Fact Check

Does This Photograph Show a Pilot Taking a Selfie Out a Plane Window?

A photograph purportedly showing a pilot taking a selfie out his cockpit window is actually a composite of multiple images.

Published March 20, 2016

A photograph shows a pilot taking a selfie out of a plane window.

An image purportedly showing a pilot taking a selfie outside of his cockpit window is frequently shared online as a legitimate "remarkable" photograph:

The image, however, isn't quite what it seems.

This picture includes several signs that it has been manipulated. Mainly, the reflection in the pilot's sunglasses appears to show an airport runway, which indicates that even if the pilot took a selfie while hanging out of his cockpit window, he did so while the plane was on the ground at an airport and not in the air:

fly yolo glasses

This grounded selfie was then added to an aerial photograph of an island in order to make appears as if the image was one taken mid-flight.

This photograph originated on the Instagram page of Daniel Centeno (@Gansooo or @PilotGanso), who didn't explain how he created the photograph but did admit that it was fake:

I have to let you know that this photo is fake guys, just in case

This case wasn't the first time that Centeno used this technique (taking a selfie from outside the cockpit then superimposing the image over an aerial image) in order to trick his Instagram followers, as seen here:

plane photo

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.