Commercial Video Review

Just Planes Turkish Airlines

Publisher/Developer: Just Planes
Description: Turkish Airlines 777-30ER flight Istanbul versus Narita
Software Source / Size: DVD / Blu-ray
Flight Simulator: N.A.
Reviewed by: Angelique van Campen
Published: September 4th, 2012

Computer / Software Specifications
Computer System: - iMac 27" 3.4Ghz Mid 2011
- Intel i7 3.4/3.8Ghz / 3.8Ghz during Boost Mode
- ATI/AMD Radeon HD6970 2GB
- 256Gb Intel SSD and 2Tb 7200RPM HDD
- Saitek Pro Flight System
Software: - Windows 7 x64 Ultimate (BootCamp) / Mac OS X 10.8
- Flight Simulator X Acceleration
- X-Plane 10
- PrePar3D


This Just Planes review covers a Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 flight from Istanbul, Turkey (IST) to Tokyo Narita, Japan (NRT).

This Just Planes Blu-ray/DVD review gives you a “behind the scenes” look. It covers all aspects of a flight, such as a visit at the Flight Operations Center, flight deck activities, cabin visit and a walk-around check of the aircraft. But what can you actually expect?

DVD/Blu-ray – Turkish Airlines 777-300ER
This Blu-ray offers an outbound and inbound flight from Istanbul, Turkey's, Ataturk International Airport, Turkey(IST) to and from Tokyo, Japan's Narita International Airport(NRT). On behalf of himself and his crew, Captain Turgut welcomes you on-board his Boeing 777-300ER (Extended Range), registration TC-JJP, for the outbound flight. For the inbound flight, Turkish registration 777 TC-JJI is used. Due to the length of the flights, I can tell already that you’ll see many aspects of what happens in and around the flight deck of a Boeing 777-300ER.

With this knowledge, let’s see what Just Planes has to say about this Turkish B777 adventure.

According to Just Planes, “In 1996 we first filmed Turkish Airlines on an A340 to New York JFK. Now 16 years later we return to Istanbul to find a different company! Now one of the fastest growing airlines in the world with a modern fleet of nearly 200 airplanes service close to 200 destinations and winning all sorts of awards including the Best Airline in Europe!

This program features the airlines' largest aircraft operating in it's nonstop service from Istanbul to Narita. You will find fantastic pilots who present their aircraft, the route and operation in extreme details. You'll see how our crew gets their 777 on the ground in Narita when many diverted to other airports due to extreme winds and windshear. Our cabin crew is also eager to demonstrate what goes on with their service during the flight. Enjoy this great airline & program!”

Some features of these flights are:
• Cockpit filming using 4 cameras for multiple views on takeoff & landing!
• Crew flight preparation at Flight Operations as well as in cockpit
• Cockpit Set-up, briefings, checklists
• Detailed Cockpit Presentations including Systems & Instruments
• Go-around at Narita due to windshear & landing in very heavy winds
• Scenery Eastbound over China, Westbound over Siberia
• Detailed Presentation of the inflight service, meals and more...
• Turkish Airlines Fleet.

And yes, there’s much more to tell about this Turkish Airlines 777-300ER flight. Therefore, visit the dedicated Just Planes Turkish Airlines 777-300ER web page.

And now it’s up to me to find out if this movie offers a balanced information of flight operations info, flight deck info, and route info as well as external scenery views and, always interesting, the walk-around check.

Outbound flight Turkish Airlines 777-300ER (IST-NRT)

At the movie start up, you can see what you can expect on your flight to Narita, Japan. This means that you can expect movie sections including:
- Some information related to the Ataturk International Airport,
- Flight preparations,
- Istanbul departure,
- Turkish inflight services,
- Tokyo Arrival.

So, let's surprise ourselves as to what this really means …

It all starts with the arrival of a Turkish Airlines A320 Family member at Ataturk International Airport, Istanbul. It gives the viewer a nice picture of how the international airport looks and if you didn’t know this before, it’s big! And when I say big, I mean BIG and modern too. During this introduction, many airliners can be spotted, but at this time of day, what you see are mostly Turkish Airlines aircraft.

