Nine hours to paradise

Flight description

Paradise is only nine hours away for some airline pilots as soon as they head to the Maldives (MLE/VRMM). In this episode, a jumpseat is reserved again – with captain Joe Moser in the left seat and Stefan Kater in the right seat, we’re heading straight from Düsseldorf to the Indian Ocean – the Maldives. Please buckle up and relax, there is a lot to see.

Alonso from Lufthansa

This is how Captain Joe Moser describes his pushback driver at Düsseldorf Airport today, who pushes the A330, callsign LTU730, with remarkable speed to the engine run-up position. Engine No. 1 just ignites with a deep “whoosh,” and the jet is already on the taxiway. Joe Moser’s anticipation of this destination is already evident from his mood. The relaxed and humorous interaction between him, his first officer, and the ground crew gives reason to hope for a great flight.

Picture-book takeoff into the evening sun

This evening, the aircraft will take off from runway 05R via the KUMIK 1Z departure route, a so-called Standard Instrument Departure (SID). Such predefined and printed routes save the pilots and the controllers a lot of voice radio. Little traffic in the cockpit and a relaxed tone on the frequency round off the very special atmosphere in the cockpit. The controllers give the all-too-human cab instruction LTU 730, Please head for the sun once and wish us another good trip.

After takeoff, the crew sets course for Frankfurt, Munich, and Vienna, accompanied by almost kitschy shots of the horizon glowing orange and red. A foretaste of our destination, the Maldives. Shortly after “take-off”, first officer Stefan Kater gives some interesting explanations about the navigation display (ND), including what important information is always present and how, for example, one’s own position is determined.

Two auto tanks per minute

As soon as the cruising altitude is reached and calm returns to the cockpit, the FO explains several technical details about the aircraft type and current weather information. On the subject of kerosene consumption, people calculate and marvel. A good moment for the captain to tell us about the average fuel prices at that time (approx. USD 620.- per ton) and the related logistics “how does the kerosene actually get to the islands”.

Viennese specialty over Eastern Turkey…

At 01:00 German time, the LTU730 reaches the Eastern Turkish border as fresh coffee and a generous piece of Sacher cake is served from the galley in flight level 370. A moment home for the Carinthian-born Joe Moser. In addition, the Iranian military must now be approached to get permission from Maku to enter the Iranian airspace.

…and technology off the Arabian Peninsula

Stefan continues his explanations about the Navigation Display (ND) and especially about the influence of the wind on the speed as well as the TCAS (Traffic collision avoidance system), which visualizes the surrounding air traffic and instructs the pilots to change altitude in case of danger. Just in time! Because a second passenger aircraft has been accompanying us for some time on the same route only 2000 feet (600m) lower.

Inner atoll, outer atoll, approach great

After a rather short night and an intense sunrise, which wraps the entire cockpit in a dark orange color palette, the last leg of the flight begins. Exciting impressions of the approach and geographical explanations of the captain about the Male atoll accompany the descent to Velana International Airport (MLE/VRMM). An approach completely over water, the archipelago lies quite deserted in the Indian Ocean. It is almost 770km to the next mainland and alternate airport, Colombo (CMB/VCBI).

Landing on the Deck

The landing in Male is anything but ordinary. Until the final approach, you don’t really know which of the many islands you will land. The 3200m long runway lies like an aircraft carrier in the water, not much more is accommodated on the airport island. It is Stefan Kater who switches off the autopilot early and does not miss the chance to approach the A330 manually to Male. Accompanied by calm instructions from the captain about the suboptimal approach altitude.

Vacation mood on the day off!

Captain Joe Moser does not miss the opportunity to take the wheel himself on the right seat during a sightseeing flight in a Twin Otter of the Maldivian Air Taxi on the day off. We have rarely seen him glowing like this, which is due to the fact that he flew his first flying lessons on this type in the Austrian Alps.

With one difference – Joe never sat barefoot in the cockpit, like our pilots from the Maldivian Air taxis. Maximum coolness with a white shirt, four stripes, and Bermuda shorts, all in the sign of the serenity of this island.

This PilotsEye episode is then rounded off with atmospheric shots of the island. Anyone thinking at this moment “When is the next plane to the Maldives?” is in good company, as you can read in the reviews.

With “9hrs to paradise” PilotsEYE.tv brings an extremely popular vacation destination into the living room from a cockpit perspective. Accompanied by fitting PilotsEYE lounge music, you immediately have the feeling of lying on the beach and escaping from everyday life. An episode for real connoisseurs!

“That’s why we fly!” Right? A journey to an idyllic and dreamlike place on this planet.

PilotsEYE hopes you enjoy this episode!

DVD:       ISBN 9783940358028    EAN 4260139480029    ASIN B000QFBXKA
Blu-ray:   ISBN 9783940358127    EAN 4260139480128    ASIN B001MTUB6Q

Flight data & Crew

  • Flight no.: LTU 730
  • Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
  • Run time: ca. 70 min
  • Chief Pilot & Captain |
    Joe Moser
  • Sen first Officer |
    Stefan Kater





  • Breathtaking sunrise over eastern turkey
  • Engl. subtitles for German conversation
  • Approach over the North Male Atoll
  • Air to Air shot at the approach in MUC
  • Primary flight display made simple
  • 6 HD-cameras capture every detail
  • Original cockpit crew communications
  • Sightseeing-flight over Male islands