|It’s been over a year since I was last with my friend Carlo in his B737-800 simulator. Back then it was out at the QANTAS sim center near Essendon airport where it was being evaluated by QF for procedures training. Since then they’ve opened up a store in the CBD and set it all up there as part of Flight Experience here in Melbourne.||
|I got the call this evening from Carlo suggesting a bit of fun after dinner, so we zipped into the city and set up the sim for some fun. First up was a flight from London Gatwick airport over to Naples in Italy. I was to be Captain and pilot flying while Carlo would be First Office and pilot not flying.|
|We got the APU on and kicked in the systems, then programmed in the way points from EGKK to LIRN. After that it was push back from the gate, taxi out to 26R and take off. I flew manually although I kept the flight director on and was basically following the pink lines. Makes it MUCH easier, especially when you’ve not flown for over a year :)|
Once we were on our way and were set on a few way points, we engaged the autopilot and ran a few checks and evaluations of our situation. We then set the sim to run at 4x speed while we stepped out of the sim to have some drinks and nibbles.
Back in the sim and back to normal speed about 20 to 30 minutes out from Naples, we double checked the programmed course and approach. Carlo had added a STAR that had us flying a circuit around & across the airport so we played around with the waypoints and changed over to an approach with less mucking about.
|As we cleared 10,000′ I took over flying and continued our descent with a wide right hand turn to align with the runway. We were at 7,000′ over BENTO and continued our descent to 1,800′ over POM and then it was in for landing. Nice one :)||
Love those throttles
|We then reset the sim to be at old Kai Tak airport in Hong Kong (VHHX) where I did a take off and then followed Carlo’s directions on a scenic tour of the bay before coming back around and landing at Chek Lap Kok (VHHH). The plan was to do a touch-n-go then Carlo would take over as pilot flying as we touched down. Sadly, my approach was a complete disaster and I was all over the place. We slammed on and Carlo took over – good thing crash mode was turned off…|
|So now we left VHHH and headed back to Kai Tak with Carlo flying and me setting the systems. We followed an A340 in and landed right behind it (Minimum safe distance? What’s that?) then taxied to a parking bay, shut down and turned everything off.||
The A340 that landed ahead of us
|It was a great evening of freeing our imaginations and flying around the world. The sim is so much fun and an amazing replica inside. Lack of motion isn’t such a big deal and the price difference to purchase, operate & maintain a fixed base unit compared to full motion is enormous (about 20 times more for a full motion system). We both enjoyed it and I’m definitely looking forward to our next session.||
Waiting for the A340 to taxi past
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