For some reason, it seems that I like planes. Not in a Let’s Go And Stand At The Airport For Days On End And Note Down Their Registration Numbers way, but definitely in a Since We’re At The Airport Let’s Go And Have A Coffee Somewhere We Can See The Runway From way. It’s an interest, not an obsession.

Of course, the only obsessive bit of this interest is the Airbus A380. Scarce in Cape Town thanks to our thin taxiways, but always a pleasure to get on in Dubai and go to Manchester. This (mild) obsession resulted in me following British Airways A380 pilot Dave Wallsworth on twitter. I mentioned this to you on here almost two years ago.

Captain Dave  has now released a pair of YouTube videos showing exactly how an A380 takes off and lands. Yes, it’s a bit nerdy, in that it’s 10 minutes (each time) of real time footage, and it seems that aside from a few short words and actions, the crew don’t actually seem to do very much*, but it’s also annotated so that each thing that they do do is explained clearly.
If you have some spare time (and who doesn’t in early January?), it’s worth a watch:

And then, should you so wish, there’s the landing to look at as well.
WARNING: You will end up in Johannesburg at the end of this particular video.

One thing I did notice in both videos is that there’s an awful lot of looking out of the windows, presumably for other planes. I’m not sure if I find this comforting or not. Sure, a final check left before heading onto the runway seems like a pretty good idea, but should it really be necessary? I suppose that it takes minimal effort and it could make a huge difference, but I do wonder if it ever has. A bit like me looking left when turning onto the dual carriageway this morning, so as not to hit the utter twat of a cyclist going the wrong way. (An incident that was apparently entirely my fault with only a few months until the Cycle Tour, obvs.)

Having flown on these beasts several (or more) times, albeit never on a BA one or into Joburg, it’s really interesting to see what happens up front when we’re sitting in the back having our headphones and blankets collected and trying to find where our shoes have disappeared to.


* almost certainly because they’ve done an awful lot of things previously to make sure that they actually don’t have to do very much during this ten minutes.