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396. Landing at Sydney Airport (video)

I took this video of the approach to landing in Sydney in May, and it worked out so beautifully that I thought it was worth sharing.

It was late afternoon, and the soft evening light is fantastic. As the video starts, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House are in the centre of the frame, with the central city on the right. The view is absolutely stunning, including dramatic clouds and some rain in the distance, though the foreground is sunny. We pass islands and yachts on the harbour, a bridge, houses, roads, a very pointy church spire, train lines, commercial buildings, shipping containers, and a canal [correction: it’s the Cooks River] before reaching the airport. Unfortunately, the video doesn’t catch the message painted on almost the last roof before we reached the airport fence, saying “Welcome to Perth”!

From about the 1:50 mark, you can see the shadow of the plane sliding across buildings in the distance, and it gives you a great impression of how low in the sky the sun was. The shadow gets bigger and bigger and closer and closer until it meets the plane at touchdown.

I’m strongly reminded of Paul Kelly’s great song, “Sydney from a 727”.

Now the red roofs are catching the first rays of the morning sun
My eyes are full of sand from my midnight run
And the captain says ‘Belt up now, we’ll be touching down in ten’
So I press my seat and I straighten up
I fold my tray and I stash my cup
As the red roofs are catching the first rays of the morning sun

The time of day is wrong, but otherwise, it’s perfect!