Earlier I came across a really cool video on YouTube of Air China taking delivery of a Boeing 747-8 back in 2014 (yes, this was a long time ago, but when you’re home and not traveling you start to look for aviation videos online).
This was apparently the first Boeing 747-8 that Air China took delivery of, as pilots flew the plane from Paine Field (outside of Seattle) directly to Beijing.
Understandably this was a special flight, and Air China staffed it with six captains (not just pilots, but they’re all captains, as they all have four stripes). Usually when cockpit videos like this are recorded, the pilots go out of their way to follow all standard rules and cockpit protocols, but there are definitely some things that stand out here:
- Two pilots are just standing in the cockpit, including during takeoff
- The two pilots in the two jump seats aren’t wearing their seatbelts
- One of the relief pilots is communicating with air traffic control, which is unusual if nothing else, since he doesn’t have nearly as good of a view of the control panel; usually one of the two pilots flying would do this
Admittedly this wasn’t a commercial flight, so perhaps regulations are relaxed, though you’ll still generally see pilots operating in compliance with FAA restrictions when in US airspace.
I can appreciate that this was a festive and special flight, and in a way it was cool to see cockpit activities so far out of the ordinary. That being said, it does feel a little strange to just have pilots standing in the cockpit during takeoff.
Anyway, you can watch the video below, and as an aviation geek it’s a really cool video to watch.
Personally I’m still hoping to fly with Air China’s Captain Panda sometime. 😉
What do you make of this Air China Boeing 747-8 delivery video?