A 24-km penis-shaped flight path appeared over Sicily’s map on air traffic site FlightRadar24 after a Lufthansa pilot allegedly got upset after being diverted from Catania airport in Sicily.
Flight 306 took off from Frankfurt on Friday July 28th at 1:45 pm and was headed for the Italian city until the plane was warned mid-flight that it could not land because the Catania-Fontanarossa had reduced operations after a terminal fire in July, according to La Repubblica newspaper.
Local media reported that the pilot had become upset after having to divert the plane and being told that the flight would have to head south and land on the island of Malta. Officials have since explained that the shape the flight path took had not been intentional, as reported by Euronews. Before leaving Catania airspace, the plane was seen heading east toward the Sicilian coast and flying in such a way that the trajectory created the shape of male genitalia, according to images from air traffic site Flight Radar.
Lufthansa also told La Repubblica that the pattern was created unintentionally when the pilot had to fly over Catania before being instructed to divert the flight.
SAC, which operates Catania’s Fontanarossa airport, attributed the diversion to a sudden change in wind patterns. “Other planes also tried to land a first time, but had failed, so they had to turn around and then succeeded,” SAC told La Repubblica. Lufthansa told Italian media that it was no longer safe to land in Catania due to the shift in wind patterns.
Last year, a US Air Force pilot drew a similar pattern while flying near a Russian base in Syria, according to New York Post. An Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) helicopter took a similar flightpath over the island of Comino earlier in 2023, as reported by Euronews. The AFM told the Times of Malta that the flight pattern had been “printed out of context” because the tracking did not show the entire flight path.