not your average flight & a fabulously kind act of service!”

The aurora borealis is a rare spectacle that is usually witnessed in parts of the world nearer to the Arctic but was spotted this week as far south as Hertfordshire and Cornwall in England. It is an incredible natural phenomenon that occurs when electrons from solar flares interact with atoms and molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere, creating flashes of light in various colors. It is sometimes possible to see the northern lights from North America.

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Tricia Goss
Tricia Goss is a Texas-based writer and editor with nearly two decades of experience. She is passionate about helping readers improve their skills, gain knowledge and attain more happiness in life. When she’s not working, Tricia enjoys traveling with her husband and their dog, especially to visit their five grandchildren.

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