I’ve just read a book on how to fly the Airbus A380, it’s a detailed account from take-off to landing by captain Gib Vogel, an A380 pilot. It tracks a flight from London the Dubai, giving all the cockpit and flight details. I love flying and although I’ve not yet had the privilege of flying in one of these super beasts this book gave me a fascinating look at the skill needed to fly this plane. In fact, when I finished it I felt sure I could fly one myself!

This plane is going to crash!

I can just imagine, it’ll be my first trip on the A380, we’ll be heading to Dubai and suddenly the cabin crew begin panicking and running up and down the aisles as the plane begins to go into a steep decent.

We’re over Turkey now and I know that we will soon be contacting Dubai control for our landing instructions. It appears the captain and the co-pilot have both come down with some strange sleeping sickness and they need someone to step into the cockpit and take over.

I know how to do this

First of all, I’d deploy the speed brakes to increase the rate of descent. This would make a slight rumble caused by the airflow buffeting over the wings. As the plane approaches the level previously cleared by Control Tower of FL150 (Flight Level) I’d be cleared to 7,000 ft. for further descent. I’d do this by winding the altitude knob to 7,000 ft. After more conversation with Dubai control tower and checking radar and weather I would check to PFD (Primary Flight Display) that we have the correct descent profile.

The auto pilot will be flying after giving me the pseudo-ILS (Instrument Landing System) down to the runway compared to the conventional ILS display then I can see any deviations from the flight path.

I call ‘Flaps two’, and we drop our speed to 164 kt (knots) I call for the landing gear to drop then call ‘Flaps Three'. The landing checklist is checked on the EWD (Engine/Warning Display) so I can see the landing gear is down and the flaps are in the correct position.

I can also see that the cabin crew have finished their own checklist and the passengers are all ready for the landing.

A smooth landing

I take over the auto pilot to do a manual landing. The auto pilot flashes a red light and an aural warning sound to indicate it’s been disconnected. There will be no crosswind, I’ve already checked this as with a few feet off the runway if there was a sudden wind gust it could cause a go-around, but this time it’s all smooth and I guide the A380 down onto the tarmac with barely a bump.

I’m so clever! Taxiing to the gate I disconnect the Auto Braking system and I do the Shut-Down checks. I check myself in the mirror to see if my lipstick is looking good then I step into the cabin to applause and adulation of 850 relieved passengers.

So, as we plummet to oblivion I shall press my call button to summon the stewardess. ‘I can fly this plane!’ I shout above the screams of the passengers. What’s the bet she won’t believe me?