BOEING 777 LONDON GATWICK TO ATLANTA

This slim paperback is number ten in the Ian Allan From the Flight Deck series. As its title suggests, it consists chiefly of a blow by blow, pilots' view account of a nine hour transatlantic British Airways Boeing 777 flight.

This slim paperback is number ten in the Ian Allan From the Flight Deck series. As its title suggests, it consists chiefly of a blow by blow, pilots' view account of a nine hour transatlantic British Airways Boeing 777 flight. Starting with a technical description of the type, including some history and a brief sketch of an acceptance and delivery flight, the book goes on to cover the myriad minutiae of the pre flight briefing and decision making. Similar detail attends the walkround and aircraft preparation, push back starting, taxi, take off and so on, including word-for-word transcripts of the en route clearances and in flight passenger addresses.

There are a also few paragraphs about what happens in the cabin, and some more harking back to the pioneers’ Atlantic crossings. Included are a brief but useful glossary of terms and two informative appendices (but no index), an explanation of the ETOPS philosophy, and a rather one sided account of the lengths to which Boeing claims to have gone in complying with or surpassing the regulations.

If I have criticisms, they are minor. Unfortunately, despite the minute detail in other areas, nowhere does Campion-Smith relate what the aircraft is actually like to fly. Nor does he do more than barely touch on the pilots' obligations beyond the flight deck door, where they are also responsible for (and frequently involved in) a great deal more than just piloting the aircraft. Of course little of this actually happens on the flight deck (you hope) so perhaps it is valid for the author to have omitted it.

Basically this is a simple and thoroughly accurate account of what happened (including what occasionally might happen) throughout the flight, and as such is faultless. Each opened page reveals two, three or four photographs, line drawings or charts, mostly directly relevant to the accompanying text. Although perhaps not himself a professional pilot, Campion-Smith is obviously knowledgeable. He writes clearly, and explains the most complex procedures with admirable simplicity. This is a bright and informative little book, and a must for all those interested in flying the big jets.