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Pe11e

Visited the full blown 737-800 simulator

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First of all I want to thank the FLY NG academy for the amazing reception and for creating the only full blown professional 737-800 simulator in the region. It is located in Belgrade, Serbia, and it is fully licensed for full pilot training and official test.

I did just a quick tour for a start, wanted to feel the cockpit environment and just to chat with the captain with over 13 000 hours. Just sitting in the 1:1 cockpit is amazing, and I simply couldn't believe how different the cockpit look and feel live. How much is just the glareshield panel in front of main displays (at least 40cm), and how much high it is. What you see in the sims is just a sketch, believe me. PMDG, iFly and other did a good job on modeling, everything is where it should be, but the sense of space and depth in the sim is just wrong. Another thing is how yoke feels, how weak is the force when you pull or push it. It has that mechanical feel with a deadzone. Also I had trouble to find some of the buttons on the overhead panel, because, as I said, the perception of space is completely different in the real life, no EZDOK presets and stuff. :D

The simulator is using FSX just as a platform, means, FSX is drawing the visuals and connecting the systems and hardware. Everything, and I mean everything including sounds is simulated outside FSX. Simply, FSX can't handle nothing near to full blown simulation, especially not over 1 000 malfunctions and failures.

The pilot also said that numerous times the guys who spent time in FSX did better that licensed general aviation pilots! So guys, there is a hope for us, but beware, don't be too carried away by the thought you could land the real 737 safely by yourself. ;) Why? First of all, adrenalin will kill your ability to judge and react just like that. I had adrenalin rush just when entered the cockpit (excitement), I can't imagine adrenaline rush when sitting in front of the yoke when airborne.

 

And thing that confused me the most is how the pilots land. They never, literally never look just over the glareshield to see the runway on final. They are looking some 30 deegres sideways, because in that situation it's easier for brain to compensate the movements, and to line up with runway easily, something like that. Can someone explain that to me, I'm pretty confused???

 

In two weeks time, there is a competition in the academy, and I'm on the list of course. First few best performing participants will be awarded with few hours full flight in the simulator, so I'm off to practice, wish me luck. :P No autopilot, just hand flying from Dubrovnik to Tivat, with full manual approach with flaps and everything. Now that seems like an easy stuff, but adrenaline will kill me that day, it will be hard to focus on everything, especially on that sideways looking thingy.

 

And yes, I bought Saitek Pro Flight today also, so there is hardly better days than this!

 

Cheers!

 

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EDIT:

 

spotted the typo in the thread name, please mods delete "in the region" at the end of the line. Thanks in advance!

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I couldn't agree more.  A full-scale simulator (especially a "LEVEL D" with all the motion as well) is NOTHING LIKE our little multi-screen home cockpits.  And flying the REAL THING?  Even in a non-emergency situation- OMG, that would be VERY difficult!  I have a close friend with a full 737 Nosecone in his garage.  The first time I saw it, and then sat in the REAL BOEING CAPTAIN'S SEAT (with lambskin)?  WOW.  The controls feel totally different from my little Thustmaster HOTAS setup, and the rudders and much different than my SAITEKs.

 

In plain language, while we all like to envision our many hours of sim time as some kind of a help in case both pilots ate the fish, the reality?  NO WAY! Especially with 180+ human lives in the balance, not to mention the folks on the ground and at the airport, assuming you could REACH the airport.

 

Once you sit in a full-scale replica of a 737, your opinion of "AS REAL AS IT GETS" throws whatever you've got sitting in your home out the window (unless you went hog wild and bought the full-scale modular nose cone and built a 1:1 Scale model solution using FlightDeckSolutions gear and SimAvionics software!  Then you are likely in a world like the Level D, but perhaps you didn't buy the motion platforms... then you're probably pretty capable, assuming you've practiced with sudden failures and so on.

 

Still, there is no substitute for what the REAL PLANE would feel like against your seat, and the stress of trying to control such a behemoth with no prior RW landings of such a large plane.  RW Cessna 172 hours do NOT qualify you for a B738, IMHO.

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