Monday, January 22, 2007

Flight Simulator

Forget about the Flight Simulator that we used to play on our PC. The 6-legged hydraulic operated simulators in STC are the best. They offer flying simulation experience as close as flying the real plane. They can even simulate acceleration/deceleration g-forces. The cockpit is exactly the same as in a real plane with all buttons/controls functioning.

I was very lucky to be able to experience the A340 and B777 simulators. Waking up at 2am in the morning was a challenge; especially after ATPL exams where everyone was in a holiday mood. But after reaching STC and inside the simulator room, I was so excited and fully awake. It was a great feeling to be sitting in the cockpit and be the pilot in-command. After a brief intro, I was off flying, doing circuits in Changi Airport. The best part in the simulation was the HK Kai Tak Airport approach and landing. Even though the airport is no longer in use, we can simulate it in the simulator to the closest details. The approach was the most challenging of all. Now I know why they need the best pilots in the world to land in that airport. Everything has to be done visually and to the pilot's best judgement. Rolling out from a curved approach, the plane will be 50ft above the runway; so no mistake can be made. Roll out too late or too soon, you'll be landing on the grass/taxiway. Descend too much, you'll be crash landing on the clearway. Descend too little, you'll be going all the way to the end of the runway and crash into the sea.

Apart from the routine take-offs and landings, I also managed to simulate emergencies like the total engine and hydraulic failure. That was one scary sh*t because engine failures left the whole cockpit in the dark with only one screen left operating. From there, I had to go through the checklists trying to relight the engines with the plane descending rapidly. Hydraulic failure left the plane in full pitch up until stalling. The only way to control the plane is to use the rudder and trim tab for the rest of the flight. Other emergencies done were the engine failure after take off, head-on approaching plane and closing terrain.

I would like to extend my gratitude to Cpt McCully and buddy FO Nicholas for making this simulator visit possible. I would also like to thank FO Lorimer for the A340 flying guidance. Not forgetting my buddy pilot Tjun Huong in the second seat during the flying.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hey hoongji, you have a damn cool blog here. Love your stories and experince and thanks for sharing it with the world. All the best for you future under takings. Cheers, sani.