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Flight Team Spruces Up Route Over Germany In Shape Of Giant Christmas Tree

O Tannenbaum. A screenshot of shows Wednesday's Airbus A380 test flight over Germany.
O Tannenbaum. A screenshot of shows Wednesday's Airbus A380 test flight over Germany.

There were no reindeer hitched to this flight, but an Airbus 380 crew was on a mission Wednesday to present some holiday joy.

And it delivered.

The team aboard the Airbus A380 test flight traced a colossal Christmas tree over Germany — the tip poised over Hamburg in the north all the way to the stump over Stuttgart.

Flightradar24 tracks flights in real time and displayed the image, saying it took some 5 1/2 hours to complete.

The tree, of course, was decorated with ornaments hanging from each branch. The BBC reports the multicolors represent the plane's various altitudes.

Airbus tweeted that it was "early 'Seasons Greetings'" from one of its flight test teams. A spokesman told German media that the crew was getting ready to deliver the new aircraft, which the BBC says is destined for Dubai carrier Emirates.

That festive flight wasn't the first time pilots have taken a creative path.

This summer, a team aboard a Boeing 787-8 traced an outline of the very plane it was piloting, stretching from Texas to Michigan.

That also happened during a test flight, indicating that pilots used the opportunity to break out of routine and provide a bit of amusement.

But some residents of Okanogan County, Wash., weren't laughing last month, when they sent photographs to a local television station showing a phallic image in the sky. KREM 2 discovered that Navy pilots were responsible for the suggestive smoke trail. In a statement, the Navy told the station, "we find this absolutely unacceptable, of zero training value and we are holding the crew accountable."

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Amy Held is an editor on the newscast unit. She regularly reports breaking news on air and online.

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