Since you’re going to watch a Boeing 777 flight, you can expect a large crew. That’s typical for these large aircraft. It carries so many passengers, that for the different classes, that a dedicated cabin crew is needed. By the way, the Turkish Airlines 777-300ER offers 28 business, 63 Comfort and 253 Economy seats. For more detailed information, visit the Turkish Airlines dedicated web page.

Ok, let’s get back to our cabin and flight crew.
On this flight there are 3 flight crew members and, if I counted correctly, 15 cabin crew members. That said, after the introduction, you would arrive in the crew briefing room. Internal matters related to cabin staff are discussed and the cabin attendants are informed about the flight crew members. Let’s place them right at the beginning in the spotlight - Captain Hakan Turgut, Co-pilot Resat Kerem Koray and the Japanese Captain, Masahito Shiroyama.

Once the flight crew arrives in the briefing room, the Captain takes over the conversation and explains a few items in respect to the Narita flight.

Come on… hurry up … it’s time to visit the Turkish Flight Operations Center. First of all, the flight crew members take the opportunity to introduce themselves to you. More important is the information they need from Flight Operations. This means that they need to check the flight plan, the weather along the non-stop flight to Narita, NOTAMs if applicable, and pre-calculations also need to be checked. Since this is an ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards) flight, all kinds of requirements and regulations apply.

Furthermore, the Captain takes some time to explain to you, with the help of an en-route map, the southern route they will follow on their way to Narita, Japan.

It’s time to move on.
You are invited, on behalf of Captain Turgut, to sit in the flight deck of his 777. It’s, unfortunately, a rainy day, but that won’t distract you from the information the Captain will give you. Since most of the cockpit preparations are done, he explains only a few items related to wet runway and a wet takeoff. The Co-pilot finds some time to help you out with the EFB (Electronic Flight Bag) possibilities.

Last, but not least, is the departure briefing. The Captain starts with the briefing while the Co-pilot confirms it when needed. On this outbound flight, the Captain sits on the LH side and is, for this flight, the Captain Flying. In older airplanes, the Captain flying was always located on the LH seat, and therefore a switch was needed between the pilots. This LH seat switch was needed because of the aircraft systems related to an AUTO LAND. On this 777, there’s no need to switch seats. Either seat can be the Pilot Flying location.

Anyway, the Captain is responsible for explaining the departure briefing contents.

The flight crew is almost ready for departure, the final checklist items are performed and we're ready for push back and engine start. During push back the engines are started and after the towing truck has been disconnected, the crew is ready to taxi to runway 17R. According to the procedures, just before the actual taxi starts, the flight control check is initiated and found OK (lucky for that else there’s a big problem), followed by the next part of the “before taxi” checklist.

During the taxi there’s a nice mix between cockpit views and external shots. Before you know it you’re in the sky. The 777 doesn’t have much of a problem with climbs and with a nice turn you’ll have an overview on the airport and also downtown Istanbul. After passing FL100, you’ve got a constant view on the Captain's PFD and ND. With the background ATC communications, this allows you to follow what the 777 is doing while still climbing.

During the climb, the Captain explains in detail what happened at the airport and how they taxied to the assigned runway. He explains this with the help of the EFB ground movement map of Istanbul airport.

Although it was a nice start of the flight, I prefer to have a look into the cabin and see what the cabin crew is doing. Now it’s time for a drink and snack. So, we move to the cabin where you get an in-depth explanation about which dinners will be served. As with most airlines, you can chose from different combinations… fish, meat etc.

I must say, it looks very good! Since all the dinner combinations are too many to remember, the Fight Attendant, I assume the Purser, helps you out with the menu card. Just in case you’re not aware of the difference between a purser and flight attendant. The purser is the cabin crew “Chef De Equip” while flight attendants resort under the purser. We're also informed about what happens in the different seating classes while serving dinner. Finally, we get a guided tour thru the whole B777 cabin.

