PilotsEYE.tv: Miami

December 22nd 2016, 03:48 | Written by Konstantin Koll

Yesterday I got an early Christmas present: the latest PilotsEYE.tv DVD, ZRH-MIA-ZRH on a Swiss Airbus A330. I was naughty, and watched this new episode right away.

One cockpit—Two pilots—Six cameras

Since almost exactly ten 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 episode (18) marks the 10th anniversary, and is also the longest with 2:27 playtime.

As you may know, I wasn't too fond of the last episode (HRG with Air Berlin) as I've never been to Egypt before, and because I'm more of an Airbus and Lufthansa fanboy. I've been to MIA twice and really love that place, though, and I've also had some excellent experiences when flying Swiss.

The outbound flight LX64 ZRH-MIA was filmed on September 20th, 2015. The pilots are Cpt. Thomas Frick (Head of Operations at Swiss), and First Officer Jennifer Knecht. The movie starts with the route dispatching and crew briefing in ZRH, and a walkaround of the aircraft. The flight routing is the usual takeoff pattern with a left turn over ZRH before flying west over France and towards the Atlantic Ocean.

The ZRH-MIA leg is surprisingly interesting. During the flight, Cpt. Frick explains some details on oceanic navigation (the handoff from Shanwick Oceanic to New York Oceanic is on the DVD), and the ETOPS rules governing alternate airports. Incidentally, it's also F/O Knecht's birthday, so the crew has prepared a delicious-looking cake for her :) Things get a bit hectic near the Bahamas when a Delta flight right before LX64 has to deviate due to thunderstorm clouds, and the TCAS system alerts the crew on approach to MIA.

The crew has a two day layover in MIA. During their stay, the cockpit crew visits the Swiss flight school in VRB, and gets flown out there from TMB in a small twin-engine turbo prop plane. Both pilots have fond memories of their own time at the flight school, and Cpt. Fricks is welcomed aboard a training flight (so there are actually five flights featured on this DVD—talking about great value!). There's also lots of footage from the city itself, its turquoise waters and Art Deco buildings on Ocean Drive.

The inbound flight LX65 to ZRH departs MIA right in the middle of a thunderstorm. Lightning at night makes for some really great shots from the cockpit, as the Airbus A330 takes off from MIA and flies over Miami (just north of Brickell) and Miami Beach. The redeye to ZRH is rather uneventful, so Cpt. Fricks can find some time to show off Swiss' Lauberhorn 2015 video—a really great flight display from February 2015! The flight makes landfall near BES and continues south of Paris back to Switzerland.


As I've written above, I wasn't too impressed personally with the last episode although it was well done, but this one definitely make up for it in my view! It's a really great DVD that I've enjoyed very much personally. The music is awesome and very well selected, and the slow motion footage on takeoff and landings (something new for this episode) is something to stay. Watching this movie tonight tipped my decision in favor of a vacation in California in February—I'll begin preparations tomorrow with buying some US dollars and taking pictures for my new passport!

P.S.: Thomas, I stick with my request for a TAP Portugal LIS-FNC-LIS run :)

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