With Condor in the Cockpit to the Seychelles (Video & Interview)
"Hi, I'm captain of the Condor. I'll fly You to the 21.3 to the Seychelles and would like to You (if You want to invite) to take-off and landing in the Cockpit. Do You have a camera with a suction Cup? The arrival in Mahé is really a dream.“
When I get this message, I need to read 1, 2, 3, 4 Times. This can be only a dream. What do you write a pilot? I'm typing this answer in my Whats App: "WOW, a Pilot has written to me never. THANK you for the invitation, I take it, of course!“
On 21.3.2017 I was picked up and then immediately after Boarding of the aircraft. There was a short briefing of the pilots: "This is Your seat, make yourself comfortable. There You can find the life vest, because the breathing mask, as is the emergency exit, and if the blocking is, You climb out of the hatch, or're in here taking You out of the window! Understood?“ All right, I answer as if in a Trance.
It is a go!
"The Aviator to the rolls to prepare"... I hear the pilot say.
"Would You like a Donut?" UH, no, thank you, I answer. (I must first get clear)
We go; on my head, a handset, in my ears, a thousand voices of the controllers and pilots. I try to listen to understand, but not a single word.
Before I can think about it, we are on the runway. 3, 2, 1. The machine is running at full speed and we lift off. In the Cockpit: the Simone and three pilots. Before us, nothing, except fog. Then we reach the flight altitude, and finally the sky clears. I'll let me explain. Man this is exciting. We order a Cup of coffee, watch the sunset and at some point I'm going to the back. Finally, I must fly today, even in Business Class.
I blink with the eyes and does not want to sleep. I sit on my seat on the plane and cringe at every noise. My eyes fall, but with each voice, I'm going to tear you. I can now sleep easy. The Crew wakes me up, I may back into the Cockpit.
Three hours before landing, it is that time again. I get out again, secretly, in the panorama Department. It is still dark, pretty dark – then on the horizon a red stripe. The sun rises slowly. I'm closing the mouth, look through the lens and press the shutter button. Photos and Videos alternately; and my phone is stuck on the suction Cup to the disc. I can't believe it. I'm sitting in the Cockpit, and in front of us, the Seychelles – like pearls are in the ocean.
What do you do in the time of a long-haul flight in the Cockpit with three pilots?
Exactly, ask questions, – und for example this here. It is an excerpt of the conversation follows with the captain, Simon Ambrose.
1. Is this your first flight to the Seychelles?
No, I've looked up before. Today is my 24. Flight to the Seychelles.
2. You seem to like the Seychelles...
However, for me, it is one of the most beautiful approaches in our already privileged route network – both because of the breathtaking view as well as from aeronautical reasons.
2. Why flying reasons?
The approach to the Seychelles approach is not a Standard. Here are a few things a little different and from our point of view varied. As to the North of the runway is a mountain, there are from the direction of no long, straight approach, but it flies to a virtual point above the Bay. From there, the airport is to be seen when visibility is good, so good that the Rest of the approach is done from the point of view in a long sweeping curve along the coast. It flies back, so the same goes for the departure. Our captains therefore, get a training flight with an instructor, before heading to Mahé for the first Time independently.
3. How long is your stay in the Seychelles is because and then what would you do so?
Simon laughs. Our stay is until tonight, so about 14 hours in the Hotel. We fly back on Tuesdays evening and on Wednesdays in the evening, just from Friday to Saturday. About an hour after landing we are in the Hotel, so about half past 8 o'clock. Two hours before the Start, we will then be picked up again, which is by 22 clock. The question is, what do we do at this time, is answered then self: Sleep! However, I set the alarm just before sunset, so I can make again a walk on the beach and something delicious to eat and at least a little bit of the Seychelles much.
For our guests, this constellation has the pleasant effect that they will arrive in the morning and in the evening, depart from. So you do not have to day for the flight “victims” – a day of more sun!
4. Don't you wish sometimes a longer stay?
In principle, Yes, and absolutely. Today, I am pleased to be back home with my wife and my children. About to land in the Seychelles is a reason why I fly this flight, but the short absence of my family. But I would like to.really like to return to the (family)holiday to the Seychelles, but rather 14 days 14 hours
5. As a Pilot you're on the road a lot. How often do you fly per month?
In the month I fly 1 to 2 short lines and 1 to 2 long distance. During the rest of the month I'm in the Department of flight safety and quality management.
6. How did your dream of flying?
I'm actually from the mountain sports and used to be a ski instructor. At some point I started flying with the glider, and I have learned to love to fly. During the civil service, I then made the pilot-Test of the German centre for air and space travel (DLR) and passed. This was the start of my career was as a Pilot. The training at the Lufthansa lasted a little more than three years. I started there as a Copilot on the Airbus A320 to fly commercial, and later, MD11 freighters controlled. Today, I fly as a captain and instructor in the case of Condor, and the picture here is thus a new pilot school in the air, so to speak.
7. What actually makes more fun to take off or Land?
8. Why is that?
This has two reasons. For one thing, the landing is more of a challenge, because there are a lot more. Often the land approaches are fantastic, but also challenging. Wind, weather, sight – there are just so many things to consider. Each landing and each airport is different. On the other hand we are as an Airline (and I bring as a Pilot) also service provider and would like to our passengers safely, punctually and comfortably to your holiday destination. After a landing, we have made the (nearly) and have contributed to our part of a relaxing holiday.
9. And which is the most beautiful country is the approach?
The Seychelles, of course, but also the Maldives are beautiful if you see from the air all the Atolls. Also, San Jose in Costa Rica, with its volcanoes and the Pacific ocean is definitely a Highlight... the list is long.
10. How it works for now, everything is really up in the air?
So a specific question I was not prepared.
Simon laughs again.