Once again we are going to put away the simulator to take a look at two more DVDs from the Worldairroutes collection. So instead of using our throttles and yokes, all you will need is a DVD player and a remote. This review will be centered on the theme of Cargo operations.
There are many simmers who enjoy flying cargo aircraft and these DVDs will surely appeal to this crowd. Why cargo operations? Well, passenger operations have been seen and experienced by the vast majority. It is very uncommon to have a first hand look at the day to day operations of an all cargo airline.
Most may think the only difference is the type of load being carried, but cargo operations are different to passenger airlines in many ways, they are the backbone of world trade and are sometimes the only means available of transporting life sustaining goods to remote areas.
The first video is the Air Atlanta Icelandic 747-400 DVD. Here are some highlighted comments from the producers.
“Air Atlanta Icelandic is the largest ACMI service provider in the world operating a wide fleet of A300s and B747s for airlines across the globe.
2008 marks the 10th year of cooperation between Air Atlanta and World Air Routes. After featuring the L1011, B737, B767, B747-100 & B747-200 during flights on behalf of half a dozen airlines we bring you the B747-400 operating on behalf of Cargolux routing from Luxembourg to Asia.
During the flights you will be continuously informed by our 4 sets of crews. Pilots talk in detail about the operation of the 747-400 including a walkaround, flight preparations, cockpit preparations, departure & arrival briefings, cockpit presentations and much much more!”
The second video features Everts Air Cargo DC-6.
“ Our 150th World Air Routes DVD features the 15th US Airline in the series, Everts Air, and its fleet of DC-6s.
This program follows Everts Air Cargo DC6 flights to half a dozen destinations across Alaska with its amazing scenery. Pilots talk about the routes, Fligh Engineer presentations include fueling, instruments, you will also visit maintenance, operations, cargo and more...
The dvd also includes takeoffs and landings of the DC-6 at Anchorage Airport as well as some very impressive air to air filming over Alaska.”
We are now going to look a bit closer at Cargo operations to see some of the challenges that these companies face on a day to day basis as well as how crucial a service they provide. If you are the type that enjoys the world of “freighter dogs” then you may want to pay attention to some of these DVDs provided by Just Planes.
Air Atlanta Icelandic 747-400 DVD:
Air Atlanta Icelandic is a charter and cargo airline based in Kópavogur, Iceland. It specializes in leasing aircraft on an ACMI/wet lease basis to airlines worldwide needing extra passenger and cargo capacity. This DVD focuses on the operation of one of its 747-400 aircrafts as it operates cargo flight on behalf of Cargolux.
The DVD starts off with a preflight briefing by Capt Lewis and his Female First Officer ( its always great to see women pilots, especially when they fly large aircrafts ) During this brief you learn how to review flight plans and why weather forecast instead of actually weather is given on the flight plan.
Following the preflight briefing, Capt Lewis takes the viewers on a walk around of the aircraft inspecting all vital components to ensure they are in working order. The 11 hour flight to Singapore was flown by the first officer (Maria) who really showed her flying abilities and experience with the 747.
After the 11 hour flight to Singapore, the flight continues on to Kuala Lumpur, Baku and back to Luxembourg. Each long haul flight has a crew change and apart from their humor, each crew offers a very informative introduction to the different aircraft systems and flying techniques of the 747.
The lifestyle of Cargo pilots who fly long haul seem very hectic. Most of the flights on this DVD are “red eye” flights. So if you are thinking about flying for a cargo airline someday, you may want to have a look at this DVD to determine if this lifestyle is for you. Oh, before I forget, there are no flight attendants on these flights so be prepared to prepare your own meals and serve either your captain or first officer.
There is no doubt that this DVD will instill a great interest in the 747 and cargo operations. I have always preferred cargo flying verses passenger flying. If you are not a fan of cargo flying, this DVD and other cargo airline DVDs provided by Just Planes may surely bring about a change of heart for this aspect of aviation.
Everts Air Cargo DC-6:
The hauler operates scheduled and charter airline cargo within Alaska and Canada. Everts Air Cargo is also the sister company of Everts Air Fuel, that specializes in fuel transport throughout the state of Alaska and into Canada. Everts Air Cargo is the last airline in the USA to operate scheduled flights with a rather large fleet of 60 years old piston-powered aircraft.
The DC-6 aircraft within their fleet are said to be well suited for the harsh flying conditions in Alaska and with their currant supply of parts in their inventory, Everts Cargo will be able to operate their aircraft well into 2015!
The DVD starts off with a flight from Anchorage to Nome. On this flight, you get a glimpse of what it was like back in the 50’s to fly on a DC-6 as you see first hand all the procedures and flying techniques that have not changed since. In all you experience the DC-6 on 10 flight legs. Most, if not all, of the flying is VFR between 3000 and 10,000ft, this means you get to see the majestic mountains of Alaska and breathtaking dusk/dawn scenery. Unlike the pilots of Atlanta Icelandic, the pilots who fly for Everts are home every night after a day at ( as one engineer put it ) “the best office ever”.
There is also a segment which discusses the ground operations and sorting facilities at Everts Cargo. This is very informative since it gives you a behind the scenes look at the hard work that goes into cargo operations. Viewers may also find interesting the segment on aircraft maintenance which discusses some of the routine checks the DC-6 has to undergo to remain airborne.
Finally we have a look at Everts dispatch. This is described as Delta airlines in the 1950s since all flight planning is done by hand. Flight monitoring is done by computer which gives dispatchers all the information about aircrafts that are airborne including crew members onboard.
If you are a true aviation lover, this DVD is definitely for you! I don’t think you may ever get a chance to ride in a DC-6 and perhaps neither will I, but thanks to the Just Planes team we get a never before seen view of what the glory days of aviation were like when most of our parents and grand parents were born. This is a definite must have to your collection.
Summary / Closing Remarks
Now that this is my second review of these DVDs, it is quite clear to me that the team at Just Planes is very professional and thorough in their video documentation of cargo airliners and the daily operations of the companies themselves as in the case with Everts Air Cargo. We have all become familiar with passenger operations and quite frankly it can be very monotonous. Cargo operations offer new and exciting experiences each day and lets not forget the fact that there are no passengers to complain.
I think these DVDs are a great buy and it would be great to start a collection of some of your favorite aircraft, airlines or types of flight operations. Whether you are a real world pilot or flightsim enthusiast, these videos will be very informative and instructive in helping you to understand the lifestyle of airline pilots, operations of a cargo airline and real world airline procedures that may enhance your own simulator experience.
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