BAViscount From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (7 years 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3392 times:
Flights can generally be pretty routine. You take off from one airport, fly over some land, maybe a bit (or a lot) of sea, and land at another airport. Job done.
But sometimes flights can be pretty spectacular, either because of an interesting departure, fascinating inflight scenery, or an interesting/difficult approach and landing.
So...share your experiences of the latter!
I'll go first:
I can think of a number of flights that I've found particularly enjoyable for the reasons mentioned above. The first is probably a Flugfelag Islands F50 flight from RKV (Reykjavik City Airport) to AEY (Akureyri). The takeoff from RKV was pretty stunning, but flying across Iceland was amazing. And the approach into AEY had us flying along a snow-covered valley during a snowstorm! The only sign that we were anywhere near the ground was when the wheels actually connected with it! All I was aware of during approach was a wall of white on either side of the aircraft. The mountains looked close enough to touch, but were obviously a lot further away than that! It certainly beat the approach into LHR in the excitement stakes.
The return flight was pretty cool too. For various reasons, a number of Flugfelag Islands flights to AEY were cancelled that day, so they sent a 757 up to retrieve stranded passengers and take us back to RKV. The runway at RKV is not that long, so a lot of heavy braking was used to stop that thing...and during strong winds too! We actually had to hold on to seat backs as we exited the 757 via the rear exit as the wind was moving the aircraft so much it felt like we were flying through turbulence! Apparently the arrival of something as large as a 757 into RKV is practically unheard of.
Another flight I can think of was a direct flight from LYR (Longyearbyen, Svalbard) to Oslo on Braathens. We took off towards a pretty high mountain, which meant that what felt like moments after takeoff we had to do a very hard left hand turn to avoid it! The views from the window were fantastic, even if it did feel like we were on a roller-coaster ride! "Exhilarating" is probably a good word to describe that takeoff!
PlymSpotter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3389 times:
I can relate to several of your memories, especially of flying to LYR; cruising down past the glaciers and rugged scenery below - pure nature; unless your counting global warming it was about as an unblemished scene as you will ever find in Europe! Likewise flying in Iceland; how nice it is to not be met by a barrage of security measures, just stroll out through the doors and get onto the aircraft, not so much as a metal detector. Flying into the Westmann Islands in a DHC8-100 was utterly spectacular; at first the plane looped the rugged island, giving you a perfect view of the volcanoes, then descend and banked sharply to fly straight between two huge cliffs so all that you can see from your window is rock, before plopping lightly down on the runway a few moments later. The approach shot from above
Right up there though in the list of memories is my first ride in a Dash 7, finally! Rumbled into the air on a very worn and battered Asian Spirit aircraft with just a handful of passengers onboard. Midflight I asked if it was OK to take some pictures and likewise asked if I could see the cockpit, the stewardess checked and sure that would be fine - got chatting to the pilots and they welcomed me to stay for the landing too! It was the perfect experience; lush green mountains leading down to the deep blue sea, the sky was clear and the landing perfect, pulling up in just 200m. Such a privilege to have witnessed it from the front. The return was interesting as well, this was when Asian Spirit still had their 146s, and actually flew them in and out of MPH with just 850m of usable runway! Obviously the flight was weight restricted, to the extent that those seats which could not be filled were actually removed from the cabin, and every inch of the turnaround circle was used to gain maximum length. I've never heard the little engines on the 146 make such noise, brakes were applied hard and the maximum possible power setting had to be used; you could feel the aircraft chomping at the bit like an angry horse ready to go, and once they were released it shot off like the proverbial rocket - but even so there was only 50m of runway left as we rotated and powered straight up to a cruise of 20,000ft. To this day it's the most exciting take-off I've ever had, really and truly they were nuts for sending that thing in and out of such a small field; the slightest drop of rain and it couldn't land or take off, and should a RTO have occurred at a late stage then that thing would have been going over the end and into the sea for sure! Once more though on that flight the pilots welcomed me to take the jumpseat for landing; the Philippines in general are just an aviation paradise!
Really I have too many memories to put down, it would take me all night and I'd bore everyone silly, as some are only special because they mean a lot in a personal sense, such as flying over places where I have lived or places where family still do live - on one flight I even managed to spy a cousin putting the washing out to dry
BAViscount From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 4 days ago) and read 3384 times:
Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 1): especially of flying to LYR; cruising down past the glaciers and rugged scenery below - pure nature; unless your counting global warming it was about as an unblemished scene as you will ever find in Europe!
Damn, my flight into LYR on Norwegian from TOS was on a particularly cloudy day, so there wasn't that much to be seen! Although that does remind me that my flight into TOS (Tromso) was pretty bl**dy amazing! It seemed as though we were picking a well-worn path through mountain valleys before making a left turn across a fjord and heading to the airport. It was a beautifully sunny day too. Just spectacular!
Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 1): Likewise flying in Iceland; how nice it is to not be met by a barrage of security measures, just stroll out through the doors and get onto the aircraft, not so much as a metal detector.
I was amazed by that! Infact, I was so surprised by the lack of security that I actually asked an airport employee if we should just be heading out onto the tarmac unchecked like that!! I don't know what the Icelandic for "berk" is, but I'm sure she thought it!
NG1Fan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3370 times:
Was on a flight VIE-MXP on OS June or July 2001 on F70 or CRJ (can't recall, sorry...). Beautiful day, cheerful cabin crew and the pilots really put on a show. They did a running commentary of all the sights as we flew into the alps, dipping wings to give pax a better view of certain mountains/glaciers/lakes, even flying 'S' formations to give both sides of the cabin a better view.
