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Pilot photographs amazing views from the cockpit

Forget spending your workday in a windowless, view-obstructed office. How about spending it airborne, with a nearly 180-degree view of the ever-changing, limitless skyline?

For Karim Nafatni, this is just one of his job’s perks. As a commercial pilot based in Dubai, Nafatni gets to witness epic, dramatic vistas and landscapes on a daily basis and lucky for us, he also happens to capture these stunning moments on camera.

“Having the chance to witness all those amazing views from the cockpit, I thought that it would be very interesting to share those moments with the less fortunate,” says Nafatni, who is a pilot for the international airline, Air Arabia.

Nafatni’s eye-popping photos give viewers a rare glimpse into the cockpit since, as Nafatni mentions, passengers are forbidden from entering the flight deck nowadays and the views that they do catch are reduced ones provided by the “frustrating little windows next to them.”

Although Nafatni has been a pilot for the past 13 years, he didn’t start taking pictures from the skies until about a year ago. With a Nikon D300S camera in hand, Nafatni takes most of his panoramic photos from the cockpit of an Airbus A320. As for inspiration, he looks within.  

“Most of the time I do let my emotions and feelings guide me and let the shot come to me rather then pushing for it to happen,” says Nafatni.

Nafatni’s emotions seem to be steering him right. His online portfolio has racked in over a million views so far and while most appreciate the photos, some question whether it’s safe for a pilot to take pictures while on duty.

Nafatni emphasizes that today, the use of computers in aircrafts reduces a great deal of a pilot’s workload (not to mention, human error), allowing pilots more time to be “mentally and physically busy with the primary flying tasks.”

“Beside that, there is always a pilot sitting at his station, no matter what, just to be able to recover if anything goes wrong,” Nafatni adds.

So without further ado, here are ten of Nafatni’s incredible photos that will give you a glimpse into the way Nafatni sees the world.