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woodreau

Landing an airliner - your chance to try...

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Both pilots up front fall ill... Flt Attendants mull about quietly, descreetly asking if there's any pilots onboard....Since this scenario's been pulled up a couple of times before in the forums somewhere before, now you can see if you have the "right" stuff too.Set it up for autoflight and autoland, hardcore heavy iron simmers might shout...For those of you who live in the Southern California area, you can book some time in FAA approved Class C and Class D flight simulators run by Boeing's Long Beach flight training facility, Alteon Corporation. Alteon sells 30 minutes blocks of time in B717, B737, MD80, MD-11 full motion simulators. I flew in the MD-11 one.Although I was familiar with flying the PIC 767 and playing around with the FMC and can program one for autoflight, I was quite overwhelmed/awestruck sitting behind the controls of an MD-11. Having experienced the flight simulator, I would have to say if confronted with doing the real thing... No, you can't do it. No matter how much sim time you have, programming an FMC and setting it up for autoflight and autoland.Just taxiing an MD-11 requires a light touch on the tiller, touching it left and right sent the aircraft shuddering down the taxiway, spilling coffee on the laps of all the passengers behind me. "Oh just a cargo flight," say Wes, my simulator/flight instructor says...Takeoff was uneventful, line it up, point it down the runway, advance the throttles to spool up the engines, then full takeoff power. Left hand on the yoke, right hand on the throttle, steer with your feet. 80kts .... V1, hands off the throttle, onto the yoke .... Vr, rotate .... Positive rate.... Gear up, where's that gear lever?Wes set me up to shoot ILS 24R at LAX. Noticed the McDonnell Douglas FMC is very similar to the ones installed in the Boeing 767 that I am familiar with. but of course I didn't know the waypoints off the top of my head. I think it would have taken me several minutes to figure it out and set it up.He sets the MCP up 060 heading, 3000ft, 250kts, VS 2500ft/min up. "Push autoflight." Push autoflight I did, and for the first time since I took off, I get a chance to look around inside and outside the cockpit and appreciate the simulator. Before autoflight was engaged, I'm swamped trying to fly to the flight director and fixating on the PFD.We fly the aircraft with the MCP, eventually get the MD-11 pointed back to LAX, and punch "APPR/LAND" button on the MCP. The aircraft obediently intercepts the localizer and glideslope and down it goes. Of course don't forget flaps, gear down and spoilers, and autobrake, which I completely forgot and have no idea how to set...Passing outer marker, coming up on the middle marker... a violent shudder shakes the aircraft. "That's not part of the simulation," remarks Wes, as the warning warble of the autopilot disengaging drones throughout the cockpit. The runway starts drifting to the left as the aircraft slips off profile. "You need to take over and land it," Wes says, trying to get the aircraft reset to autoland. "Sorry, I need to write up the simulator glitch."I tube that approach, as I watch the horizon go past 45 degress, 50 degrees to the left my nose pitching higher and higher with the stick shaker going nuts while I have my controls full down and turning to the right..."That's really a simulator problem. Nothing you did...," Wes says... Freeze. (before the crash)... Back in the air, set up for another approach. With lots of coaching and Wes showing me how to do the landing gear, flaps, autobrakes, and spoilers. There's probably other stuff that I've missed. I was able to do a passable handflown landing from the outer marker.Did one more approach at night with weather and low ceilings and traffic thrown in. TCAS helps point out the other aircraft. I was able to do a second passable landing as the MD-11 brokeout at minimums. What a relief as the approach lights come into view, in front of me as opposed to the left or right of the aircraft. "Approach lights in sight, continuing... Runway in sight, landing."So anyways how do you get your chance to fly a full-motion sim?Give Midnight Mike an e-mail at mike.comuniello@alteontraining.comIt's an experience if you're into that sort of thing.CheersWoodreau / KMVL

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Sounds like a very cool experience. Wish I was a bit closer to there so I could try it too. Think they'd want to pack it up and bring it to Illinois? :DKP

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Ken,If you ever decide to take a vacation or a business trip to Los Angeles or Southern California, Mike Comuniello can work with you to make Alteon Corp one of the places you can stop by a visit.I know he's worked with several out of town people to set up some sim time. There was a guy from New York who came in to fly several simulators in an afternoon...It runs approx $100 for 30 minutes, which is a little bit more than renting a twin engine aircraft ($150/hr for a Seneca II).Alteon also has several locations throughout the US and the world, they do rent simulators out to pilots who are prepping for airline interviews or trying to transition to a new aircraft, so I don't know if the other locations would work out a similar deal that Long Beach will.http://www.alteontraining.com/locations/I am not affiliated with Alteon, just that I had a pretty good experience and was encouraged to spread the word.Woodreau

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