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A pilot's eye view of a British Airways approach into Funchal

A pilot's eye view of a British Airways approach into Funchal

Old Jun 9, 15, 4:10 pm
  #1  
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A pilot's eye view of a British Airways approach into Funchal

This is an official BA YouTube video, released today, showing some of the complexities of landing in FNC, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal. I have my first BA trip there shortly so it was good to see the front view.


Originally Posted by British Airways
Get a pilot’s eye view of landing a British Airways flight into one of our newest destinations - Funchal, on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

The airport – one of the most challenging landings on the airline’s worldwide network – requires special approval from the Portuguese aviation authority for pilots to fly there. British Airways’ expert pilot training team created a bespoke plan that received approval and allowed the airline to start flying to Funchal.

Pilots flying the three times a week service from Gatwick must undergo specialist training, including flight simulation to study every aspect of the approach in detail.

The airline started flying three times a week from Gatwick to Funchal on May 11, 2015.

In this video two of the airline’s highly trained pilots, British Airways Captains Ally Wilcox and Ian Mills, show how it’s done.
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Old Jun 9, 15, 4:24 pm
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Yes, saw this on Twitter earlier. Interesting that only 20 captains are able to fly into FNC at the moment.

As an aside, great idea for a video. I'd like to see more of these from BA.
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Old Jun 9, 15, 4:26 pm
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Excellent! I remember flying in on the old runway in the late 1980s, in a TAP 737. All the locals started crossing themselves before landing and burst into applause when we finally stopped.

Reassuring.
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Old Jun 9, 15, 4:26 pm
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That was really interesting to watch. BA should do an IFE channel on various landing destinations.

Thanks for sharing ^

H
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Old Jun 9, 15, 4:59 pm
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I saw the video earlier, it was a shame it wasn't a full cockpit video of the whole approach - although I am sure it isn't aimed at someone like me so a bit lighter on the details.

FNC is certainly an interesting one to land at, and up there with Innsbruck, Gibraltar, and the old Kai Tak. I have tried FNC in a 737 simulator and it isn't at all easy as you would expect.
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Old Jun 9, 15, 5:22 pm
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Wow, really interesting to see thank you!
The most interesting approach I have ever 'flown' was Kai Tak in a 747 sim at Cranebank many moons ago.

ETA as Karfa says, GIB is also unique. I recall a conversation a good few years ago with a friend who was a BA Captain, they were patiently waiting to take off with a full quota of passengers on board, there must have been a fairly hefty cross wind and all passengers had a great view of another airliner doing a few go arounds, by the time that aircraft had landed most passengers wanted to deplane and head back to the terminal to wait for the winds to ease.

Last edited by SaraJH; Jun 9, 15 at 5:43 pm
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Old Jun 9, 15, 5:49 pm
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Interesting video. Complete ignoramus question: why is it necessary to follow the coast and make a curved approach? Why not just line up and approach straight over the ocean? Is there some further terrain not shown in the video that makes this impossible or something?
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Old Jun 9, 15, 5:52 pm
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post

FNC is certainly an interesting one to land at, and up there with Innsbruck, Gibraltar, and the old Kai Tak. I have tried FNC in a 737 simulator and it isn't at all easy as you would expect.
It was even more interesting before the (2000??) runway extension, which almost doubled its length. But it's still got the terrain and violent crosswinds..

FNC was the scene of TP's only fatal accident.


More fun and games.

(on a nice day)

(on a bad day)


(for geeks) http://www.nav.pt/ais/airacs/LP_Amdt...-07_en%206.pdf
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Old Jun 9, 15, 6:11 pm
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Great videos, thanks!

Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
It was even more interesting before the (2000??) runway extension, which almost doubled its length. But it's still got the terrain and violent crosswinds..

FNC was the scene of TP's only fatal accident.


More fun and games.

(on a nice day) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yz5JxytD-7c

(on a bad day) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP1Rh39Mtzw


(for geeks) http://www.nav.pt/ais/airacs/LP_Amdt...-07_en%206.pdf
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Old Jun 9, 15, 6:12 pm
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What an awesome piece of content marketing. Appeals to the geeks and the casual viewer.

Can't wait to see the Edinburgh over the Forth video on a windy day!

Well done BA marketing - something engaging that isn't spinning an enhancement?
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Old Jun 9, 15, 6:21 pm
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Red Wine induced dupe.

Last edited by edi-traveller; Jun 10, 15 at 1:57 am Reason: Double post!
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Old Jun 9, 15, 6:25 pm
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Originally Posted by edi-traveller View Post
Red Wine induced dupe.
?
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Old Jun 9, 15, 6:27 pm
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Originally Posted by zeltergiset View Post
Interesting video. Complete ignoramus question: why is it necessary to follow the coast and make a curved approach? Why not just line up and approach straight over the ocean? Is there some further terrain not shown in the video that makes this impossible or something?
A straight in approach to runway 05 wouldn't work as if you draw a line straight back from that runway you are in to significant terrain up to nearly 2000ft pretty quickly. That terrain is pretty much where your normal glideslope would be. A curved approach over the sea is the only way and let's you descend in as needed, but obviously means you are turning all the way in quite close to the threshold, and as you turn you have to deal with a constantly changing wind direction from the mountains on your left.

This is all just my layman's view btw, so obviously any corrections welcome from a professional
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Old Jun 9, 15, 6:35 pm
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Great set of videos. I go there often and have been on some of those style landings..

Looking forward to getting there on BA again (well technically was GB before - so even better now).
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Old Jun 9, 15, 7:47 pm
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I do wish BA would participate in one of those Just Planes flightdeck documentaries using a 747 or A380.

Safe & Happy Travels

S
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