I was eager to get my hands on the latest PilotsEYE.tv DVD, LEJ-BGY-HKG-LEJ on an AeroLogic B777F, as I was on a FedEx CGN-MEM-CGN rotation myself in early 2012. It's time to finally give the boxhaulers some love!
One cockpit—Two pilots—Six cameras
Since almost eight years, PilotsEYE.tv creates high-quality documentaries directly out of the cockpit of airliners—in HD quality using six cameras mounted behind the cockpit windows and on the glareshield. To date, PilotsEYE.tv is well-known for accuracy and high quality productions.
This DVD is the first PilotsEYE.tv documentary of a freighter run, a triangle flight from LEJ via BGY to HKG, then directly back to AeroLogic's base LEJ. Captain on this rotation is Joe Moser, LTU's former chief pilot who is already featured in two other episodes.
The outbound flight to HKG via BGY leaves LEJ on June 17th, 2012. It's a wonderful day for flying, although a typhoon warning is issued for the final destination Hong Kong. You get some great footage of loading the Boeing 777F in LEJ. Flight S3 512 arrives BGY on time to load and onload some containers. BGY is definately a destination for low cost carriers, as lots of Ryanair birds indicate. Heck, don't they even call BGY Milan-Bergamo?
After some hassle with the forward cargo door, the flight takes off from runway 10 and continues onward to HKG just on time to avoid a missed slot. Today's routing is GRZ, Romania, Russia, GYD, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakisthan, DEL, DAC, KMG and CAN, with 75 metric tonnes of freight. The DVD has some great landscape footage, although it's almost a redeye flight. Fortunately, the typhoon at HKG is a mere tropical depression with some rain, so the flight touches down safely in HKG.
Hong Kong is one of my favorite places (although I've never managed to get there), so I really liked to see some places during the crew's layover: the famous trolleys, a visit to Victoria Peak, Kowloon and the “Symphony of Lights” show. It's also amazing to see the former Kai Tak airport as a big wasteland—I really think the area should be reclaimed and fully developed, as Hong Kong has a real estate shortage.
The inbound flight 3S 519 to LEJ departs HKG runway 25L with a rolling takeoff. During the redeye flight, 2nd officer Wojciech Blenski explains many of the B777's controls, most of which you get as bonus footage on the DVD (along with some really great shots of Hong Kong's former Kai Tak airport, commented by Cpt. Joe Moser). Another unique feature is some footage from a camera mounted to the nose gear, especially on takeoff in HKG—hopefully we get to see this more often in future episodes!
This is a really great DVD, giving you some insight into the boxhauling business. In addition, I'm in love with Hong Kong, and very fond of the Kai Tak bonus footage. You should really go out and buy this episode, either for yourself or as a gift to the aviation enthusiast among your friends!