It’s time to go back to the flight deck because the Captain wants to explain something about the southern route they are flying. According to Captain Turgut they will fly over the Black Sea, Kazakhstan and Chinese airspace, followed by Japan for a planned landing on runway 16R. It could be that this will change because the weather forecasts aren’t good. Right now, it promises to be an approach with lots of wind gusts.

Your first session in Boeing 777 knowledge starts right now and is initiated by the Co-pilot. He helps you with the ins and outs of the PFD (Primary Flight Display), followed by the ND (Navigation Display). Additionally, the EFIS control panel is highlighted because of the link with the ND DU. With the radar image being active, the RADAR CTL panel is discussed briefly.

While the flight continues, interesting external views are filmed. Not only the Chinese country, but also many airports are filmed too. Because they are approaching TOD (Top Of Descent), the Captain thinks it’s the right moment to offer some approach information about the landing at Narita. The Captain performs some last checks on his EFB versus the necessary FMS CDU entries. In addition to the descent and approach data, he also explains how we'll taxi to the assigned gate. Since every descent and approach requires full crew concentration, enjoy the descent but at one point, the Captain tells us something important. The strong winds aren’t as strong as expected, however, there are reports of wind shear.

That’s not good news!

It’s becoming quiet in the flight deck. The moment the 777 is aligned with the ILS, flaps 20 are selected, gear down command initiated, passed RH (Radio Height) 2500 feet, followed further on with ILS flaps 30, something goes wrong.

Even though the Captain has disconnected the Auto Pilot, he’s not really happy with the wind gusts. He’s constantly monitoring any change and making the right decisions at the right moment, but that’s easier said than done. Passing along the ILS at 1000 feet RH, the Captain gets a WIND SHEAR warning.

We will hear about this later in detail but for now, the Captain initiates a MISSED APPROACH and climbs back to 6000 feet, GEAR UP command and FLAPS restarted. The Co-pilot informs Narita ATC about the initiated missed approach. That’s way the APPROACH BRIEFING is so important!

But they can’t stay in the air forever, so they start initiating a second attempt at landing. The Co-pilot informs the Captain what the wind gusts are for runway 16L and 16R. It seems the 16R is more favorable then 16L, so the Captain decides for a second attempt on runway 16R. Checklist items are double checked, and they are ready for a second final approach to 16R. Although still gusty, this time is works. Just before landing you get a nice view of the runway and, mainly caused by the wind gusts, there’s a long cue of airliners that would like to depart.

Finally, touchdown! The 777-300ER Turkish Airlines taxies directly to gate 34 and once parked, the Captain explains about the WINDSHEAR message. According to Captain Turgut, company policy has instructed every Turkish Airlines pilot that he/she need to execute a GO AROUND or MISSED APPROACH procedure whenever a windshear is detected.

On behalf of Captain Turgut and his crew, welcome to Narita Airport and Tokyo, Japan.

The Turkish Airlines Fleet

Let’s give Captain Turgut and his crew some rest before flying back to Istanbul, Turkey. In the mean time, Just Planes and Turkish Airlines would like to offer you an inside look at the Turkish Airlines fleet. With nice Turkish background music, the first Turkish airplane that introduces herself is the Airbus A319. This is followed by the A320, A321, Boeing 737-700 and Boeing 737-800. The next model is the Airbus A310 Cargo … I'm wondering if this is the A310-300 or the older A310-200.

Anyway, the next models are the older type Airbus A330 and A340 series, the Boeing 777-300ER and a special, for IST-NRT, painted 777-300ER.

Inbound flight Turkish Airlines 777-300ER (NRT-IST)

Captain Turgut and his co-pilot Resat Kerem Koray welcomes you on this inbound flight, back to Istanbul, Turkey. The Japanese Captain, Masahito Shiroyama stays this time at his home-base Narita. He starts with some background information about what to expect upon departure. Half way through the story, he hands over the story to his Co-pilot Resat Kerem Koray. He continues with the expected takeoff procedure and what follows after that by using the SID (Standard Instrument Departure).

