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What happens in the cockpit

Cockpit Tales

Have you always been curious about what happens in the cockpit? And what is required to take off and land our aircraft? Look over the shoulder of our captains and experience what it's like to fly over mountains, along sky highways and land a plane in the dark during a storm.

Get on board
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How do you land an aircraft in the dark?

Captain Thijs Jongsma takes you on a flight from Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro and explains the use of various displays and screens in the cockpit. 

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The dark landing will be even more challenging as heavy thunderstorms gather in the sky over Kilimanjaro.

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Highways in the sky

Every day more than 4,000 aircraft fly across the Atlantic Ocean, crossing a region with little or no radar coverage. Captain Henk de Vries flies from Amsterdam to New York and explains how pilots use the so-called ‘Highways in the sky’. Using these highways, each aircraft is able to make it safely across the Atlantic with minimum communication.

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Fly through the mountains

Landing at airports high above sea level requires special procedures and special training.

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 Captain Jeroen Visser demonstrates in a simulator what it's like to land at Quito, far above sea level. The airport is surrounded by mountains, some up to 6,000 metres high. Landing here is always a challenge, even for the most experienced pilot.

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Watch more KLM Cockpit tales

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How does an aeroplane stay in the air?

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Flying beside an F-16

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Air Traffic Control

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