Thursday, March 05, 2009
I went to Orlando on business. While there I had the chance to fly in a flight simulator. It was the real deal simulating an Airbus 320.
It may have been a simulation but it was so amazingly real. It blew my mind as soon as we started taxiing. I just couldn't believe how real it felt.
I started by taxiing out to the runway. Hitting a few runway lights on the way. If you could have watched me it would have been like watching someone learning to drive a clutch for the first time.
Take off was easy. The bigger the airplane, the easier they are to fly. Landing, is a different story.
After avoiding other airplanes programmed to come right at me, the first thing we did is fly under the Verrazano Narrows bridge. I flew it so low, too low. I accidentally skipped on the water a bit. This would have caused millions of dollars in damages to the aircraft.
I made it under the bridge and then went for my first landing. I did ok on the approach but never really pulled up just before touching down. Actually that's somewhat of an understatement I died on my first landing. The simulator lurches and makes a loud sound and the screen turns red and everything turns quiet.
After resetting, I did a couple V1 take-offs which means that one engine fails at the most critical point during take-off, this means you don't have runway enough to reject the take-off, and you have to continue to take-off. Getting up to speed, the engine fails the airplane starts to veer sharply off the runway and you have to correct for that, using the foot pedals, then take-off. The first time I pretty much cleared out any lights and signage on the side of the runway, but with the help of the instructor I was still able to take-off. The next two times were much better.
I successfully landed twice (very hard landings).
After I was done my equilibrium was all out of whack. I had a headache, was a little dizzy for the rest of the night. It was totally worth it.