Visibility was as good as it got, no haze, and not a cloud in the sky. Truly memorable!
AH332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3329 times:
Flights from ALG to AAE (Annaba) can be pretty nice sometimes, especially if a more southern route is taken instead flying along the coast only (although can be awesome too!). On the more southerly route you fly over the Atlas Mountains which have some nice scenery and formations!
Vmax From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3309 times:
I'm lucky enough to live in the Masai Mara in Kenya and every flight I take from here to Nairobi is scenic, different - and often pretty exciting. We fly Caravans, Twotters and, my personal favourite (when it's busy enough), the Dash 7 and invariably I'm in the cockpit (or r/h seat if it's the Caravan). Because it's all short field take-offs and landings here it's exactly what the Dash was designed for and she seems to love it, positively shuddering with anticipation prior to take-off on our little murram airstrip - despite the fact she seems to go tech on an alarmingly frequent basis!
There's a real microclimate here so weather conditions can go from bright, clear skies to black thunderheads and howling winds in a matter of minutes which is what makes bush flying so much fun (well, for some of us!). On a clear day, in the Dash flying back to Nairobi, you can see the peaks of both Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya. On a stormy day we can't get below the weather and it's like being on a rollercoaster in the pitch-black until we burst out of the clouds on the Mau Escarpment on our descent. If we're going back empty, we'll fly the Mara at 100ft, buzzing the elephants and hippos.
... I have to say the same. Flying along the Southern Alps in bright skies without a cloud in sight you see all the peaks and the glaziers from the top... awesome! And at the end the approach to ZQN around the Deer Park Heights (is that the name of the hill?) and over the lake for the landing... that was pretty cool and beautiful
PanAm747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (6 years 12 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3182 times:
I have flown SAN-SLC twice and have found it to be a breath-taking flight!
Once, the route was up along the coast to join the L.A. traffic heading to Las Vegas, the other did the typical SAN departure with a left turn to overfly Chula Vista and then heading northeast. Both times I've flown, however, we flew directly over Lake Mead and had a spectacular view of the Boulder/Hoover/Black Canyon dam. The right side of the plane had an unobstructed view of the Wasatch mountains all the way into SLC, and the right turn of 180 degrees to line up with 34R gave views of salt water EVERYWHERE! Then all of a sudden, you're on the runway (after wondering if your plane is amphibious!!), and the gleaming red of the nearby mountains takes your breath away!
TimT From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (6 years 12 months 4 days ago) and read 3162 times:
I was a flight mechanic for a charter company- B75, right windscreen overheated and the outer pane shattered. Had to fly below 10,000 and below 250kts. Up the east coast of Italy. Like flying a big Cessna. Great scenery. And memorable too.
Srbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (6 years 12 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3137 times:
My most recent ATL-LAS flight was probably one of the most scenic flights I've ever taken. Due to some weather along the usual flight path (which would normally track over New Mexicon and Arizona), the flight tracked further north over Colorado and Utah before barely skirting Arizona prior to landing. The geologic features in Southern Utah are quite spectacular to see from the air, even more so than the Grand Canyon (Which is quite a sight from the air as well. On approach to LAS, we flew over Lake Mead (All of my previous flights to LAS we always seem to skirt it and fly close to Hoover Dam and over Boulder City.
There was one PDX-ATL flight that definitely rates up there. It was a nice clear and sunny day so we got a very good view of the Cascade Mountains. Snow-capped peaks like Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood, and a great look at the Columbia River Gorge. That part of the US has some of the prettiest scenery in the entire country.
Bartonsayswhat From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (6 years 12 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3117 times:
Any Harbour Air flights are amazing. One scenic harbour to another(Victoria to Vancouver). You dont go Above 1500. You fly between the Gulf Islands instead of over them. Oh and water landings are very fun as is water taxing. You can taxi between a ferry on one side and a kid with is grandpa in a dhingy on the other.
Maverick623 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (6 years 12 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3116 times:
PHL-GLA.... the approach over the foothills of the Scottish Highlands is... well, just what you'd expect. Beautiful green, punctuated by river valleys.
ZRH-LCY was an awesome treat. The departure out of Zurich gives views of the Alps I didn't think possible, flying over the French countryside, and finally the spectacular 5.5 degree slope over central London.
Can't forget SAN. Flying lower than the buildings that are only a few miles away is insanity.
Flyingfool From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (6 years 12 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3113 times:
My most memorable flight was from Canaima to Porlamar o/b a Avior Cessna Caravan.
After departure from CAJ we flew towards the Angel Falls, which are the highest in the world (around 1000 meters) in between the table mountains.
This was really interesting, as the pilots made some spectacular manoeuvres to give anyone a good view of the falls.
Srbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (6 years 12 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3096 times:
Quoting PITIngres (Reply 18): I've been on a few night flights into LAS (both O/D and connecting); the dry air makes for a great view nearly all the time. So I can recommend night flights into LAS.
Once you get out of the Las Vegas Valley, not much to see at night. I've done a few flights into LAS at night and other than the approach to LAS, the rest of the flight is not much in terms of scenery, as other than the Hoover Dam, you can't see features like the Grand Canyon.
While the lights of Las Vegas are great to see, I'd rather see the natural wonders you fly over on the flight.
DL767captain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (6 years 12 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3064 times:
Mine was at Carlsbad Airport in CA (CLD) there was an aviation event and they did a drawing where they would take us on a quick flight. It was a small twin engined prop plane and we took off over the ocean where he was very low, like a few hundred feet and were going pretty fast up and down the beach making sharp turns over the water, it was so great!