PILOTSEYE–LUFTHANSA CARGO MD-11F
A review by Marlon Carter
Format : DVD/Blu-ray
SUBTITLES: ENGLISH • GERMAN • FRENCH • SPANISH • CHINESE
REGIONCODE: FREE / ALL AREAS
FORMAT: PAL (But will play on any PC with DVD/Blu-ray Player, at least)
Pilotseye is back for yet another thrilling journey with the release of their latest documentary that features the operations of Lufthansa Cargo and their MD-11. This program features flights from Frankfurt to Dakar, São Paulo, Manaus, Quito, Bogotá and Puerto Rico. This means that viewers will have the privilege of taking a journey to 6 airports in 10 days with the highlight being one of the last flights to the old Quito airport. Quito airport has always been well respected by pilots as one of the most dangerous airports in the world. After viewing this DVD, you will see why this airport is so special and why this program is definitely worth having. Here are some of the highlights.
Our first flight takes us from Frankfurt to Dakar. After viewing a few clips of the MD-11 being loaded, we are introduced to the Captain and First Officer who discuss various details about the long flight ahead. After all of the cockpit preparations have been made, the crew suddenly realizes that there is a fault with the Electrical Power Generator Systems (EPGS). Fortunately, the skilled technicians at Lufthansa were able to fix the problem with relative ease and this resulted in an on time departure to Dakar. While enroute to Dakar, the Captain discusses some very interesting facts about the MD-11 that will definitely capture your attention. For example, it was interesting to learn that the MD-11 is one of the only aircraft that can tilt backward if it is fueled before being loaded. To compliment this discussion on the MD-11, there was also a brief cockpit presentation, which you will find equally interesting.
After landing in Dakar at night, the crew heads over to the hotel for a nights rest before heading to Sao Paulo (Campinas). On the following day, the crew returns to the aircraft for final preparations before our departure. While enroute to Sao Paulo, our Senior First Officer discusses the dangers of flying into and out of Dakar since there is a high threat of bird strikes. The Captain follows up this discussion with a presentation on how the abnormal checklist is used in the event of an engine failure or fire. While on the topic abnormal conditions, viewers are also enlightened about the source of the aural warnings commonly heard in the MD-11 and other MD aircraft. This segment was a surprise and it was nice to see the face behind the voices. After an uneventful landing in Sao Paulo, the crew takes a day off to do some sight-seeing and is joined by a new Captain who will continue on the flights to follow.
During their walkaround inspection on the following day, it was noticed that there was evidence of a bird strike on one of the engine cowls which likely occurred during the takeoff from Dakar. Nonetheless, the damage didn’t seem to be detrimental to the aircrafts operation and soon thereafter we departed to Manaus.
While enroute to Manaus, we get to know more about our Senior First Officer as she opens up about how she got into flying and what her career goals are for the future. In addition to learning more about the crew, we also learn more about the MD-11.
While at Manaus, the Captain takes us for a very exclusive walkaround of the aircraft, which includes the Center Accessory Compartment and much more. An interesting detail of the MD-11 that many may not be aware of is that McDonnell Douglas did not have a license to product MD-11 Freighters. As an alternative, they produced the passenger version and thereafter blanked out the windows to convert the airframe into a cargo variant. This is why many MD-11Fs may have blanked passenger windows while having never flown passengers before. The MD-11 is a very unique aircraft and by the end of this presentation you will come to appreciate the hard work and ingenuity that went into building this aircraft.
Our trip from Manaus to Quito was by far one of the best highlights of this program. While enroute, the Captain discusses various features of Quito airport that make it a challenge for pilots and especially MD-11 pilots since the MD-11 itself had very unique performance and handling capabilities. After a beautiful approach and landing, the crew takes a day off to explore all that Quito has to offer. This tour was well documented and I am sure you will enjoy seeing what pilots do on their “day off”.
At this point, our journey quickly comes to an end with just two more stops to Bogota and Puerto Rico before heading back to Germany. To summarize this program, it was an epic documentary that is worthy of prime time TV. I was amazed at the meticulous manner in which this program was edited to include real time footage of the aircraft from numerous vantage points both inside and outside of the aircraft. As an added bonus, we were also able to footage of the air traffic controllers as they communicate with our aircraft. The stunning views from the cockpit also added to the overall quality of this program since it nicely showcased some of the most beauty flying moments I have seen to date.
While this program is not natively in the English language, there are subtitles in various languages so that all can benefit fully from the presentation. Some may see this as a burden, but quite honestly I had no problem keeping up with the comments made by each pilot. This program ranks number 1 on my list of all-time favorite MD-11/Cargo operations and for the price of Euro 29.90; I would highly recommend that you add this program to your collection.