Pilot’s ‘dangerous’ selfie taken mid-air above Dubai will terrify nervous flyers… but is all as it seems?

A PILOT’S “dangerous” mid-flight cockpit selfie has stunned and horrified viewers - but you’ll be pleased to learn that the snap isn’t as legit as it first seems.

Instagram user Pilotganso shared the unbelievable selfie to his 44,000 followers last month, and it’s fair to say the mind-blowing snap has really taken off since then.

The poster, a man claiming to be a Brazilian pilot, appears to be leaning out of the window of his cockpit in the incredible viral photo.

But rather than snapping a photo while safely sat on the airport tarmac, the pilot’s shot appears to have been taken in mid-air, over Dubai’s iconic Palm Islands.

Shared alongside the caption: “Its already my second hometown #dubai Selfie”, the snap sent nervous flyers into a frenzy as soon as it was uploaded.

But there’s no need to panic, since the picture is actually a fake.

airplane window pictures

I always book a window seat when I fly to enjoy the views outside the window. Here is my photo collection of plane window views from around the world.

Incredible plane window views from around the world

It’s one of my favourite things to do when I fly: watching the views that unfolds outside the plane window. As soon as the plane takes off, I’ll turn on the flight tracking on the entertainment system, put my headphones on and just gaze out the window. During my travels around the world, I’ve had the opportunity to see (and photograph) some of the most amazing plane window views. They never fail to inspire! This inspiration is sufficient reason for me to book a window seat whenever possible. Six years ago, I launched a series called ‘Plane Views‘ to feature the photos I’ve taken from the air. Here are some of my favourite views from a plane window:

Aerial view of Sydney Harbour, Australia.

A view of Bora Bora, French Polynesia in the South Pacific!

Read about my trip to Bora Bora.

Volcan Osorno and the Lakes region in Central Chile.

Impressive glaciers flow down from the mountains in Chilean Patagonia.

See more photos of Patagonia plane views and read about my trip to Patagonia.

Mt. Vesuvius near Naples, Italy, seen from the air. This volcano is famous for its eruption that destroyed the ancient city of Pompeii.

Mount Everest from my plane window! The peak can be seen sticking out above the clouds.

Read about my flight tour of the Himalayas.


Aerial view of Kathmandu, Nepal, from the plane. The Boudha Stupa, one of Kathmandu’s most iconic landmarks and a World Heritage site, can clearly be seen.

See more Kathmandu plane views and my Kathmandu photos.

The futuristic City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain.

Read about things to do in Valencia.

The mountains and fjords of Baffin Island in northeast Canada.

Port Vell, Barcelona’s cruise and ferry terminal. Can you spot Barcelona’s famous Sagrada Familia cathedral?

The mountains, canyons and towns on the East Bank of the Dead Sea in Jordan.

Read about unique things to do in Jordan.

Plane views of the Sahara Desert in Algeria.

Chains of mountains in the Austrian Alps.

Plane window views of the Tirol Alps in Austria.

Aerial view of the Amsterdam UNESCO Heritage city centre, with its rings of canals.

A panoramic view of Modena, Italy, from the plane window.

Read about things to do in Modena.

A grand view of Greater Vancouver, Canada.

Read about things to do in Vancouver.

The aerial views of Rio as the plane took off from Santos Dumont airport were phenomenal!

Aerial view of the southern lagoons of Mauritius. The island in the lagoon is the Ile aux Aigrettes nature reserve (image courtesy of Bo Saldana).

See more Mauritius plane views and read about things to do in Mauritius.

Aerial view of the Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) skyscrapers – the Twin Towers are in the centre of the photo.

Read about the best place to see the Kuala Lumpur skyline.

A majestic view of Piton de Neiges on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean.

Read about things to do in Reunion Island or my ultimate Reunion island itinerary.

A phenomenal view of Table Mountain in Cape Town sticking out above a blanket of clouds.

Panoramic view of Cape Town from a helicopter tour.

Read about things to do in Cape Town and my Cape Town helicopter flight.

An aerial view of Dubrovnik – the walls can clearly be seen encircling the Old Town.

Read about seeing Dobrovnik from its walls.

That’s sufficient reason to book a window seat right? 😉

In fact, the pilot’s Instagram feed is jam-packed with similar shots, supposedly showing him wafting his selfie-stick out of the cockpit in mid-air.

But while previous photos have come with disclaimers which explain that the bronzed pilot has been photoshopping his incredible pictures, this latest snap looked alarmingly like the real deal.

Thankfully, an aviation expert took to Flyertalk forum, to prove that the snap was a hoax and to share the telltale signs which gave it away.

The anonymous commenter wrote: “Ship ascending northbound from nowhere. Direction of shade not matching those of houses. Winglet color (inward) not matching Fly Dubai scheme.”

Other photos on the photoshop-loving pilot’s Instagram account feature similarly outrageous poses, although passengers will be pleased to know that they are all faked.

In one, the beaming pilot appears to be leaning out of a cockpit above New York, giving a thumbs-up to a camera which has no right to be on the nose of a passenger plane.

Another shot, captured over Rio de Janeiro, claims to show the pilot’s tie billowing in the wind as he stretches precariously out of the driving seat.

Meanwhile, other snaps are a bit more down to Earth, simply showing the pilot sat in the inside of a plane’s cockpit.

Commenting on one of his more outrageous selfies, one Instagram user wrote: “What the hell is wrong with you?”

Another chipped in to say: “People do anything these days just to get likes and comments on IG.”

But plenty of astute viewers also clocked that the pictures weren’t meant to be taken too seriously.

One asked: “How come this does not effect the cabin pressure or like blow your face away because of the wind speed??!!”

This isn’t the only time we’ve been baffled by a viral snap which isn’t quite all as it seems.

Previously, we shared a photo which looks like a normal festival shot, until you look closer at what’s really going on.

We also revealed that there may be more than meets the eye to a very rude-looking snap from the volcano-ravaged Roman city of Pompeii.