When promising vaccines for COVID-19 started to become a reality, many people wanted to celebrate and shout it from the rooftops. A pilot in southern Germany did one better and showed his appreciation 1,500 meters (5,000 feet) in the air. Using a flight tracker, the pilot drew a 70-kilometer (43 mile) long syringe in the sky with his plane.
According to AFP, the amateur pilot, 20-year-old Samy Kramer, carefully plotted his route above Baden-Wuerttemberg, southwest Germany, just before Christmas to celebrate the start of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Germany and the rest of Europe.
"I wanted to give people food for thought for the day the vaccine became available," Kramer told AFP. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was officially rolled out on Sunday, December 27, but a day earlier a 101-year-old care home resident became the first person in Germany to receive a jab.
Using a Diamond DA-20 Katana, Kramer took to the skies for a flight that lasted just over 1 hour 40 minutes and covered around 280 kilometers (170 miles), taking in some 90-degree turns to create his depiction, all captured by Flightradar24, a live flight tracker.
Around 65 percent of Germans have said they will have the vaccine when it is available, similar to the UK at 67 percent, according to a recent YouGov poll. In the US, confidence in a vaccine has risen recently to 60 percent of adults saying they will have the jab, up from 51 percent in September according to a national survey by Pew Research.
Kramer wasn't the only one to use the skies as a canvas for their pandemic messages this year, according to Flightradar24.
One pilot flying over Burgenland in Austria spelled out the message '"STAY HOME," another drew a giant thumbs up above Szekszárd in Hungary, and a third spelled out "NHS" for the UK's National Health Service, above Berkshire in south-east England. This latest one celebrates the phenomenal achievement of scientists working together around the world in incredible circumstances during an incredible year.