My buddy Axel presented me and our friend Stefan a very gracious and common birthday gift: A flight with a Cessna above Hamburg and the Elbe river. This weeks blogpost features the pictures from Hamburg while the Elbe pictures will be presented in a different post. After rescheduling the flight two times already and having reserved a date for end of October we got offered a slot for Friday afternoon due to a cancellation. Perfect timing for the flight starting at 18.00 h before sunset and a perfect way to kick-off the weekend (and a one week vacation for me). It takes about an hour to drive from Hamburg city center to the small airport of Uetersen along the Elbe river. It is just a short grass runway with some functional buildings and a restaurant.The three of us with the pilot and our camera gear filled the Cessna pretty much. We had the opportunity to choose our route and went for the classic one: Down the river Elbe, passing the Airbus facility and the harbour towards the city center.
Our pilot offered to ask for a low approach flight over one of the runways of Hamburg Airport. We didn't know that this was even possible and agreed to give it a try. He asked the air traffic controller for a slot in normal traffic and surprisingly we got one right away. We headed to Fuhlsbüttel and started our low approach. Although all of us started and landed at Hamburg Airport many times this was a first. Seeing the runway from pilots view through the cockpit and flying over the runway at 10 m height was stunning!
Circling about the Port of Hamburg was also part of our flight.
It is good fun to see your city with plenty of time and from just several hundred meters altitude. The shots below show the Rondeel Teich, the built-up of the Rolling Stones concert in the Stadtpark, the Elbphilharmonie with its white roof, the city hall and Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, the central station, the St. Michaelis church, the A7 at the famous Elbtunnel, the Speicherstadt, the outer Alster lake and the Heiligengeistfeld along the Hamburg Messe.
And as if the low approach of Hamburg Airport wasn't spectacular enough the pilot asked the air traffic controller whether we could also do a low approach at Finkenwerder, the airport of Airbus south of river Elbe. And since this Friday became our lucky day we also got permission! This is the pilots view of the Airbus Airport in low approach. Afterwards, I asked the pilot how many times he was able to do a low approach on both of these airports within one tour. "Never", he answered, "this is a first!" This made it even more special for us.
Our flight lasted about an hour, most of the time spent above Hamburg. I will cover the approach to Hamburg and the way back over the river Elbe during low tide in one of my next weekly blogposts.
If you won't to see the opposite of Hamburg from above, this is my Hamburg from below blogpost.