As a longtime fan of aviation imagery, I’ve always liked airplane videos, especially cockpit videos as they amuse me the most. This time it will a video review for a change. We will join the crew of a Norwegian Air Shuttle B737 in some short trips around Scandinavia and a longer one to Berlin.
Norwegian Air Shuttle is a low-cost carrier that was created in 1993 flying Fokker 50’s all over Norway. The airline has had a significant increase since 2002 when it decided to switch from a regional airline with Fokker 50’s to its current operating model with 737’s. Their fleet currently spans to 53 Boeing 737’s with quite large orders at Boeing: 49 with a purchase option for another 26 aircraft and they even have 6 options for B787 aircraft that are planned to fly to New York and Bangkok. Enough talk, let’s get to it.
On the first clip we will start at Oslo, Norway, with the crew that will take the aircraft to Bergen, back to Oslo and then to Stavanger. The video shows how a pre-flight briefing is done with both pilots and the whole cabin crew reviewing the weather and other relevant data at their destination and alternate airports at the airline Ops room.
We then move on to the aircraft and become a part of the crew as the captain briefs us on the departure, the engine failure procedures and the rejected takeoff/evacuation procedures. We are then introduced to the Electronic Flight Bag system used at Norwegian, a sort of tablet PC in which the crew makes all the necessary performance calculations like weight and balance, takeoff speeds, takeoff thrust and the sort. A truly amazing tool they have there! We will be landing on runway 17 at Bergen Flesland’s after a rather rainy and bumpy approach. Nevertheless, the captain pulls a superb landing despite the conditions.
For the third clip, from Bergen back to Oslo, we join the captain on the walk-around and he goes on to tell us (while pulling a joke or a smile in between) a couple of things he looks for in the external check, like engine damage. Now it’s the first officer who will fly the jet, so he proceeds to brief the different procedures. Pay attention to the taxi for departure section as there are some really funny bits.
In the cruise, the captain will show us a nifty feature on this modern airliner as he fiddles around with the FMS, much for our delight! Then he pulls out their (apparently new) gizmo, the EFB, one more time to brief us the initial and final approach; very interesting indeed as we get to see the charts and he briefs us in a very comprehensive way. Finally, we witness a thrilling landing in marginal weather into Oslo with rain showers, low visibility and low ceiling.
On the fourth video we have a very wet takeoff at Oslo with a pretty big rain shower on the runway, destination Stavanger Sola. We also get some very nice shots in the cruise and descent. The one bit I don’t like about this video is the final approach at Stavanger; it was so bumpy the editor decided to use ¾ slow motion for that sequence and the result is not so easy on the eye as it looks a bit choppy and sort of “forced”.
In the fifth video we are at Oslo again but this time the captain explains a bit of how the engine works. Then we move up to the flight deck where the first officer has finished her tasks and the aircraft is ready for pushback and engine start. We will takeoff from runway 19L at Oslo Gardermoen destination Berlin Schonefeld.
Settled on the cruise the captain of this flight explains different things about the operation of the airplane; he starts with a little EFIS demonstration, showing its capabilities and functions and then he compares how checklists and basic procedures are performed in an airliner against how they teach pilots to do them at flight schools and the reasoning behind the differences. After that, we will enjoy a beautiful night landing at Berlin.
Finally we join the crew for a flight from Oslo to Tromso. As in the videos before, departure briefing and engine start are shown. We takeoff from Oslo in a sunny afternoon and in the cruise the pilots explain to us some of the landing considerations regarding performance as flaps selection, wind shear encounters, engine thrust and some more. We are briefed for the descent and get to see quite a landscape as we land at Tromso.
Summary / Closing Remarks
This DVD is nicely shot and edited showing very interesting and different things about day to day commercial aviation. The scenes showcase rarely seen items in the cockpit, like the information on the different displays and in this case, the little gizmo at Norwegian: the EFB.
People interested in airline operations will truly appreciate this documentary for its myriad of information that is accompanied with gorgeous imagery, and more important, the friendly Norwegian Air Shuttle will teach you lots of things. And I do mean lots!