The very best way to experience the actual atmosphere and procedures of a cockpit is to actually be there. Unfortunately for most of us since Sep 11 2001, cockpit visits are now a thing of the past. However, an increasingly popular alternative to the intamacy of those visits is to watch cockpit videos. Many major Flight Sim companies now supply a large selection of in-flight videos and DVDs, ranging from the humble ATRs to the Concorde and I know many of them happen to be very well made. One of the latest DVD editions from JustFlight is the ITVV Leisure International Airways Boeing 767-300ER cockpit flight.

First, let me say that I chose this title because many Flightsimmers have developed a liking (or should I say “addiction” <g>)  towards the 767-300 since the release of the popular 767PIC from Wilco publishing. The film is 80 minutes long and flight takes you from London’s Gatwick airport to Orlando in Florida.

We start with a very informative introduction by Captain Dave Henry, director of flight operations in Leisure International, and the captain who will be flying today’s flight. We are given a little talk on the usage of the 767 with Leisure and where it flies to, before we head off and meet the captain again in the briefing room. Here he introduces us to Norman Port, First Officer and goes through the flightplanning, and discusses not only the flight plan but also how much fuel they will use, the no. of passengers/cargo and all of the takeoff data. A walk around of the aircraft follows, and then we are transported into the cockpit for pushback and engine start.

All the time captain Dave Henry is turning and explaining different things (when he can) and we see and hear close up of cockpit communications/checklists, and ATC communication. It is quite exhilarating to be up-close experiencing the procedures of the cockpit. The 767 taxis onto the runway at Gatwick upon ATC clearance and as soon as takeoff begins you are treated to a 3 camera view of the action – the main view is of the aircraft itself and the two others are 2 smaller boxes at the bottom of the screen, the first one showing what’s happening in the cockpit and the second is a look out the flightdeck window to the runway. It is fantastic to see the powerfull takeoff from these angles.

Enroute over the atlantic, a detailed description of the cockpit panel and overhead is given, before Captain Henry gives us a detailed insight into the procedures for flying over the atlantic. He explains the airways system and how pilots plan their flight for trans-oceanic crossings, calculating such items as ETPs or equal time points and checking the winds.

He also gives a detailed account of ETOPS procedures (Extended Twin Engine Operations), which deals with the usage of twin-engine aircraft over vast distances without nearby airports in case of emergency (Did you know that there is a max time of 180mins from a suitable airfield for twin-engine aircraft? This came about because the American airlines needed this in order to fly from the west coast of the US to Hawaii, which takes about 6 hours).

Soon after he discusses what pilots would do in an emergency over the water, such as an engine failure or cabin-depressurization. We are shown a booklet that the airline carries with it, detailing Nav aids, airports and instructions for any emergency which occurs over the atlantic. Last but not least, over the eastern coast of the United States, the TCAS function is explained and demonstrated (TCAS being the aircraft’s Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance system, i.e. traffic radar), which is now mandatory in the US.

A lot of information is provided from Dave, he is an excellent speaker and keeps your attention quite well. He really provides a relaxed, friendly environment in the cockpit. At about one and a half hours before landing, Dave goes through the arrival, approach and go-around procedure they expect in Orlando with Norman.

They expect 18R but approach offers them 18L, a visual approach. At 50ft above the ground the 3 camera view is activated again and we see a very smooth landing in all its glory. After taxiing to the gate, the engines are shutdown and Dave runs through the overhead panel with his fingers, switching this off and that on, initiating the parking procedure. The video is completed with a conclusion speech from Dave on the ground with Norman, with some fine weather in Orlando.

All in all, I was very impressed and I thoroughly enjoyed this cockpit flight. It gives you a huge, well-explained insight into the workings of the 767 and flying the atlantic. If you are a fan of the 767 aircraft, this DVD is truely not to be missed.

Many thanks to Justflight and Mungo Amyatt-Leir – www.justflight.com

Balair (Switzerland) Boeing 767 Airline Sticker picture
Balair (Switzerland) Boeing 767 Airline Sticker

Thomas Cook Airlines (UK) Boeing 767 Airline Sticker picture
Thomas Cook Airlines (UK) Boeing 767 Airline Sticker

Gemini Jets 1:200 DHL Boeing 767-300ER Reg: G-DHLE exclusive model for DHL  picture
Gemini Jets 1:200 DHL Boeing 767-300ER Reg: G-DHLE exclusive model for DHL

Gemini Jets Air Aruba / Aer Lingus Hybrid 767-300 Custom picture
Gemini Jets Air Aruba / Aer Lingus Hybrid 767-300 Custom

CityBird Airlines (Belgium) Boeing 767-300 Airline Sticker picture
CityBird Airlines (Belgium) Boeing 767-300 Airline Sticker

HERPA WINGS 1/500 LOT POLISH AIRLINES 767-200 - Herpa item number 504256 picture
HERPA WINGS 1/500 LOT POLISH AIRLINES 767-200 - Herpa item number 504256