AVSIM Commercial Aircraft Operations DVD Review

Lauda Air and Winair

Product Information

Publishers: Just Planes / World Air Routes

Description: Airline operations documentary .

Download Size:
NA

Format:
DVD
Simulation Type:
Real World
Reviewed by: Marlon Carter AVSIM Staff Reviewer - December 4, 2010

Introduction

Lauda Air is a leisure airline that was founded in 1979 by former Formula One world champion Niki Lauda. Initially, the airline began operating charter and air taxi services. Lauda air is now fully owned by Austrian Airlines Group serving the leisure markets to destinations in Africa and Europe. It operates a fleet of Boeing 737-800s. At the time of this DVD, Lauda air operated not only 737-800s but also 600 and 700 series on regular and charter flights.

The second DVD that will be examined is the Winair Twin otter operations out of St.Maarten. Windward Islands Airways, more commonly known as Winair, is a government-owned airline based in the Netherlands Antilles. Founded in 1961 by Georges Greaux, It has a fleet of De Havilland DHC-6 Twin otters that provided airlift out of many northern and southern Caribbean islands. One of its most famous destinations is the island of Saba which is well know as being one of the shortest commercial runway in the world. Other interesting destinations include the island of St.Barts which is none for its tricky and dangerous approaches.

Just Planes has always delivered top quality DVDs that allow aviation enthusiast the opportunity to see the day to day operations of airlines and their flight crew. Let’s have a closer look at some of the highlights of these DVDs.

Highlights

Lauda Air

This DVD is quite amazing. This is the first time I have ever seen the operations of an airline that uses the 737NGs and it was quite a treat to see just how far the 737 has come in terms of technology.

The DVD starts off with a ground briefing from the crew who are about to embark on their first leg from Vienna to Santorini Greece. The Captain and First officer did a fantastic job at explaining in detail each step of their preparations both on the ground and in the cockpit. After the first flight, the Captain takes us on a detailed walk around of the aircraft pointing out critical areas that are often checked to ensure the aircraft will operate without any problems.

One of the highlights on this DVD for me was the opportunity to see the operations of the 737-600 which is not quite common. Another interesting flight is the OS773 flight from Vienna to Belgrade with thunderstorms nearly all the way. The crew does a great job at navigating through the storms and what’s amazing is that despite the poor weather the Capt puts down a pretty descent landing.

This DVD will definitely appeal to the 737NG lovers out there and one of the great features of this DVD is that it comes in two languages, English and German.

Here is a preview video provided by JustPlanes

Winair

The Winair DVD perhaps needs no introduction. Anyone who is a true aviation enthusiast is well aware of this little airline and this proves true in that this DVD has been sold out for quite sometime. The Winair DVD starts off with an introduction from the director of the company who provides some background on the airline and outlines its current (at that time) operations.

This DVD has recordings of many flight sectors. The first takes us from St.Maarten to St.Barth with Capt Hodge who is well known at Winair. The landings into St.Barth are nothing short of breathtaking and I literally mean BREATHTAKING. Many who have flown on this flight describe it was a rush as you dive over a hill skimming over cars and people down to the runway. This not only displays the skill of these pilots but it also shows how remarkable the Twin Otter really is. Winair is the first airline to ever cycle out a Twin Otter and after watching this DVD you will see why!

The segment of this video which undoubtedly is the most captivating is the takeoffs and landings at Saba airport. The runway is only 1300ft long and on either end is a drop straight into the ocean. A friend of mine who flies for Winair describes the flying at Winair was the most fun he has had in his life. This fact shines through in this DVD as you can really see that the pilots enjoy what they do.

Other portions of this DVD that are of interest is the footage that highlights the Twin Otter in action at St.Barth and St.Maarten. Also you will find a detailed cockpit presentation of the Twin Otter along with breathtaking clips from the island of St.Maarten and Princess Juliana from the famous Maho Beach which is directly under the final approach path.

As I mentioned before this DVD was sold out for quite sometime (a few years if I am correct) and I don’t think I need to say that this is definitely a collectors item and a must have for aviation enthusiasts. Since this DVD was released, Winair has changed their livery and has added more interesting destinations; it would be great if the team at Just Planes would revisit this airline for an updated DVD presentation of its operation today.

Here is a preview video provided by JustPlanes.

Summary / Closing Remarks

To anyone who loves the 737, the Lauda Air DVD will not disappoint you. It shows the 737 in all its glory and the crew does a fantastic job at explaining in detail the day to day operations of the 737NG series. As for the Winair DVD, I’m thankful to the team at Just Planes who did a DVD presentation on this airline. I live in the Caribbean and I have always heard of the fun flying over at Winair but finally for those of us who cannot experience it in person, we can now enjoy the sun and fun of Caribbean flying from our living rooms.

In conclusion, I would like to say that the $30.00 that you will pay for these DVD’s really translates to buying a priceless experience, it is definitely worth every penny!

 

What I Like About These DVDs

  • Exciting and instructive video documentary
  • Very thorough and informative presentations of the aircraft systems and flying procedures
  • Stunning scenery from the cockpit both in Austria and the Caribbean
  • The thrill of flying in and out of the Caribbean’s challenging airports was surely a highlight
  • Superb display of flying skills from the crew of Lauda air and Winair

 

What I Don't Like About These DVDs

  • I couldn’t honestly think of anything I didn’t like about the product. My only suggestion would be for these videos to come in HD format but the quality is great nonetheless.

 

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Laudair / Winair

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