Some of you may be familiar with PilotsEYE while others may be hearing about them for the first time. In a nutshell, PilotsEYE is a new and refreshing DVD/Blu-Ray Documentary that captures the thrill and excitement of flying through the perspective of the Captain and First Officer. This is a very different approach to what we may be use to from other producers, but I can safely say that this is perhaps the best series of DVDs you will come across. I had the opportunity to interview Thomas Aigner who is the mastermind behind these series of DVDs.
Question: - What motivated you to begin filming these DVDs?
Thomas: -“First of all, to capture the fascination of flying in a "unique" way.In HD (we started in 2005, with the very first small HD Cams), with 6 cameras in the cockpit, which gives us the chance, to capture every detail as it happens. You all know, you don't get a second chance. Secondly, to learn more about these men and women, we all put our lives in their hands. How they perform as pilots, who they are in normal life. And thirdly, to set a new standard in Flightdeck Videos, as there were colleagues from World Airroutes. They do a great job, by the way.”
Question: - What’ exactly involved in filming these flights? Is it a lot of work?
Thomas: -”Decide for yourself: Video editing approx 20-30 days, audio edit and mixing 10-15 days, subtitles, artwork, authoring DVD and BD about 2 months.”
Question: - What would you say it the most challenging aspect of producing a DVD?
Thomas: -“To hit the date, you planned for release. (What we haven't met since now)”
Question: - Can we expect to see any DVDs/Blu-Rays that feature other popular airlines in Europe and the UK?
Thomas: -“Sure, but "let's not count our chickens until they're hatched... "
Let’s have a look at three DVDs to see why they have set a new standard in aviation documentary videos.
Lufthansa 747-400 – Los Angeles
This DVD follows Capt Norbert Wölfle and his crew on a roundtrip flight to Los Angeles which is also Capt Wölfle’s last flight of his aviation career. Cameras in the cockpit follow the crew as they carry out all of their preparations and procedures during each phase of flight.
During the first leg of our flight I couldn’t help but be in awe at how scenic the view from the cockpit can be from a pilot’s perspective while flying at over 30,000ft. The landing in Los Angeles was very smooth and after a short taxi to the gate we join the crew as Capt Wölfle takes us to some of his favorite spots such as Getty Museum, lunch at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica and sunset on Mount Hollywood, in the Griffith Observatory.
On the final leg of our flight back to Frankfurt, Capt Wölfle talks about his career and his plans for after retirement. He also discusses a lot of challenges of being a pilot and the disadvantages that comes with being away from home for a long period of time.
Soon enough, after leaving the warm sunshine of Los Angeles, it was now time for Capt Wölfle to perform his very last landing at Frankfurt in some not so favorable cold weather. After landing, Capt Wölfle was applauded by his crew and ground staff as he exited the 747 for the very last time.
This DVD is very touching and a fantastic journey into the lives of Lufthansa pilots. Highly Recommended 10/10
Swiss A340- Shanghai
If you have ever seen the Worldairroutes Swiss MD-11 DVD, you might remember a very friendly Captain named Thomas Frick. In this DVD, Capt Frick is now a captain onboard the A340 and we join him and his crew on an amazing and eventful journey to Shanghai.
After a brief introductory video featuring the A340, we join the crew in the cockpit as they prepare for their departure. After departing, all things seem to go smoothly until the Capt relates what happened a few months earlier as PilotsEYE made its first attempt to film the very same flight.
Some months earlier PilotsEYE captured a very rare clip of the pilots having to shut down an engine which was showing very high oil temperatures, forcing it to return to Zurich. During this emergency it was impressive to see how well composed and professional the flight crew acted.
Other highlights from this flight included some very humorous portions where someone over the radio flirts with Capt Frick’s female First Officer Manuela Durussel. Capt Frick also relates a humorous incident which was due to a language barrier that I think many of you will find very funny.
The final highlight before the return flight is a spectacular tour of Shanghai that I think everyone will enjoy and it may even stir your desire to visit this intriguing country in the future.
Overall this is a fantastic DVD and it is a definite must have from the PilotEYE collection.
Condor A320 – La Palma
Starting off at Munich airport at 5am we join the crew as they prepare for their departure to La Palma. As with the previous DVD, the viewers are able to have a “bird’s eye” view of everything that takes place in the cockpit. By far the best part of this DVD comes with the amazing and very scenic approach into La Palma.
After landing the aircraft is escorted to the ramp with a helicopter which also provides the viewers with an amazing view of the aircraft as it taxis to the gate. After the engines are off, First Officer Patricia Gross hops onboard the helicopter which she takes us on a tour of La Palma which was breathtaking both from the air and the tour of the city and San Antonio Volcano on foot.
The return flight to Munich was more or less uneventful but perhaps the feature I enjoyed the most throughout this DVD is that in addition to the normal audio, you are also able to hear comments from the First Officer as she gives her perspective on certain segments after she herself views the video.
All in all, this is an amazing DVD and one I would definitely recommend. The editing is superb as it feels like you are looking at a movie or a TV styled documentary. This is a must have for those of you who like the A320 and are interesting in having the pilots perspective while flying into La Palma. 10/10
| Publisher: PilotsEYE |
Reviewed By: Marlon Carter
While these DVD’s are in foreign languages, subtitles are provided in English, German and French. It may seem inconvenient having to read subtitles in order to understand what’s going on but it really isn’t as inconvenient as it may seem.
I thought that the editing of these videos was second to none and what made it even more impressive, was the fact that there were camera views from the ground for takeoff and landings. Cameras were also present in the control tower which captured the Air Traffic Controllers as they communicated with the aircraft.
The prices of these DVDs are 29.90 Euros and for what you are getting, I would say it is a very fair price. The overall presentation of these DVDs give you the impression that a major filming company spend months filming and editing to create what I think is the most unique and innovation aviation documentary to date.
If you have never seen an aviation documentary before, I would definitely recommend PilotsEYE.What I Like About the DVDs
- Stunning and Creative editing
- Features very unique destinations and aircrafts
- HD format.
- Numerous Cameras give a thrilling and unique perspective to the viewers of what goes on in the cockpit
What I Don't Like About the DVDs