Sunrise over the Atlantic (4 minute read)31 May 2017
Ever wondered what it feels like to be in the captains seat of the Boeing 747-400, simply enjoying a sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean all by yourself? Well, feel free and immerse yourself in this view. We're cruising over the mid-Atlantic, about to cross the equator and enjoying a spectacular sunrise with thunderstorms, clouds and all the different colors in the atmosphere you can imagine.
Suddenly I realize that I'm one of the last generation of pilots that can enjoy this view.
The Boeing 747 is a dying breed and the left seat will not be occupied for much too long now, since the 747 is going to retire soon from the skies for many airlines. I feel privileged to enjoy this view before it disappears for good, though I hope to keep on flying it for a long time.
An office and view that made me dream; the ultimate goal of a young boy that had a 747-cockpit poster on his wall when he was 6 years old, handpicked when asked by his grandmother what poster he wanted from that selection of posters during a sleep-over. That specific one, and that one only.
A dream that started years earlier after I saw the KLM 747-200 cockpit as a 4-year old boy that was unable to say anything sensible to the pilots and flight-engineer after he was allowed to visit the cockpit before the flight.
All I can remember was walking into a cathedral of buttons, dials, windows and three smiling but utterly unreachable persons that told me that I was somehow welcome in their realm of technology and magic.
Now, 33 years old, I find myself flying one of the 'modern-classics', sitting in the left seat and simply enjoying the view while in command of this airplane.
But perhaps not just enjoying the view. Maybe also the knowledge it took me a long time of hard work to get here, a lot of setbacks and even more disappointments on the way to this very moment.
A moment of reflection and gratitude.