By now, most of us reading AVSIM reviews should be fairly familiar with Just Planes and their aviation documentaries. While some of us may have only recently become aware of their DVDs, some of you out there might have been a faithful customer since the very beginning which goes back 20 years!Just Planes or “Flight in the Cockpit” as it was then known, began its journey f aviation video documentary back in 1991 and since then, as of 2011, they have remarkably documented flights to over 800 destinations in 160 countries! Their total number of flights filmed is now fast approaching the 5000 mark with no sign of stopping. Over the past 20 years, video titles have been released on VHS and now in DVD format.
Our last leg of this DVD takes us from Sydney to Vancouver. This time we start off in the aircraft as the Capt and F.O do their preflight checks and have a chat with dispatch about their fuel planning. During the take off and cruise, viewers have the opportunity to see the F.O battle with a slight wind sheer and navigate his way through a few thunderstorms in the area. The crew also takes the opportunity to point out more features of the 777, in particular, they allow viewers (perhaps for the first time on video) to see how the pilot response systems works which prevents crews from falling asleep during the flight. They also take the opportunity to explain the difference between the 777-200ER and LR versions which I found to be very insightful. Let’s not forget the cabin crew, throughout the last leg of this flight the cabin crew is featured as they perform all of their duties. Some even tell the viewers how they became a flight attendant and how much fun they are having at Air Canada.
What I Like About This DVD
What I Don’t Like About This DVD
Sorry I couldn’t think of anything not to like….
Reviewed by AVSIM
JustPlanes has released their first High Definition DVD. Air Canada’s 777-200LR is covered in this DVD from Toronto to Vancouver and then a round trip from Vancouver to Sydney, Australia. This DVD is a little different for JustPlanes. It’s not because it’s in HD but because they cover parts of the trip in detail that are not usually covered on Cockpit DVD’s. I think you will enjoy this DVD so read on to find out what’s covered on this 4+ hour long DVD
Toronto – Vancouver
Our first leg is the shortest leg but still nearly a five hour flight. The before flight briefing is covered in intricate detail. Virtual pilots and real pilots will like this section as it shows the amount of preparation that goes into a flight before the aircraft is boarded.
The pilots go through a thorough departure explanation and arrival showing the charts with explanations. Again, very good detail for virtual and pilots. It was very interesting to watch the pilot turn on the VNAV and LNAV buttons and follow the lines on the display manually. I did not know this was possible.
The approach and landing at Vancouver includes a rare go around. Listening to the radio it sounded like there was a bird strike or something to that effect ahead of them that caused the go around. Watch it. It is very amazing how busy the cockpit is during the go around phase.
Vancouver – Sydney
This is a long segment over the Pacific Ocean. The pilots go over the procedures and route taken with the twin engined 777 regarding the ETOPS limits on the 777-200LR.
The briefing for this leg covers the loading of fuel in detail. At cruise level there’s time for a nice five minute show and tell on the Electronic Flight Bag. Then, they run into some bad weather. The pilots show you the weather radar and what their course of action is and get into an explanation of weather phenomenon and what may have caused the Air France A330 crash over the Atlantic.
Sydney – Vancouver
The return leg to Vancouver is full of information and interesting facts from the pilots. I noticed that there’s only 141 passengers on this flight which is pretty light for a 777-200LR. The section starts in the cockpit when the pilots are going through the checklists. Note the weather radar when it comes into view. There’s a storm a’brewin’! It isn’t long before they start to taxi so we jump right into the action. The cameraman gives us a nice view of Sydney while climbing and you can see the bad weather moving in. Later, while at cruise level, the pilot goes over what happened during the departure as they had to reload FMC due to a runway change. There wasn’t time for the pilot to explain before take-off.
While enroute we get a tour of the passenger area by the service manager. They go over the safety requirements and the food being served. Unfortunately, it’s a long tour and starts to become more of an advertisement for Air Canada’s in-flight service. Luckily, we have fast forward on our remotes.
During the flight the pilot takes some time to discuss his history with the airline and goes over the differences between the 777-200 and -200LR. The 777-200LR is a peppy aircraft and will accelerate from 0 – 60 in less than 6 seconds which he notes is faster than most sports cars.
An interesting feature is demonstrated and that is the warning system when a pilot has not touched the controls or anything for a period of time as determined by the airline. Good safety feature. Finally, the landing is played twice. Once in the standard view and then again viewing the pilot displays. This is a nice touch especially for virtual pilots who are looking to imitate real world 777 operations.
The preflight, departure, and arrival briefings on this DVD are the best I’ve seen. The pilots are very knowledgeable and are in good humour throughout. The cameraman watches the gauges at the appropriate times so you can follow along and take notes. What’s missing is the cockpit panel coverages that we’ve come to expect on every Justplanes DVD. JustPlanes ensures me that it is not something they are cutting out permanently. They wanted to provide more details of other areas of the flight for a change. The HD widescreen version is a welcome feature and I hope that JustPlanes keeps this format. The panels are much clearer and for pilots, virtual or real world, this is great. Plus, this DVD is 4 hours full of interesting stuff for virtual and real pilots.
Reviewed by SIMFLIGHT