by Charles Gulick
The Main Frankfurter
Chart: Southern West Germany
En Route Coordinates:
Aircraft: N17794, E15986
Tower: NI7800.156, E15986.986
Talk about big airports. This is Europe's biggest and busiest, situated a short distance southwest of the city of Frankfurt Am Main ("am Main" signifying that it's on the Main River).
A bevy of runways
Since the Emperor Charlemagne held a historic synod (council of churches and church officials) here in 794, Frankfurt has been a bastion of liberalism and culture. It is one of Germany's major transportation hubs as well as a primary in-land port.
One of the greatest German writers and thinkers, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), was born in Frankfurt. Best known for his famous work Faust, Goethe during his 83 years of life was, besides a great author, a lawyer, botanist, zoologist, politician, physicist, painter, and more.
The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), though not born in Frankfurt, spent the later years of his life here.
Every fall a Book Fair is held in the city, attended by publishers from all over the world. And this is fitting, since Johann Gutenberg, the inventor of printing using movable type fonts, established a print shop here in 1454. The famous Gutenberg Bible--the first Bible printed with movable type--was given to the world about a year later.
Your heading has you pointed for the skyline buildings of Frankfurt, at low altitude. The Main airport tower controllers don't appreciate what you're doing. After you've crossed the field, yaw a bit to your left so as to pass just to the right of that big Fernmeldeturm TV tower. The city itself will be off to your right, but we'll have a closer look at it in the next scenarios.
After you fly by the tower, turn right to a southerly heading, aiming toward the first building that shows up ahead of you. Lose a little altitude, getting down to about 450 feet. Fly toward the building, planning to veer to the left of it at the last minute. But when you're close to it, pause a moment and admire the classic lines of the Frankfurt Cathedral (Dom). Twenty-three Holy Roman emperors and kings were elected here.
Flying beyond the cathedral, turn right to a heading of about 230 degrees and climb to 1500 feet. On the way up you should be able to spot Main Airport again, more or less straight ahead of you. When you do, plan to land on the shortest strip, Runway 18, at the far end of the field. The best approach from here is to get on a long left base while you are still a distance out. That means a heading of you-figure-it-out. Elevation is 371 feet.