While sometimes disparaged as overpaid bus drivers of the sky, anyone with an actual clue knows that pilots are highly trained professionals with a huge amount of responsibility for the safety of their aircraft. These days people can’t visit the flight deck during flight, which makes cockpit video the next best thing.

There are quite a few of these available online, where cameras are setup to record flights to entertain the armchair pilots at home. The most interesting ones are those shot in difficult or unusual weather conditions.

Cockpit Video

National Airlines is a cargo operator who use the Boeing 747-400 on flights around the world. Based in Orlando, the airline has been in operation since 1986.

Below is a three minute cockpit video showing the final approach and landing on one of their flights into Tokyo Narita. It’s quite a gusty day and you get to see the landing from the Captain’s side of the aircraft.

There are several things to watch out for, notably the fluctuations in the airspeed on the Primary Flight Display (PFD). That is the figure on the left hand side and is measured in knots. A knot is one nautical mile per hour equal to 1.852km/h or 1.151mph.

Otherwise, the star of the show is the pilot. Watching his control inputs to keep the aircraft on course – not to mention his expression of intense concentration – shows just how much skill is involved in hand flying a Boeing 747 in these conditions.

Overall Thoughts

Another successful landing and all in a days work. In fact, the pilot makes landing 295 metric tonnes of Boeing 747 look relatively easy. I’m sure it would have been a lot less effort for him had he used the autopilot!

There’s a reason pilots earn the big bucks and why you need to have brains to do the job, and this video illustrates it well. It makes you wonder if you could do this kind of thing yourself or not.

What did you think of the video? Have you seen any others that are worth checking out? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Konstantin von Wedelstaedt on Airliners.net via Wikimedia Commons.