Carlo and I are really enjoying our sessions in the Flight Experience 737-800 fixed-base simulator. Even when we have a comparatively bad session with all sorts of hassles and mistakes, we’re still enjoying it. So, are we just having these sessions for the fun of it? Well, yes, there is a large “fun” component involved, but we have two major goals we’re working on:
- Our Skills: We both dream of one day flying a real commercial jet liner, but we have a long way to go to get there. We both have families, work, debts and other pressures that get in the way (as most people do). Carlo has extensive experience with MS Flight Simulator while most of my flying has been in real aircraft (usually Cessnas). We both went and flew a full-motion 737-400 sim many years ago and have been considering ways to work in aviation. I spent a few years as crew chief for Balloon Sunrise and have had a couple of goes at getting my pilot’s license, while in 2007, Carlo set up the Melbourne Flight Experience operation. When time permits, we’ve had a few adventures in the sim. Initially it was a “fun thing to do” but it has now become a challenge, learning systems, getting used to how the 737 handles, practicing procedures, working on our CRM and trying to do the best, professional job we can. Like I said, even when it goes wrong, we’re really enjoying it.
- Route Proving: While Flight Experience lets members of the public see what it’s like to fly a commercial jet, they also cater to serious simmers and pilots wanting to step up. For those who want more than a simple flight, they are going to offer 3 hour packages featuring multiple take-offs and landings in a realistic, commercial environment. So, the flights we’re planning and executing are tests to prepare these 3 hour packages. The EuroFun trip has already had a beta-test with a real customer and the feedback has been helpful (yup, there’s problems to address). This certainly provides us with a more challenging situation as we’re not just focusing on our own education but also creating experiences for others to follow.
While this is not directly contributing to progress on my path to getting back in the air, the experience I’m building is certainly helping, I’m having a great time and it’s also giving something back to Flight Experience that, in turn, allows others to be challenged as well. Does it get much better than this?