On May 1, 2007, the longest sightseeing flight (13 hours/11.000km) in the history of aviation started from Düsseldorf to the North Pole and back. Without stopover and without movies in the in-flight entertainment. Only with specially set up HD screens that transmitted the view outside – for those without a direct window seat – inside.
Onboard 284 paying guests who simply wanted to take a few laps around the North Pole.
I STILL HAVE A SUITCASE … AT THE NORTH POLE
With his 32000 hours of flying time, Joe Moser has already flown to all corners of the world… except the North Pole. Of course, he did not miss the chance to fly this indeed unusual tour himself.
FIRST TIME IN GERMANY
Special flights like this have never been done in Germany before. Once to the North Pole, quasi as a day trip and back again. The organizer Polarflug.de offers this aboard an LTU Airbus A330. Early in the morning, the crew prepares the airplane for a start with “maximum take-off weight” and 13h flight time. The flight will offer even more than just the crossing of the North Pole!
HEADING NORTH, MORE NORTH…
The route on this day leads from Düsseldorf across Denmark and Norway to Spitsbergen in the North Atlantic. For the airport Longyearbyen (LYR/ENSB), which is currently the northernmost airport in the world, snowfall had recently been predicted. The original plan was to fly a low approach over the runway, but looking at the TLB, the technical logbook, the captain changes his plan. “On this airplane, the flaps have frozen before and if that were to happen to us, it would be the end of the sightseeing flight.” But when the cloud cover suddenly opens, everyone is offered a wonderful panorama anyway, including a live phone conversation with the Koldewey Research Station via satcom.
… AT THE NORTHERNMOST
From Spitsbergen, we then set course to 90° northern latitude! There Joe Moser lowers the aircraft to 3000m. Passengers and tour operators start counting down loudly and ring in the first loop around geographic north with a cheer and a glass of champagne. Below us lies the cryogenic Arctic Ocean, covered by nothing but huge ice floes and deep underwater crevasses. Only the turquoise blue polar sea, illuminated by the sun, shimmers lightly between the tons of ice, untouched beauty in this so cold, treacherous, and hostile world. No one wants to have technical problems here, as the closest possible emergency landing site is over an hour’s flight away in Thule, North Greenland. A humiliating feeling. Even Captain Joe Moser is not unaffected by this event, although as a glider pilot he has spent a lot of time in the Alps and its glaciers.
After the polar flyover, the sightseeing is only at the halfway point! The “routing” continues over Greenland, where we fly over the entire east coast at low altitudes. The weather means it also here well with us, an unimaginably large ice landscape opens to the flattened noses with gigantic glaciers, deep fjords, enormous surfaces at pack ice, and high flattened mountains! From above, the latter is more reminiscent of old tree stumps exposed to icy erosion and harsh nature. A legacy of millions of years of evolution of our earth. They tell a story, one could almost think. With the last tip of Greenland, we already see the north coast of Iceland in the sunset. What remains are unique impressions from an almost surreal world.
REAL or MAGNETIC?
Did you know that there are actually two north poles? And what exactly is the difference between the real north pole “true north” and the magnetic north pole “magnetic north” and where do you fly with which settings? Joe Moser gives us an insight into the differences between the usual navigation and the polar navigation and explains, for example, why one would not find the North Pole at all with “magnetic north”, because its position changes by about 40km every year.
NONSTOP from DUS to DUS
In the beautiful orange evening light, the Airbus finally sets course for Iceland, the United Kingdom, and Central Europe. With the moon at “twelve o’clock” we cross the Scottish Highlands, illuminated by the low sun, where a mail plane flies almost like Steven Spielberg’s ET – almost directly through the full moon.
In the end, however, the highest concentration is required again, a night landing on the 05R in Düsseldorf is on the agenda. Exactly there, where LTU9999 had taken off 13 hours earlier! This episode shows shots that you must have seen! This surreal world of the Arctic Ocean offers unique impressions that you might not have expected. Probably very few people get the opportunity to travel to this place, PilotsEYE makes it possible in 90 minutes of the film!
And at the end the obligatory outtakes! We see that such a flight holds some challenges even for experienced captains. If only he knew how to fold the map. Hillarious!
Leave the warm clothes in the closet and fly with us to the North Pole.
Or book yourself a ticket for the next polar flight: https://airevents.de.
Update: D-ALPG is flying today for Air Caraïbes with the callsign F-HUNO.
DVD: ISBN 9783940358066 EAN 4260139480067 ASIN B000U5X7C8
HD QUALITY video-on-demand
Flight data & Crew
- Flight no.: LTU 9999
- Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
- Run time: ca. 82 min
Chief Pilot & Captain |
Sen first Officer |
- Sightseeing flight to the north-pole
- Cockpit-view in High-Definition
- Spitzbergen cloudless
- Subtitles in English
- Airbus A330-200
- Night-landing in Düsseldorf
- View on the roof of the world
- Captain Joe Moser explains the characteristics of this unusual route
- Return-flight along the wonderful east-coast of Greenland