On July 28th, a Lufthansa pilot leaving from Frankfort, Germany, was diverted twice by Catania Airport in Sicily, Italy. After two failed landing issues, it continued off to its original destination of Malta. According to SAC officials, sudden wind directions prevented the plane from landing.
Stuck circling Sicily for 16 minutes before being allowed to continue to Malta, the pilot created the symbol in the air. Officials from Lufthansa called the shape accidental and a coincidence; however, Italians have decried the incident as intentional and believe the pilot did it intentionally.
As reported by SAC officials to the Italian paper La Repubblica, “Other planes also tried to land a first time but had failed, so they had to go around, and then they managed to do it.” Despite their assertations, Lufthansa officials explained that the sheer winds made any kind of landing at Catania impossible.
Earlier this year, the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) helicopter created a similar flight path over Comino earlier this year. In response, the AFM explained that this was simply the low-altitude portion of their flight path and not the whole picture. If you’ve seen multiple flight patterns and layers, you’ll see that this can be incredibly common.
The teabagging of Catania is nothing new. From high-end test pilots to RC hobbyists, this kind of skywriting via flight patterns or smoke in the air is not uncommon. People tend to these kinds of shapes simply to amuse themselves or to possibly have a snicker with someone on the ground. While the Lufthansa shape could be a pure accident, given the history of these shapes with Malta being involved, there might have been a bit of intention.
Want the details? Have a look:
— New York Post (@nypost) August 3, 2023