Review: JustPlanes Air Canada 777-200LR HD

JustPlanes has released their first High Definition DVD. Air Canada’s 777-200LR is covered in this DVD from Toronto to Vancouver and then a round trip from Vancouver to Sydney, Australia. This DVD is a little different for JustPlanes. It’s not because it’s in HD but because they cover parts of the trip in detail that are not usually covered on Cockpit DVD’s. I think you will enjoy this DVD so read on to find out what’s covered on this 4+ hour long DVD.


Toronto — Vancouver

Our first leg is the shortest leg but still nearly a five hour flight. The before flight briefing is covered in intricate detail. Virtual pilots and real pilots will like this section as it shows the amount of preparation that goes into a flight before the aircraft is boarded.

The pilots go through a thorough departure explanation and arrival showing the charts with explanations. Again, very good detail for virtual and pilots. It was very interesting to watch the pilot turn on the VNAV and LNAV buttons and follow the lines on the display manually. I did not know this was possible.

The approach and landing at Vancouver includes a rare go around. Listening to the radio it sounded like there was a bird strike or something to that effect ahead of them that caused the go around. Watch it. It is very amazing how busy the cockpit is during the go around phase.

Vancouver — Sydney

This is a long segment over the Pacific Ocean. The pilots go over the procedures and route taken with the twin engined 777 regarding the ETOPS limits on the 777-200LR.

The briefing for this leg covers the loading of fuel in detail. At cruise level there’s time for a nice five minute show and tell on the Electronic Flight Bag. Then, they run into some bad weather. The pilots show you the weather radar and what their course of action is and get into an explanation of weather phenomenon and what may have caused the Air France A330 crash over the Atlantic.

Sydney — Vancouver

The return leg to Vancouver is full of information and interesting facts from the pilots. I noticed that there’s only 141 passengers on this flight which is pretty light for a 777-200LR. The section starts in the cockpit when the pilots are going through the checklists. Note the weather radar when it comes into view. There’s a storm a’brewin’! It isn’t long before they start to taxi so we jump right into the action. The cameraman gives us a nice view of Sydney while climbing and you can see the bad weather moving in. Later, while at cruise level, the pilot goes over what happened during the departure as they had to reload FMC due to a runway change. There wasn’t time for the pilot to explain before take-off.

While enroute we get a tour of the passenger area by the service manager. They go over the safety requirements and the food being served. Unfortunately, it’s a long tour and starts to become more of an advertisement for Air Canada’s in-flight service. Luckily, we have fast forward on our remotes.

During the flight the pilot takes some time to discuss his history with the airline and goes over the differences between the 777-200 and -200LR. The 777-200LR is a peppy aircraft and will accelerate from 0 — 60 in less than 6 seconds which he notes is faster than most sports cars.

An interesting feature is demonstrated and that is the warning system when a pilot has not touched the controls or anything for a period of time as determined by the airline.  Good safety feature. Finally, the landing is played twice. Once in the standard view and then again viewing the pilot displays. This is a nice touch especially for virtual pilots who are looking to imitate real world 777 operations.


The preflight, departure, and arrival briefings on this DVD are the best I’ve seen. The pilots are very knowledgeable and are in good humour throughout. The cameraman watches the gauges at the appropriate times so you can follow along and take notes. What’s missing is the cockpit panel coverages that we’ve come to expect on every Justplanes DVD. JustPlanes ensures me that it is not something they are cutting out permanently. They wanted to provide more details of other areas of the flight for a change.

The HD widescreen version is a welcome feature and I hope that JustPlanes keeps this format. The panels are much clearer and for pilots, virtual or real world, this is great. Plus, this DVD is 4 hours full of interesting stuff for virtual and real pilots.

A preview of the DVD can be found here.

Publisher: JustPlanes

Price: $38.21 Can/USA, 28.14 Euros

Purchase it from Simmarket here.

Andrew Barter

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