The pilots are so relaxed as the A380 lifts off
If you’re a nervous flyer – and there are many of you – this could be one of the most reassuring things you see all day
British Airways pilot Dave Wallsworth has been filming both the forward view and his colleagues while flying an Airbus A380, as well as explaining the messages, procedures and checks that a flight crew goes through.
Accompanied by senior first officers Jeremy Goodson at the controls and Philip Gillespie as the third pilot (flights of 8-12 hours require a third pilot), we see the aircraft taxiing out onto the runway behind a Korean Air plane, before Goodson opens the throttle, the engines roar, and the aircraft speeds down the runway and up into the skies over London.
At one point, the team complement Air Traffic Control for finding them a nice take-off slot, and the whole video shows a team of well-trained professionals calmly doing their jobs.
Wallsworth says that “According to the heart rate monitor on my watch, my pulse during take-off is lower than it is when driving to work on the M25.”
He goes on to explain that “One of my main reasons for producing these videos is to show how relaxed our working environment is. I hope that our more nervous passengers will see we are totally at ease when flying.”
Relaxed doesn’t necessarily mean laid-back, however. He says that “mentally, we’re busy making sure all the systems are working properly”. Before each and every take-off, the crew has a briefing to confirm what each member will do in the event of any potential problem.
Couple this with an intensive simulator check every six months covering both take-off and landing, and the more than 7,800 flights in his career with BA, you can see that Wallsworth knows what he’s talking about.
“Some people don’t like the noise and sensation of take-off,” he explains. He hopes this video – as well as a number of others he’s planning to make – will give passengers some points of reference to help them feel calmer.
So after nearly 8,000 take-offs, does he ever tire of it? “Absolutely not! It’s such a wonderful feeling accelerating down the runway and taking an amazing aircraft such as this into the air.”