There is a joke that this Flight Simulator franchise would be offering certifications to show that people have actually flown a flight if it hadn’t been for the fake pilot cases in India. But on a different note, Flight Simulator does give you the ultimate experience of piloting a Boeing 737 airliner.
If going into the cockpit and handling the controls has been your dream, if you have ever dreamt of experiencing how it is to manage the controls of an aircraft or if you are out to show the world that you can be a pilot too, Flight Simulator is one of the best simulation experiences available in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and the recently opened Kuwait.
We went a week ago to actually book the package. There are currently four packages to choose from –
Scenic Flight 30 mins – This short flight offers a compact sampler of what it feels like to take the controls of a commercial jet airliner.
City Circuits 45 mins – The 45 minute package allows you to combine introductory flight training with the opportunity to make 2 take – offs and landings (THE ONE I CHOSE)
City Flyer 60 mins – This package has a series of take – offs and landings.
Ultimate Experience 90 mins – This one is the ultimate one with all the features of the previous ones along with cockpit instructions and procedures, checklists etc. It’s for the ultimate aviation enthusiast.
City Circuits seemed the best bet in terms of the money and getting a feel of the flight simulator. At 50KD for 45 mins which is approximately equal to Rs 8000/- the charges are actually a bomb. But then for aviation lovers it is like a once in a lifetime opportunity. The fact that its an international franchise only in 5 nations across the world makes it an even more enviable ride.
When the day arrived, we reached around 15 mins before time. After watching a 5 minute introductory video on the basics of the instruments in the cockpit, I finally entered the plane. Before that I was given the opportunity to select two airports – one challenging and one non – challenging one. All the instruments in the cockpit looked like a replica of a real plane.
My co – pilot / instructor was a Lebanese who after the initial instructions arranged the conditions for my first flight which involved taking off and landing at Charles De Gaulle, Paris. With a relatively easy approach, the runway is devoid of any challenges at all. The next flight involved a touch and go at the Kai Tek airport which was (not in operation since late 90s) regarded as one of the most challenging ones on the planet. With hills, sea and buildings on three sides and a visual checkerboard landing, the runway is a site for a potential disaster.
The co – pilot was prompt in explaining the landing and take – off procedures. He kept on giving me instructions about changing the speeds, flap arrangements, steering, brakes, altitude etc. After the touch and go at Hong Kong, he put it on auto – pilot and changed the conditions to a thunderstorm and night. It actually felt really challenging to land the plane in such conditions as it flipped from side to side.
All in all it was a first rate experience for flight enthusiasts like me!
Rating – 4.5/5