Boeing 737-800 Flight Simulator

June 18, 2014

A friend at work told me that he was going to a flight simulator this Tuesday, and I couldn’t pass off a chance to see one in real life, so naturally, I asked if I could join him.

He sent an e-mail to the organization that owns the simulators asking if he could bring a friend, and they were alright with it.

The organization is called SweSim and is located quite near where I live. They had quite a lot of simulators — though most of them were still work in progress and most of them were either small aircrafts or fighter planes.

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He knows what he’s doing.

Johan, who’s an avid flight sim player, who’s specialized on the Boeing 737, the choice of simulator was quite obvious for him, the Boeing 737-800 simulator.

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Should be an accurate copy of the real thing.

I’ve flown in lots of 737’s through out my days, though obviously only as a passenger, I’ve never even been inside the cockpit. The simulator, as far as I know, should be a pretty accurate copy of the real thing. All the dashboards look the same (from my amateurish opinion based on my skills of accurately comparing my pictures against google image searches).

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Johan on approach to Västerås airport.

The simulation was estimated to take roughly two hours. We were going to fly from Arlanda to Västerås and back again — in real time. As I said earlier, Johan being an avid player, wanted the experience closest to the real deal, meaning we had to go through all the pre-flight checklists, etc.

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Flight procedures are more like guidelines; you don’t need to follow them, but it usually works out for the best if you do.

When I play around in a simulator, on my computer, it usually ends up with me punching the throttle and just lifting off, wishing for the best. Though my method may be faster getting off the ground than the approved procedure, I have yet to successfully land, which should give some points on how good a captain I’d be.

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mmm, buttons.

I’m a talkative person, I like to talk, I like to ask questions, and most of all, I love buttons. Seeing as I was the third person in the simulator (Johan being the first; the captain, the flight instructor acting as the co-pilot and I was seated in the jump-seat), I didn’t really feel like I had the mandate to talk, and mostly out of respect for Johan — I didn’t want to ruin the experience with stupid questions; or worse, flipping buttons all around the console.

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So I sat quiet; for two hours. Still, I didn’t get bored at all, I kept taking pictures and just enjoying the ride.

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The thing that I got most surprised of was the feeling. Even though your body and your balance told you that everything was stationary, when the horizon tilted, it actually felt like it was really. The sound in the cockpit also sounded quite authentic, both the AC and pressure stabilizer made that humming noise, and the whine from the jet engines roared in the little room.

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From where I sat, Johan looked completely calm and collected, if I hadn’t known better, I would’ve bet this was a routine thing for him. Flying commercial air-crafts and stuff.

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Before we landed they went through the layout of Arlanda.

As we got back to Arlanda, both Johan and the co-pilot insisted that we should taxi the plane back to the correct gate and go through the shutdown procedure. Again, not my style — The planes I fly usually can’t handle my kind of “landings”, so I haven’t had to bother with the whole “shut down the airplane” thingy.

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Apparently, you have to shutdown an airplane in a specific way — who would’ve known.

In all seriousness, it was pretty awesome, the whole thing. And now seeing as Johan is a member of the organization, maybe I’ll get to be the co-pilot next time (even though I’d have no idea what to do).

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Next time, I’ll fly shotgun!

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