+++ Cockpit flight on a Lufthansa Boeing 737+++

10/16 - 10/19/2003

Basically in the last second I managed to tour Europe with my cousin on a Boeing 737 for once. From November 1st 2003, a new worldwide aviation law prohibits literally everyone from emergency docs to the aircraft's rat to enter the flight deck. This makes the fact that I got to know a little bit about the cockpit work even more special! And of course my special thanks to the crew and my cousin F/O Philip Kirchner! :o)

Here's an overview of all my flights - too bad I don't have a Lufthansa Miles&More card ;-)

 

Day 1 : Frankfurt - Bilbao - Frankfurt - Hanover

 

 

Paris from above on the way to Bilbao

 

Charles de Gaulle airport (where we flew to aswell, but unfortunately at night)

 

Cruisin' at 35,000ft

 

Approaching Bilbao along some very impressing cliffs

 

Turning on final, the port of Bilbao in front of us

 

We've reached the city borders

 

Runway in sight

 

After landing: outside check - this for example is the gear shaft of the Boeing 737

 

The terminal of Bilbao

 

Very stylish!

 

All fans still there...

 

The flight deck of our "bobby"

 

Overhead panel

 

The TV corner - right next to the yoke is the screen where the pilots can see what's going on in the cabin

 

The information for the ground crew gets shoved between the thrust levers, the more stuff you see, the closer we get to take-off

 

and pushback!

 

Cleared for take-off!

 

Approaching Frankfurt in the dusk

 

The last picture of the day...

 

Day 2: Hanover - Munich - Cologne/Bonn - Munich - Paris CDG - Munich

 

A look at the cabin - economy and business class have the same seats. At least you get something to eat in Business class

 

The second flight of the day goes to Cologne. Here's a nice view of the city, you can see the cathedral and the Rhine river bridges

 

...and here's an even nicer view on Leverkusen and "downtown", the factory grounds of Bayer Pharmaceuticals

 

Another quick snap shot of downtown Cologne...

 

...then we're already on final approach on CGN

 

Shortly before touch down, as you can see

 

A view on the auto pilot panel from the very comfortable captain's seat

 

And back to Munich.... Philip is watching out so the bird doesn't fall from the sky

 

No, this Air Berlin wasn't hijacked, it's approaching the parallel runway in Munich

 

Final approach on Franz Joseph Strauss airport

 

Munich - you gotta hate their soccer club, but you gotta love their airport ;-)

Watch the Video of the Landing (11MB)

 

After a short stop we fly on to Paris in the last light rays of the day

 

Unfortunately the breath-taking night scenery of Paris was a bit too much for my camera to handle, but the result is almost modern art again

 

Day 3 : Munich - Frankfurt - Bologna - Frankfurt - Lyon


A view from Munich's brand new terminal 2 on our 737

 

A different look at Frankfurt airport

 

Behind the city of Mainz and the Rhine river, we turn on RWY 07L

 

The Captain's flying today

 

Cleared to land on Germany's biggest airport

 

Another calender photo: The black forrest on our way to Bologna

 

Bella Italia, yeah right! It's 7°C and rain in Bologna

 

Pushing back beneath the rainy evening skies

 

Day 3 : Lyon - Frankfurt - Dresden - Frankfurt

 

After half a day in Lyon and a good night's sleep in our extremely cheap hotel where a small bottle of Heineken is just 6,90 and the continental breakfast buffet 23 Euros, we're heading back to Frankfurt - not with this plane though

 

The highest mountain of the Alps - le Mont Blanc

 

If you sit on the right side of the aircraft from Lyon to Frankfurt, you can enjoy the fascinating panorama of the Alps for about half the flight

 

...only if the weather is good enough of course ;-)

 

The crane....

 

In Frankfurt we had a little bit of time, which I used to seize the Captain's seat once more...

 

A little plane spotting from the Captain's perspective - an SAS MD-80 is taxiing to the gate in front of us

 

Shortly before lining up for the flight to the capital of Saxony

 

One last outside check...

 

The F/O concludes that the plane is in great condition

 

And once more the flight deck, this time completely illuminated! - This is still real flying, not this hi-fi store with wings that Airbus calls a plane ;-)

 

What's left to say.... Flying on the jump is really fun as you can see! :o) There is lots to see and you get Business class food all the time. I hope you liked these pictures and that they managed to bring you a bit of the cockpit feeling. Once again my thanks to the crew and Lufthansa baggage tracing for taking so much care of my luggage. *cough cough*

All Pictures © Lukas Kirchner

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