Although I’m a technology junkie, I’ve never really been interested in games on the computer, with one exception: Microsoft Flight Simulator. Perhaps it’s because it’s more than a game – it’s an experience. I get to imagine what it’s really like to fly a plane, with the controls, the instruments and of course the scenery. I’ve flown an old Douglas DC3 all the way up the east coast of Australia, I’ve landed a 747 at Davao airport in the Philippines, and I’ve crashed just about every aircraft i even laid hands on.
The only thing I haven’t experienced is the feedback through the controls that you get in the real thing, or the feeling of being thrown around the cockpit flying through a severe storm.
So for my last birthday, Stuart, Tara and Sadhbh gave me a flight simulator experience. The real thing. Like genuine pilots use to practice things like losing an engine or what to do when one wing falls off.
Being the slack person I am, it’s taken me four months to avail the experience, and let me tell you it was fantastic. I took off in a twin engine Baron from Davao airport, buzzed Linda who was visiting her brother in Matina and landed on a dirt runway a little down the coast near Digos City. I flew a Learjet though a storm, under the Harbour Bridge and landed at Kingsford Smith Airport.
And I didn’t crash once.
You can see a little of what it was like in the YouTube video below. It shows the exact same model of simulator that I “flew”. Now I’m back to Microsoft Flight Sim with a vengence.