There are many different ways to experience Frankfurt from the air. Whether by helicopter, zeppelin, or by plane: fascination is guaranteed in any case. At the beginning of October 2020 there was once again a spontaneous opportunity to fly on a sightseeing flight from the Frankfurt-Egelsbach Airport. And so our co-editor Konstantin von Wedelstädt took the opportunity, got in, and reports here about his sightseeing flight over Frankfurt.
Departure From Frankfurt-Egelsbach Airport
The weather was mixed on the day of departure, but then it cleared up in the afternoon. And so we started at 5 p.m. in the two-seater Cessna 152 of the local HFC Frankfurt (Hanseatischer Fliegerclub e.V.) and turned north along the A5 freeway towards Frankfurt.
Flight Over Frankfurt International Airport
The first destination was not the flight over the city center of Frankfurt, but a flight over the international airport (!), which is normally not permitted. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, however, there was a low volume of aircraft at Frankfurt Airport, and a flight over the airport was permitted by the responsible airspace controller.
We were even allowed a so-called “low pass”, which means that we were offered a low altitude flight from the runway. So we threaded ourselves between two landing airbuses and flew off the middle runway (25C) in a westerly direction at a height of only 10 meters (33 feet), but without actually landing.
Then it went back to climb at the western end of the airport site. We turned north and flew towards the places Kelsterbach and Höchst. As soon as we have reached the Main river, the next course change to the east took place with the aim of flying along the Main past the city center.
Flight Towards Downtown Frankfurt
When approaching the skyline, there were good photo opportunities with the flat sun at the back, which bathed the skyline in warm light. Above the eastern city center we turned at a height of 1500 feet, that is around 500 meters above sea level (or approx. 400 meters above ground) several circles, the fascinating views of the Ostend, Nordend, ECB, Sachsenhausen, and the high-rise buildings of the Financial District having a backlight were possible.
Then it went in the opposite direction down the Main river, so that on the right side there were the best views of the high-rise buildings, the central train station and the exhibition grounds.
Intersection of the Approach Routes
At the level of the A5 freeway, we asked for permission to fly south again to pass Frankfurt Airport and cross the approach routes, which we were even allowed to do after a short time that we spent with two waiting circles.
North of the Egelsbach Airfield, we turned to the east and then landed in Egelsbach from this direction – where we completed an extra traffic pattern after a “touch-and-go” and after exactly one hour of flight time we got back on the runway.
The Challenges: Weather, Technology, Timing
Getting perfect photos while flying in an airplane is never easy. Because speed, vibrations, reflections, tinted and scratched windows quickly get in the way of beautiful pictures.
In contrast to a helicopter flight Frankfurt, an airplane cannot simply “stand still” in the air, which is why you simply have to be quick when taking pictures. Nevertheless, the photo tour with the Cessna was worth all the effort and an unforgettable moment.