Fact Check

Did Pilot 'Draw' Syringe in Sky to Celebrate COVID-19 Vaccine?

But the drawing wasn't exactly visible in the sky.

Published Jan 2, 2021

An image shows a German pilot's flight path in the shape of a syringe.

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In December 2020, as distribution of the COVID-19 vaccination began, an image started circulating on social media that supposedly showed a syringe "drawn" by a pilot over Germany:

The information in this tweet is accurate.

On Dec. 23, 2020, German pilot Samy Kramer took off from Friedrichshafen, Germany, and piloted a 200-kilometer flight in the shape of a syringe. But this syringe was not visible in the form of smoke in the sky. Rather, the image above was created by digitally tracking Kramer's path as he flew over Germany.

FlightRadar24, a global flight-tracking service, noted that Kramer was flying a Diamond DA-20 Katana at about 5,000 feet and that the syringe in this image is about 70 kilometers long. Here's an image of the type of plane used for this flight:

Kramer told Reuters that he drew the syringe to bring attention to the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Kramer said:

There are still relatively many people opposing the vaccination and my action may be a reminder for them to think about the topic, to get things moving ... Perhaps it was also a bit of a sign of joy, because the aviation industry has been hit pretty hard by the pandemic.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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