Flight Simulator in Westfields (17th August 2011)

Fiona had bought me a Groupon voucher for this and we finally booked it. Left the flat before 9am and took the Tube right across London. The simulator was awesome, with LCD cockpit instruments and all the switches a real modern airliner has. The instructor was a cool guy, doing all the fiddly stuff for me so I just steered.

You get to choose where you take off from and where you land. I chose London City Airport to take off, which was spectacular. There was just enough runway to get airborne!

For the landing I chose Hong Kong for the famously difficult approach over the city. We started 10 miles out from the new artificial island, did a ‘touch and go’ on that runway. Reminded me of landing an F-14 Tomcat on an aircraft carrier in the fantastic MS-DOS game Top Gun: Fire at Will. Must find out if that game will run properly on a Windows XP machine!

The instructor was brilliant, advising me of the route and setting the instruments manually to help guide me. It takes a sharp right-hand turn to line up but there were lights in the air to help show the route. I landed us successfully on the runway so felt very pleased!

That was the end of the session but I think I got a bit of extra time as I was being such a keen student. (And a bit of a teacher’s pet!) The instructor signed a certificate which I packed in my lunchbox to avoid creased. We got a voucher for 50% off another session in the next 3 months, too!