Ever wanted to know what it’s like to fly a plane? Robert and Brian found out at iPilot….Here’s what they thought:
Robert, aged 11 says:
Dad and I had the opportunity to try out a flight simulator in the centre of London which real life pilots use to practice. During my one hour session I just about learnt how to use all the confusing instruments on the control panel and by the end could take off and land without crashing. For me it was pretty bewildering and more stressful than I was expecting – that’s because it was so realistic.
The cockpit was almost identical to a real plane, which was cool, as it meant I was basically flying an aircraft. You do not feel any movement in your seats (like a bump when you land) so if you want a thrilling, moving ride this isn’t the one for you – it is more like real-life. One thing I really liked was that I could pick which airports to take off from and land (so I went to Rio, Sydney and Hong Kong) although the graphics weren’t exactly state of the art. Overall I enjoyed the experience although it was a lot of information to handle.
After Rob had moved out of the pilot’s seat, it was my turn to take over the controls. The instructions we had been given (by a real pilot) were very clear, but I would almost certainly have crashed without him guiding me. There were many factors to constantly monitor (e.g. altitude, airspeed, nose position etc) while trying to look at the outside too.
I asked to take off from Vancouver and it was really enjoyable to see the beautiful scenery and fly over the mountains near the city. The simulator is certainly no toy, and can well imagine that this would be an invaluable tool for budding pilots to improve their skills. I would recommend the simulator, not as a thrill ride, but to test your skills in almost real life conditions. It takes mental strength and lots of practice to fly a virtual plane.
Disclosure: Robert and Brian spent two hours at iPilot in London, W1, as the guests of the company. A one hour flights costs £109 and a two hour experience costs £209. All ages are welcome, from 6 upwards.
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