Pilot In Germany Draws Vaccine In The Sky

On the morning before Christmas Eve, a pilot took to the skies to deliver a homage to the vaccine to be rolled out across the country starting Sunday. During a flight over the south of Germany, they drew an intricate path in the shape of a syringe, complete with droplets, using a Diamond DA20 Katana.

Flight path in shape of a syringe
The pilot drew a vaccine syringe with droplets. Photo: FlightRadar24.com

In less than a year since the start of the pandemic, airlines have begun the meticulously planned task of transporting COVID-19 vaccines. Countries all over the world are right now planning and launching colossal efforts to roll them out among populations.

However, alongside one of humanity’s greatest scientific achievements, something else has been on the rise – vaccine skepticism. One pilot flying out of Friedrichshafen in southern Germany took to the skies Wednesday to show where they stand on the matter.

Precision needle-work

Taking off from Bodensee Airport Friedrichshafen (FDH) at 10:04 local time on December 24th, the pilot proceeded to draw an intricate depiction of a syringe, complete with droplets from the needle. The flight-path pattern required rather sharp turns, but the nimble Diamond DA20 Katana aircraft with registration D-ENIG was well-suited to the task.

The pilot reached a height of 5,475 feet and a top speed of 121 knots just as they were completing one side of the syringe’s barrel. The thin line of the needle was accomplished by backtracking the exact flight path they had taken to its tip.

Having completed the piece of sky-art invisible to the naked eye, the pilot landed the DA20 back at FDH one hour and 44 minutes after take-off.

Diamond DA20 Katana
The pilot used a Diamond DA20 Katana (a different one than pictured) to illustrate their pro-vaccine message. Photo: bomberpilot via Wikimedia Commons

In good company across the border

This is not the first pandemic-related message drawn in the sky by a Diamond Katana. Back in March, as measures were coming into full swing and the first wave of lockdowns were being announced across Europe, an Austrian pilot told people to “stay home” with a 24-minute flight on a DA40.

Germany begins rollout on Sunday

Germany intends to begin rolling out the vaccine on Sunday, December 27th. The federal government is planning to distribute more than 1.3 million vaccine doses to local health authorities by the end of this year, Health Minister Jens Spahn told Reuters on Monday.

Almost two-thirds of the population have indicated their willingness to be vaccinated, Deutsche Welle reports. Of the remainder, 19% said they would not take the vaccine, whereas 16% were still undecided at the time of the poll. However, over half of the survey participants said they were concerned about side effects.

Lufthansa Cargo, COVID-19 Vaccine, Transport
Airlines all across the world have worked hard to secure the all-important cold-chain for transporting the vaccine. Photo: Lufthansa Cargo

The proportion of vaccine doubters are higher still in Germany’s neighbor. One in three people in France consider vaccines to be generally unsafe, which is the highest figure for any country. Some polls suggest that up to 46% had intentions to reject the vaccine when offered it, the Economist reports.

Massive efforts to support industry recovery

As soon as a vaccine was on the horizon, airlines and cargo operators began preparing to transport the precious assets while maintainf the all-important cold-chain. No wonder, as a well-distributed vaccine is the greatest hope the industry has for travel restrictions to begin to lift and demand to pick back up as we enter the new year.

What do you think of Wednesday’s vaccine flight path? Let us know in the comments.