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Ever wondered what it’s like inside the cockpit of a commercial airliner? I recall visiting the cockpit of a Boeing 747 mid-flight at age four and being blown away by the breathtaking views over the Pacific Ocean. Today, however, increased security measures mean access is generally limited to pre-takeoff and post-landing visits with the permission of the flight crew.

Luckily, you don’t actually need to sit in the cockpit anymore to take in stunning panoramic views. These nine pilots will give you a peek behind closed doors and around the world through their Instagram accounts.

1. @theskybeyond

What do you get when you put a photographer in the pilot’s seat of an Airbus A380? Well-shot and beautifully edited photos that belong on your bedroom wall.


2. @knxposures

Follow A320 Captain Karim Nafatni as he takes you along for the ride on his flights around the Middle East. We especially love the time-lapse videos of his landings, as well as his motivational quotes that accompany every post.


3. @troybflying

Captain Troy Booker has 21 years of experience in flying both military aircraft and commercial airliners. His passion for vintage aircraft and model photography make for a truly unique account.


4. @echosierra85

Eser Aksan Erdogan is a 31-year-old pilot for Turkey’s low-cost Pegasus Airlines, piloting the Boeing 737 to locations in Europe and the Middle East. Speaking to The Mirror, she said:

“Being a pilot was my childhood dream. I was kind of a tomboy so I always wanted to fly an F16, but since I’m against war, violence and armies, flying big jets is so much better.”


5. @777ish

We love the sense of humor this “Boeing 777 driver” brings with his photos, which are by no means taken by a “very average photographer.” In the cockpit, he either spends his “quiet-time in the jump seat to develop excuses for [my] subpar landings,” or listens to the skipper’s rich people problems, like when he “bought a 60″ TV but it didn’t fit in the Porsche.”

6. @althani350

Although he’s an A380 pilot, Khalifa Al-Thani is clearly a fan of “the whale’s” younger and smaller sibling, the A350. We’re fans of his aerial photos of the cities he flies over, reminding us once again that pilots really do have the best seat in the plane.


7. @borneogeek

Join this Hong Kong-based pilot as he recounts his time flying the Boeing 747 and presently the Airbus A330. We think he has some of the best cockpit images on Instagram — they’re totally worth your time. Oh, and look out for his Rolex that makes appearances every so often.


8. @pilotvandam

Spain-based First Officer Helen Van Dam’s countless smiling selfies will definitely brighten your day and serve as a reminder that she has the best job in the world.


9. @tcrossau

Captain Tom Cross is our favorite selfie stick-wielding Australian pilot. Join him as he brings you on an adventure across the beaches of Australia, the cockpit and the occasional first-class flight on Etihad and Emirates.


Are there any other pilot Instagram accounts that you love? Tell us about them in the comments, below.

Featured image courtesy of Isannes via Getty Images.

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