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Video - Berlin viewed by floatplane

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Flying over Berlin in a floatplane has become a tourist attraction, with over 1,500 choosing the unusual experience each year. Before taking-off, Frank, the pilot and Director of Air Service Berlin, carries out the usual pre-flight checks including fuel and oil level, without forgetting the characteristics of a float plane, which include the water rudders and anti-shock structure. Frank Hellberg, pilot and director of Air Service Berlin: "Because of the floats underneath, we can’t have the same shock absorbers as with landing gear. So we had to strengthen the cabin structure."

The passengers are supplied with life jackets, and it’s all go for 25 unforgettable minutes on board the Cessna 206. First, gently out over the water into the river Spree, and suddenly the amphibian craft is about to become a flying machine. The Cessna “planes” then leaves the water to climb to 2,000 feet (600 metres) altitude. At this height, the Brandenburg Gate and the remains of the wall look tiny, but Berlin from the sky has many more historical points of interest, such as the runways of the former Tempelhof Airport - symbol of the Cold War. Further away, the Teufelsberg, the former US Secret Service spy station. Below the wing, the Olympiastadion, which hosted the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, and the 2006 World Cup Final, then into view comes the Wannsee, probably the best known of the city’s 77 lakes.

Unfortunately it's already time to go back, with a final thrill: alighting gently on the water amid the tall buildings and boats. Helmut, tourist: " I'm really happy. Berlin from above is fantastic. I didn’t know there were so many sports fields, allotment gardens or monuments. You don’t see all that when you're on the bus. Great, really great, I recommend it to everyone. " The company is the only one authorized to fly over Berlin, and champagne is included in the 200 euro airfare.

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