It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Yes, this pilot really just left Whatcom County

Have you ever had one of these days, especially a Monday? One where you just want to stun everyone?

A pilot apparently had strong feelings – or at least extra time and fuel – to show Whatcom County what he thought, as flight tracking data shows he traced the image of a hand with a middle finger stretched above the county Monday, August 29.

Although the sky over the county was cloudless, it is likely that no one except the pilot knew what he was plotting when he or she was doing it.

According flight tracking data on flightaware.comThe plane took off at 9.15am on Monday from Bellingham International Airport heading north towards the border, but turned east near the Lynden area and began to trace the outline of “the ‘bird’ east of Nooksack.

After taking just over half an hour to give his version of a one-finger salute at about 11,000 feet, the pilot performed a number of tight zigzags back and forth across northern County Whatcom and British Columbia airspace east of Vancouver, before returning and landing in Bellingham at 4:09 p.m.

Although the pilot’s identity is not listed in the data associated with the flight, the aircraft’s tail number (N59906) shows that it was a two-piston Piper Navajo (PA31) registered with Marc, Inc. in Bolton, Mississippi. According to Marc’s websiteit is “North America’s largest provider of specialized aircraft and flight crews for airborne GIS (airborne geophysical surveying), surveying and monitoring projects”.

The Bellingham Herald has contacted the company for comment on Monday’s ‘unusual’ flight path by one of its planes.

Prior to being purchased by Marc in 2007, the aircraft had a brief history with the United States Department of Justice, the aircraft flightware record record shows.

The flight path of the middle finger was first reported on Reddit with a post titled “Looks like the last day of a survey pilot today”. By Tuesday afternoon, the post had more than 700 comments, many marveling at the pilot’s skill and level of detail.

“Talk about detail, he even put a sticker!” said a commenter on the post.

“Must be a pro at Etch A Sketch,” another commenter joked.

Monday’s Whatcom outbreak is also reminiscent of a 2017 incident, when a pilot of a warplane from US Naval Air Station Whidbey traced a giant image of male genitalia in the sky above Okanogan County. Unlike Monday’s Whatcom County artwork, the Okanogan incident was traced in contrails, which were photographed and posted on social media, and the crew ended up being grounded by the navy.