To attend the Air France event at CDG last week, I was invited to take the flight AF7761 from Strasbourg-Entzheim (SXB) operated by Regional with a very beautiful Embraer ERJ-170. This flight was very special for me as, knowing I was coming for the event, the flight attendant proposed me to make the landing in the cockpit. It was an unique experience I want to share with you !

This was the first time I flew from SXB. A quite little airport with unfortunately, no sight on the tarmac until you’ve been through the security checks.

After the control, I had the surprise to discover that the aircraft of Regional (airline which is a part of Air France) was an Embraer ERJ 170-100LR, and more precisely the F-HBXP painted in Regional colours (instead of Air France’s) since january. A very very beautiful aircraft as you can see !

Regional – Embraer ERJ-170-100LR F-HBXP with its Regional livery © Jeremy M. Airliners.net

The flight from SXB to CDG was planned to last 40 minutes. Weather conditions were not so good. It was a cloudy morning !

From the 10A seat, perspective on the cloudy sky © Sophie Figenwald

After the take-off, the two flight attendants came as usual to propose (no, not « sucré/salé » 😉 ) a coffee and pastries. Olivia, the chief stewardess, has always been very kind. She asked me if everthing was okay and after having served me, she proposed me to go into the cockpit. A proposition I really didn’t expect. I never got that chance and of course, always dreamt of it ! Without any hesitation, I accepted and Olivia accompanied me a few minutes later to the cockpit.

After having been installed on the third seat, fastened my seat belt and put the headset on my ears, I started to realise where I was…

View from the cockpit © Sophie Figenwald

Both pilots were so nice with me. They knew I’m blogging and we discussed about our common passion for aviation, how it started and so on. A few seconds after having taken place in the cockpit, we began our descent to Paris Charles-De-Gaulle. The sky was too cloudy to see the ground until we were on the final approach but it was still very impressive. What was also astonishing is how the co-pilot, who was in charge of the radio communication, discussed with me and at the same time, paid attention to the control tower and its indications concerning the descent. « Men can’t do two things at the same time »; that’s what we usually say. Well, he actually proved me the exact contrary 😉

After 10 minutes, we turned to the left to get aligned with the runway and a few seconds later, we finally saw the ground. On the left, Paris with the Eiffel Tower (a little difficult to see on the picture but if you have good eyes, you can find the Montparnasse Tower right in the middle and on the left next to it, the Eiffel Tower) and on the right, CDG airport. Magical !

Paris from the cockpit ! © Sophie Figenwald
Final approach on CDG ! © Sophie Figenwald

And finally, the landing ! Awesome !

Ready for landing ? Yes captain ! © Sophie Figenwald
After a smooth landing, let’s go to Terminal 2G © Sophie Figenwald

And during the taxiing, a quick pic of the new connection between Terminal 2A and 2C…

New connection between 2A and 2C © Sophie Figenwald

before coming next to the Terminal 2E !

Terminal 2E for Air France and Skyteam members long-haul flights © Sophie Figenwald

And finally, the arrival at 2G !

« PNC, dernier virage ! » © Sophie Figenwald

We arrived a little ahead of schedule, despite a BAE in front of us which forced us to slow down our approach. After having stopped, it was time for the arrival check-up, before the crew prepared itself for the next flight aboard this aircraft 45 minutes later to fly back to SXB. Thanks a lot to this Air France crew; you were all so nice to me, I will never forget my first landing in a cockpit !

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