Is this selfie of a pilot flying over The Palm even possible?

People are constantly in the news these days for taking selfie’s to new heights, but this snap takes the biscuit. Brazilian pilot Daniel Centeno, who is based in the UAE, posted a picture on Instagram seemingly leaning out of the cockpit window while flying over The Palm Jumeirah.

On first look you’re going to shout “THAT’S OBVIOUSLY PHOTOSHOP, WHY ARE WE EVEN HAVING THIS CONVERSATION!” And that’s okay, because it is obviously Photoshop. Duh.


… but, then again… people are doing totally inconceivable things in the name of Instagram likes these days. It’s sort of made us question ourselves and wonder whether it is actually possible.

Luckily for us, Google exists, and a pilot called Doug has for us on Quora. According to pilot Doug:

“Assuming the aircraft is not pressurised, in breathable air, flying […] a B-737 or A320 at 12,000′ or less, at an airspeed less than 150 knots, it’s technically possible. While the airplane is capable of flying slower with full flaps, increasing angle of attack using power, it could go all wrong in a hurry and stall the airplane.

“But, you’re crazy, so your Captain goes for broke and audaciously configures the airplane to fly at 115-120 knots.

“The pilot sticking his arm out the cockpit window better have forearms with the strength of Arnold Schwarzenegger to hold the camera and selfie stick, which itself better be made out of super strong steel so that it doesn’t bend or snap.

“And the pilot who is sticking his upper body out the window better be wearing eye protection. The air pressure hitting the face at 120 knots could cause severe (and permanent) damage.

“Breathing is another problem. The air pressure against the nasal cavity is probably over 300 psi. Maybe more. I haven’t calculated it.”

So, in a word, no. No it isn’t.

This is a fun picture that Daniel Centeno has made, most likely using a Photoshop layer technique, so that he can sit back and chuckle as people get really angry in the comments. FAKE NEWS!

Here’s a look at some of his other clever snaps.




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