First appeared on by Adrianna Zappavigna

While Australians were forced to pay tribute to the Anzacs from their lounge rooms and driveways, one pilot found a very special way to pay tribute to our war heroes.

While Australians marked a far-from-traditional Anzac Day this year, a pilot found a special way to pay tribute to Australian and New Zealand troops today.

Flyer Michael Smith – an ex-Australian Geographic Adventurer of the Year – took to the sky to share a touching reminder of today’s significance.

He left an airfield in southwest Victoria just after 7am on Saturday, according to reports.

Three hours and 45 minutes later, his flight path revealed the pattern of the Rising Sun Badge – an emblem worn by Australian soldiers in both world wars, and commonly identified with Anzac Day.

In a video shared to Facebook, the pilot explained his idea while others left comments of support.

After returning home, the pilot detailed some of the conditions during his special flight.

“Usually on Anzac Day I like to fly to where there is a ceremony and do a flyover,” he explained. “But there aren’t any this year.

“It was very, very busy flying, it got incredibly bumpy in the second half of the flight. It was quite windy and very turbulent over the hills but I was determined to finish. And I had a couple of Anzac cookies along the way.”

“Four-hour flight and very proud to have done it. Grandpa … this was for you,” he told the camera, before sharing an image of his grandfather who served on Catalina’s in WWII.

And it’s not the first time pilots have used the skies as an etch-a-sketch, sharing an important message.

Most recently, a plane flying over Iceland took the opportunity to send a special message to the nation’s struggling healthcare workers amid the pandemic.

Before landing at Keflavik Airport, the flight path drew a heart over the hospitals in the capital, to show gratitude to the country’s healthcare workers and medical staff.


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