Ex-Finnair pilot on beautiful airport landings

Experienced former pilot on scenic airport approaches
Timo ‘Timppa’ Numminen is a seasoned specialist of the skies. Since 1977, the ex-Finnair pilot has clocked up over 15,000 flight hours all over the world. In a Finavia blog, he reveals the beautiful airport approaches he has ever experienced.
Timppa’s last working trips were in 2007, but even in retirement he has continued to run training sessions for Finnair staff.
“Being a pilot is the finest profession in the world. You get the chance to travel the world and realize that all these places are part of the same planet. At the same time you get to enjoy the world’s most scenic office space,” he says.
For professional pilots, no airports are easier or harder to land at, but some did make a lasting impression because of their beautiful scenery.
He names Tocumen, Panama, “because you get to fly over two different oceans. First you cross the Atlantic, passing the peninsula over the Panama Canal and then make a turn over the Pacific, before landing at Tocumen. Oh boy!”
Then there’s PDL in the Azores where “the beauty of the scenery made an impression on me: a charming, hilly and evergreen group of islands.”
For Pearson, Toronto, the route from Helsinki “crosses Greenland’s beautiful glaciers and the uninhabited terrains of North Canada: views you can never tire of. Landing in Toronto, which is right next to a great lake, is also a breathtaking experience.”
In Finland there are beautiful airports too, for instance the lakeside airports of Savonlinna and Kuopio.
“One of the most memorable moments of my career was flying to Rovaniemi, in northern Finland, during one of the ‘nightless nights’ of the summer. It was around 2am, but a lovely evening sunset was lighting up the sky, the rays shining right into the crew’s eyes in the cockpit. The captain of the plane, Markku Bremer, turned to me and said, ‘And this is what they pay us for – with extra pay for night work’.”
TTG Nordic


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