We are all used of sitting in a big commercial airplanes flying over the oceans. But have you experienced flying over the Swiss Alps in a small sport airplane? It’s a completely different feeling sitting in a small, single-engine airplane and flying over the Swiss Alps. We feel like birds, are exposed to the winds and turbulences much more and are closer to the nature.
In this article we will take you for a scenic flight over the Swiss Alps and tell you more about this amazing experience. We show you pictures of the beautiful Swiss mountains from the air and tell you how we got the opportunity to have this absolutely amazing experience.
Scenic Flight over the Swiss Alps from Bern-Belp
It’s Friday afternoon and we meet our friend Thomas at the airport Bern-Belp. We know each other from the Maldives, where we have worked as scuba diving instructors and where he was a guest, diving with us. Thomas has told us then, that he has a pilot license and that he is flying small sport airplanes. At that time he also invited us to join him for a flight when we are back in Switzerland and close to Bern.
Now, after several years, it has worked out. We are really looking forward to the flight over the Swiss Alps and we are excited. The airplane is ready, the flight plan is fixed, Thomas has done all the necessary preparations and we are ready to go.
But first we have to go through the X-ray machine because Bern-Belp is an international airport. A handful of airlines are operating out of Bern-Belp and fly to different destinations in the surrounding European countries.
A few commercial airliners, small sport planes and helicopters are parked on the airport grounds. The Swiss Air-Rescue Rega operates a base and the Swiss Air Force regular transports the members of the Swiss Federal Council from Bern-Belp to their destinations. Our aircraft, a Piper PA-28-181 Archer 2, with four seats is refueled and ready.
Thomas is checking the outside appearance of the aircraft and then we take a seat in the tiny airplane.
It’s very hot inside the small cabin of the Piper. Before we can take off, Thomas has to go through the checklist and make sure all functions of the airplane are OK. He has to do adjust the instruments and then Thomas starts the engine.
We close the door and after a short warm-up of the engine we drive off towards the runway.
We are all excited and then, suddenly, everything goes very quick. Over the radio we get the OK from the Tower and start to roll onto the runway. Thomas accelerates and the airplane takes off. We quickly gain altitude. Below us flows the Aare and in front of us we can see Bern, the capital of Switzerland.
We turn left and fly towards the Bernese Oberland.
We fly around the striking Stockhorn and recognize the steep hiking trails.
Deeper and deeper we fly into the Swiss Alps and gain height. The mountains are getting rocky, the green areas are disappearing and the first snow and ice fields are in sight. In the meantime, we are over 3’000 meters high.
We recognize the beautiful Öschinensee above Kandersteg.
Next we fly over the revolving restaurant on the Schilthorn.
The Jungfraujoch “Top of Europe” is 3’471 meters high. We have been on top of Jungfraujoch before but out of the plane, it is a totally different perspective.
We marvel at the range of the four thousand meter high mountain peaks Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
It is incredibly impressive to fly so close to the famous Eiger North Face. At this altitude we see a lot of eternal ice, snow fields and glaciers around us.
Once more, we fly over an Alpine ridge.
We are now over the valley of Goms, looking down towards the valley of Valais.
The clouds are getting denser towards the east and it becomes increasingly difficult to find a way through the clouds. We have to turn around and slowly, we start to make our way back towards Berne.
We are flying over the mountain peak of Titlis at an altitude of 3’238 meters.
Then we see the mountain resort village of Melchsee-Frutt nestled in the beautiful Alpine scenery.
Now we rapidly lose altitude and it is getting warmer in our aircraft again. We fly over the beautiful landscape of the Emmental.
We are now almost back to where we took off. During our approach for landing, we still have time to admire the beautiful fields around Münsigen.
Then we can see the runway of Bern-Belp and Thomas brings us safely back to the ground.
After the landing we taxi past commercial airliners, park the aircraft and are happy to stand on solid ground again. What an experience!
The scenic flight from Bern-Belp over the Swiss Alps was an awesome experience we will never forget. We were amazed of the beautiful landscape of the Swiss Alps. A scenic flight is a great way to see the beauty of Switzerland and the inaccessible parts of the mountains. In a short time we have seen an awful lot of the Swiss Alps. Thomas was a brilliant pilot who told us a lot about the places we have seen. The orientation in the plane was really difficult and without the explanations of Thomas we would have been completely lost.
We would like to thank Thomas again for this absolutely amazing experience.
If you visit Switzerland, we can highly recommend you doing a scenic flight over the Swiss Alps. It’s a great way to see the beauty of the Swiss Alps and mountain landscape. There are many small airfields where you can start for sightseeing flights in Switzerland.
From Bern-Belp, Alp-Air offers sightseeing flights. On the website of Alpen-Rundflug.ch you can find offers for scenic flights starting from Belp, Birrfeld, Lommis and Zurich.
Have you experienced flying with a small sports airplane? Where was your favorite scenic flight? Let us know and write about your experience in the comments.