All other preparations are already done and the flight crew is ready for the push back. The checklist is completed and Turkish Airlines 777 is ready to go. During push back, the flight crew can monitor, on the DU (Display Unit) and with the help of built-in external cameras, the NLG front view and a rear fuselage bottom mounted camera facing forward. With this, they have a good idea what happens outside during the push back and also later during taxi.

After push back the engines are started. Although most of the engine start is automatically controlled and monitored, whenever applicable, the crew explains the procedure . Not much is said but you’ve got a clear view on the EICAS DU’s.

Takeoff will be 16R and that means the same runway as during the arrival. During taxi there’s a lot to see outside including some interesting airliners at the cargo area which is situated near the beginning of runway 16R.

After takeoff a nice turn is made and you’ve got an awesome view of the coastline and back over Narita Airport. While climbing, there are some nice external shots too. At approximately FL300, the Co-pilot reviews the actual Narita departure procedures and verifies that with the available map on the EFB. The Co-pilot follows this giving us some brief information about the northern track to be followed on the enroute map.

When on the outbound route – Istanbul to Narita - they used the southern route for more tail wind. This inbound route to Istanbul is the northern route for better wind conditions and using the southern part means too much head wind.

After two and a half hours flight, the Co-pilot gives us an inside view of the aircraft systems. He starts with the EICAS DU’s. An important item and easy for the pilots, is the electronic checklist on the lower EICAS DU as well as the availability of the abnormal checklist. Not only that, but also what to do in case problems arise.

He continues with the overhead panel and explains, more or less, every sub-panel in detail. For example, Co-pilot Resat Kerem Koray explains the IRS (Inertial Reference System) and makes the link to the FMS CDU POS (Position) page. Then he continues with the electrical aircraft system and again makes the link with the ELEC EICAS DU. In this way, he moves from one sub-panel to the other and where needed, EICAS is shown and explained also. I wasn’t aware of the next step, a portable Apple iPad with the links between a control panel on, for example ,the overhead panel and the EICAS page.

Very interesting stuff!

Overall, this in-depth information of the aircraft systems should give you a very good idea how these systems work from the pilot's point of view, the controls and indications with the EICAS links.

TOD (Top Of Descent) is around 160NM ahead and that means, the approach briefing needs to be started and some information is given about the local weather conditions at Istanbul International Airport. It’s time for the descent and approach. During the last part of the flight, I suggest you sit back, take a cup of coffee or tea, and enjoy the mix of flight deck shots and external views. The final approach offers a great outside look of the runway. After a successful landing with no abnormal conditions, the 777 taxies to the assigned gate.

Very interesting stuff!

On behalf of Captain Hakan Turgut, Co-pilot Resat Kerem Koray as well as the cabin crew, welcome back in Istanbul. And don’t forget to look at the last part of the movie. It offers you an awesome look at the Bosporus with nice background Turkish music.


With this Turkish Airlines 777-300ER flight to Narita, you get a nice overview of what happens in the flight deck as well as what the passengers can expect.
This is not the only Just planes 777 movie, but that doesn’t mean they are all the same. The 777 flight deck may be the same, but the flight crew isn’t and that makes every 777 Just Planes movie unique.

Did I miss something in this Turkish Airlines movie?
I had hoped for a walk –around check to be included, but that has more to do with my previous background as ground engineer. It could be Turkish Airlines policy that Turkish Airlines pilots don’t do this. Anyway, it’s not a big deal that it wasn't included.

On the other hand, you get a lot of in-depth aircraft system information from the Co-pilot on the outbound- and inbound flights as well as a missed approach due to a wind shear. Overall, Just planes did it again with this Turkish Airlines 777-300ER. You get 220 minutes (approximately +3.5 hours) for only $30.00 US (23.98 Euros as of this writing)

For more information about the Turkish Airlines777-300ER DVD/Blu-ray, visit Just Planes dedicated web page.

With Greetings,
Angelique van Campen

This review is written for Aerosoft News Service and published via the Aerosoft website. While the reviewer has complete journalistic freedom, we ask the reader to keep in mind where the review is posted.