In a stunning display of power and strength and also exquisite beauty that lights up the horizon, a Dutch Pilot was able to capture the moment China launched Anti-Ballistic missiles into the sky.
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The Dutch Pilot, Christiaan Van Heijst, 34 years of age, says he cannot resist pulling his camera out and snapping images whenever possible as he flies in the cockpit of a Boeing 747-8 Freighter.
As you can see in these photos however, he was able capture an extraordinary moment during his flight from Hong Kong to Baku in Azerbaijan on Sunday on the airway headed over the already beautiful Himalayas.
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He says the plane's altitude was around 32,100ft roughly one hour after the sun had set, and he totally unexpected such a breathtaking display of man made glory as he coasted through the clouds to finish his shift.
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<i>”Suddenly we noticed a very bright spot on the horizon that rapidly grew in size and altitude.”</i>
<i>”It looked like a balloon or strange cloud at first, but a few seconds later I recognised it as the contrail of a rocket or missile that was shot up in the sky.”</i>
<i>”I have seen it many times before on video and photos, and noticed the typical speed and characteristics of such a trail.”</i>
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Van Heijst went in to say:
<i>”Roughly one minute later I noticed the first balloon was still growing but seemed to be rounded off on the top while a second contrail started just above the first one.”</i>
<i>”I figured this was the second stage of a rocket igniting and this confirmed my idea that we were witnessing a very powerful missile being launched.”</i>
<i>”We knew certain parts of the Chinese airspace north and south of our route were closed but no details were given to us and we were not informed there was supposed to be missile launch so the event took us by surprise.”</i>
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Van Heijst also said that while he's fortunate to have captured such amazing footage, he believes he was the only aircraft within the range to be capable of seeing this amazing missile test at the time.