PilotsEYE.tv: London City

January 13th 2020, 17:30 | Written by Konstantin Koll

A few days before Christmas, I received the latest DVD in the PilotsEYE.tv series, ZRH-LCY-ZRH, by mail. I was really looking forward to this latest episode, and waited for a rainy night to enjoy it with some chocolate waffles and a glass of my favorite juice.

One cockpit—Two pilots—Six cameras

Since almost eleven 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 latest installment of PilotsEYE.tv has five different parts: the outbound ZRH-LCY flight, a boat tour of LCY, and the inbound LCY-ZRH flight. The rotation is performed with an Airbus A220 aircraft, which I had the joy of flying on myself in early 2019. Both flights are interrupted by extensive tours of both the Bombardier and Pratt & Whitney factories at YMX (Montreal Mirabel Airport).

This episode's adventure begins at ZRH where Cpt. Peter Koch and F/O Tina Schwabe prepare today's flight LX 450 to LCY. A first glance at the cockpit reveals how truly modern the Airbus A220 really is: the “On-Board Airport Navigation System” debuted on the Airbus A320 and A330 families in 2014, and now found its way to their smaller cousin. Though the flight is just 77 minutes short, the crew sends weight and balance calculations for the return flight to LCY via satellite—the Swiss station in London can immediately decide which cargo needs to be rerouted to LHR to accomodate LCY's short runway and the imposed weight restrictions.

LCY was built in the London docklands during the 1980s and opened in 1987. After landing, the crew is invited by the airport's fire department to take a boat tour around the old docklands. The airport is currently renovated and expanded to accommodate up to 5 additional movements per hour.

After this short boat tour, the inbound flight LX 451 to ZRH is uneventful. The flight departs runway 09 and is routed via ESH (Brighton) and PAR into ZRH runway 14.

The real gems of this DVD, however, are the visits to both the Bombardier and Pratt & Whitney factories in Canada. Captain Koch visits Bombardier's assembly line, which is automated in a lot of places, and observes the automated wing mounting process. At Pratt & Whitney right next door, Cpt. Koch takes a tour of the two Boeing 747 engine testbeds: two B747 aircraft that have been heavily modified. If you're into technology, this one is definitely for you!

There's also some great wing footage on this DVD, and as a bonus Cpt. Koch briefly talks about the stunning flight display at the 2017 Lauberhorn ski race in Wengen, Switzerland.


I really like this PilotsEYE.tv episode: it's great to see the avionics improvements of such a modern aircraft, and LCY is an airport not a lot of folks have visited (including myself). I'm very much into technology, so the factory visits and the B747 tours were right to my liking! The same goes for the 2017 Lauberhorn footage. As usually, this episode features a very nice ambient and deep house soundtrack with—hold on—Big Ben! I've already borrowed the DVD to a friend, and she was very eager to watch it—I'm sure she'll find this episode as intriguing as I do.

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