One would say it is a ballsy stunt – but apparently, the phallic shape was not deliberate.
An Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) helicopter was responsible for appearing to create a penis-shaped flight pattern over the island of Comino in Malta on Monday.
The incident left many in the aviation industry with their eyebrows raised, with the action first being spotted by flightradar24.com.
The popular website tweeted: “Meanwhile, in Malta …”
According to the manufacturer’s site, it is “a helicopter that can adapt to multiple missions” and boasts “superior performance.”
The helicopter did a series of elaborate loops that, when viewed on a map, formed a distinctive shape.
Many assumed the stunt was deliberate, however, the AFM told the Times of Malta that the flight pattern had been “printed out of context”.
“The flight tracking shown was segmented as the helicopter was flying low altitude and did not show the completed flight path,” an AFM spokesperson said.
The post has attracted plenty of attention online with more than 10,000 likes and hundreds of comments.
“I was on the little island where it was drawing it, we thought it was searching for something, guess not ahaha,” one person wrote.
“I hope that was planned. Not just a random fly-around. Excellent,” a second person added.
A third joked: “Seems like another artist at work!”
Someone else posted a flight map of a plane in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, which also appeared to make a similar shape on January 11.
According to a blog on the flightradar24 website, while unusual flight patterns can be the result of aerial surveys, flights used to calibrate instrument landing systems, and pilot training, sometimes the reason for the flight routes is less clear.
Flightradar24 shared a similar sight back in November when a couple of US Air Force pilots appeared to have “drawn” a penis in the sky.
The cheeky creation was spotted near Tartus – the Kremlin’s naval facility in the Mediterranean.
It is believed the stunt, which went viral at the time, was carried out by an aerial refueling plane crew aboard a KC-135 Stratotanker.
One flight expert told Times Now: “They were on a refueling mission that usually is just a long oval, repeated over and over …. so they added the ‘balls’. No extra taxpayer money spent.”