On arriving in Auckland [click here for previous post] and spending an hour or more getting from the airport to Botony Town Centre, I then spent another 2 hours trying to find Craig, who works at Flight Experience at Botony Town Centre. Flight Experience is an opportunity to get behind the controls of a fairly realistic flight simulator and go for a "fly", with one of the sim instructors acting as your co-pilot ["you guys" in Hamilton should pop up to Auckland or to Tauranga for the day, and have a go! "You guys" know who you are!]. Sims are available in various other centres as well, so check out the Flight Experience website. If they ask you where you heard about them, feel free to mention this Flying Geek blog [and no, I'm not up for freebies if you do, just in case you're wondering] :-)
Whether you are a pilot or not, this is an awesome experience, and you really should take up the opportunity to try it out. The setup is very realistic, including all of the buttons and switches you would expect, and details right down to moving auto-throttles and trim wheels. Even the seats can be adjusted, just the like real plane.
Unfortunately my pictures are not too good, and don't really to justice to the setup. It was only at Auckland Airport this evening that I remembered the "night shot" type mode that my camera has, and this would have done a much better job of the pics.
I got the opportunity to have a quick go at it for a few minutes between punters. All was going well until someone snuck in full flap and spoilers, followed shortly afterwards by the landing gear. I never did spot the spoilers and flaps until after we landed [don't mock, I had my eyes "outside"], but I still managed to land the thing, even if I had about 70% power until 50 feet! Thanks Craig. Thanks a lot :-)
One other little point... if you're in Wellington, I think that Flight Experience Courtney Central and Wellington Aero Club may still have a combo deal going - a flight in the sim and a flight in a real plane. Not sure of the cost, but it will be competitive!
Anyway, here's a couple of photos of the sim. As you'll see, the catch-phrase is "attention to detail"!