Dec 17, 2008

Virgin Nineteen EGLL to KSFO

This series of videos by Virgin Atlantic illustrates nicely the teamwork required in an airliner flight deck. So, fasten your seat belt while we prepare for departure:








Millz said...

FANTASTIC set of videos. Seeing that level of professionalism is impressive. No doubt that was the best content I have seen on youTube. :)

ShuttleGuy said...

I guess they're flying at a quiet time of day... The leisurely life of a long-haul pilot...aahh.

Now, for the short-haul shuttle pilot working five or six legs between Boston and New York and Philidelphia etc...

Do all that these "chaps" are doing but in an environment of constant ATC chatter and interruptions on the radio, bumper-to-bumper traffic on the airports and in the air, with associated ground holds and vectored holding patters, then throw in a little turbulence and bad weather, along with maybe a thunderstorm or snowstorm, and now you have a typical days work for REAL pilots.

(okay - joking a little - but honestly, these videos, as good as they are, do take place in an 'ideal' environment compared to where many of us work - just to say...)

Andy said...

Question from a non-pilot... in the first vid, does he say that they'll be climbing out at 276kias? Is that an exception for the 747?

This is really fun to watch. Now I know why I'm so busy when I fly a SID or STAR in a simulator-- I'm doing twice as much work!

gmc said...


I suspect he's making reference to a speed restriction that normally applies in the lower levels. In Canada and the US, it's 250 knots below 10,000 ft. But there are times when that won't apply, such as when you are too heavy to fly that slowly with the flaps up.

I don't know the rule in England but suspect this is behind that comment - just noting to his crew-members that they'll be exceeding it due to their weight.

Peter said...

There's a fourth video after the takeoff --

Lorelei Armstrong said...

And now we know what happened to Harry Potter-- he became a 747 pilot.

Aluwings said...

- Peter, Thanks - now added.

- Lorelei - Guess he got tired of broomsticks! Quidditch with 747s - that would be a blast.

Anonymous said...

WOW! Thanks for bringing these awesome videos to our attention. I watched'em all. Very enjoyable!

(Also, love your blog. It's a regular stop...)

Bob in Minnesota

Anonymous said...

I agree, FANTASTIC videos, I watched them two times. Not only Harry Potter has a new job but so does Dick Cheney!

Two questions: 1.) Why are they "heavy" after such a long trip?

2.) When are we going to see you and Paula in a similar take-off/landing video?

Aluwings said...

The designation "heavy" is used in the call sign of aircraft capable of takeoff weights over a certain value, regardless of how much it weighs at any given time during a flight. This gives ATC a constant reminder about the wake turbulence parameters that should be applied to aircraft surrounding the "heavy."

The cutoff weight is 300,000 lbs (136,000 KG) according to the ICAO standard, but I think the FAA now uses 255,000 lbs. (perhaps someone based in the USA can confirm/deny that?)

5400AirportRdSouth said...

Yup, pretty sure you're right, the new threshold for " heavy " in the US is 255,000. The exception being the 757, most of which are not " heavy " enough, but still vicious enough in Wake Turbulence that it gets Heavy-type separation standards applied to it.

If I remember correctly, the speed restriction of 250KIAS below 10,000 does not apply when an aircraft is on departure, that they prefer your best possible speed to get outta their hair? If this is accurate, does it apply overseas as well?

PS - Aluwings - Great blog, been reading for over a year now, I miss the day-in-the-life! ( I was pleasantly surprised near the end when I/one of my coworkers made a cameo appearance! )

steveg said...

Excellent Post

As a passenger only - albeit one who has always had a love of flying and wished he had had sense to get into it years ago, this was truly fascinating - Thank you for brining it to our attention.

I too have been following the blog for quite a while now - Good Work, keep it going

Many Thanks