• Breaking the Boundaries - From Flight Simulation to Real Flight

    About 20 minutes later, we intercepted the M25 below, which meant tuning back onto Elstree Tower and starting our approach pattern.

    Now Elstree is certainly not a quiet airfield, as there are plenty of aircraft coming and going, with touch and goes happening for most of the day. This means that extra vigilance is needed from the pilots and tower.

    During the final stages of our approach, another aircraft (one located behind us), began slowing, so as to space landings. The aircraft in question was told by the tower to keep an eye out for an 'Ikarus 42', the aircraft usually flown on this route. When Ben corrected them, the response from the tower was hilarious, as we were then referred to as the 'Bigger One'!

    And with that, our flight came to an end with a textbook landing from Ben.

    Reflecting back, I was so glad I had the opportunity to experience flying like this, especially as the pilot was a good friend of mine. The insight it gave me to what was involved, was second to none, and something I will always remember! So with my first real flight under my belt, does this mean that I have given up on flight simulation? Not in the slightest.

    What flight simulators offer, is the thrill of flying, albeit from the safety of your armchair. They allow us to become jet pilots, bush pilots, air traffic controllers; you name it, they create it!

    It took me 11 years of FS2004, FSX and X-Plane 11 before I stepped into the cockpit of a real plane, and while there are differences, there are plenty of similarities too.

    For me however, I'll be an armchair pilot for a little bit longer...but I can definitely see my PPL before me now!

    First Attempt Aborted Takeoff

    First Flight

    Flight Sim vs Real Life

    360 cockpit video


    2 Comments
    1. DominicS's Avatar
      DominicS -
      Lovely article Michael, well done...I thoroughly enjoyed the read!

      Dominic
    1. stevefranklin's Avatar
      stevefranklin -
      Very enjoyable!
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