• The Flight Simulator Experience

    The Flight Simulator Experience

    By Paul Mort

    It was Christmas Day last year and time to do the exchanging of gifts. My fiancee, Hilary, handed me a large blue folder which said "To Paul, love you, hope you like this." I think I said something like "It's a lovely folder."

    After being encouraged to open it, I discovered every aviation enthusiast's dream present, a flight in a Boeing 737-800 professional simulator. As you may imagine, I was like a kid in a candy shop and this week saw my dream fulfilled when we drove the 26 miles to a sleepy little village called Stacksteads which lies in the heart of Lancashire, UK.

    The package should have cost £130 but the company 'Flightdeck Experience' had discounted it to around £100 as a special offer. Included in the deal was one hour in the briefing room learning the principles and layout of the cockpit, and one hour in the simulator cockpit. The experience was made realistic by having the entrance area look like an actual check-in desk at an airport. This included monitors showing flight times plus a real walk-through airport metal detector.

    Meet The Team

    From left to right:
    Steve Everson, owner, technical wizard and all round nice guy.
    Vicky Everson, owner, administrator and very welcoming.
    Me, Paul Mort, overweight dude with a passion for flight simulation.
    Fareed Derar, flight instructor, my first officer for the day and a very knowledgeable young man.

    The Briefing

    The preflight briefing took about forty minutes and covered everything from basic principles of flight to the layout and operation of the cockpit. Fareed conducted a very thorough briefing, explaining with the aid of a giant image board of the cockpit. I was told what my duties as captain would be and what my first officer would operate during the flight. Questions were encouraged and the whole procedure was conducted in a light-hearted and friendly manner. That covered, we took a five minute break for refreshments before boarding the simulator.


    6 Comments
    1. sjhurst's Avatar
      sjhurst -
      Paul - been here 4 times so far and I've paid to go back again. Steve and Vicky make this experience really quite simply the best. I believe that since you've been, the projectors (3 of them) have been upgraded to HD projectors. The fact that pilots and FO's come here to practice speaks volumes about the set up here. In fact, it was coming here that made my wife get me an Occulus Rift as she had seen me play with his Hawk set up too. Great article.
    1. graaant's Avatar
      graaant -
      Engrossing piece, v. nicely written. Thanks, Paul.
    1. lamaz's Avatar
      lamaz -
      Would love to visit this facility when I visit the UK,I am so impressed with what I have read about this project.
    1. gradenko23's Avatar
      gradenko23 -
      There's also one in Singapore. I Flew in it also and was very happy that my PMDG 737NG experience came in very handy.
    1. shaft's Avatar
      shaft -
      There's a new "Flight Sim Centre" based in Newcastle upon Tyne offering flights in their 737-800. They also have an F35 jet and a Spitfire cockpit. You can fly all 3 sims for £130 over a 2 hours.

      www.flightsimcentre.com
    1. stevefranklin's Avatar
      stevefranklin -
      Looks like a grand day out!
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