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Old 25th July 2013, 20:09   #151
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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During this incident, the incoming Tu 154 pilot made an error, he was more than 1000 ft lower than the height where he should have been, but additional equipment has been installed at IGIA in Delhi now which identifies the code from the aircraft on the screen.

Every incident especially with fatalities is sad, especially so if avoidable.

Installing additional equipment that provides more information to the controllers (e.g. Mode C transponders adn ADB) provide a much more complete picture of where planes are, how fast, altitude etc.

If you want to see it for yourself, download this very cool app:

http://www.flightradar24.com/28.67,77.22/7

I use it all the time to see if my incoming flight is already on the way and whether it will be arriving on time to take me back home. Bugs the hell out of the gate crews, because I have better and more accurate information on delays as they do!

Also, we have additional onboard system such as TCAS. Traffic Collision Avoidance System, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic...oidance_system

You'll find the most advanced versions of this 'machinery' on modern commercial airliners, and to a large extent even in the smaller planes like I used to fly.

Still, it's not only about installing technology. The Uberlingen mid air collision is a good example where the combination of human intervention and automatic intervention wasn't aligned. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Überlin...-air_collision

Had both pilots followed the TCAS instructions the crash would have been avoided. Sadly one of the pilots started following the instructions of Air Traffic Control. You can read all the details on the link above, but one of the issue here was that the Russian pilot listened to the controller and the other pilot listened to the TCAS warning/advisories. To me still a good example of perhaps different formal rules and regulations and partly perhaps culture too. The European pilots are taught to follow the instructions/advisories provided by their onboard TCAS system, whilst the Russian followed the Controller Instructions.

Jeroen
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Old 26th July 2013, 11:41   #152
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Bit of DejaVu; luckily this time they went around

See: http://avherald.com/h?article=465e38db&opt=0

Actually, for those interested in getting a feel for what sort of incidents are happening around the world in aviation, it's a very informative and well run site.

Jeroen
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Old 26th July 2013, 11:48   #153
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

The incoming kazak aircraft had a basic Cat 1 equipment on it and ILS.
In Almaty airport thise days landing was cat 1 from one side and VOR from reciprocal.

Now of course the transpoded signals display the flight levels as well at the control towers.

I lost two of my cousins bound for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on the Saudi Arabian Boeing 747 in 1996.
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Old 26th July 2013, 11:55   #154
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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Haha! I would like that very much. I just announce iFly followed by the flight number only on the radios while talking to the ATC.

Regards,

Vinayak Raghubir Sharma
I am almost a regular on JRH-GAU-DEL-CCU-GAU-JRH sectors but per force I have to fly Air India due to Govt regulations. But will keep my ears peeled in case the CC I/C announces a certain Capt VRS if am on your airline ever.
Since, guests are no longer allowed into the cockpit are Captains allowed to step out midair for a tbhp meet?
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Old 26th July 2013, 14:44   #155
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Wonderful thread !! Thank you so much for starting this thread for all aviation aficionados here.

I have always thought as to how do you steer the aircraft while taxi ? I have watched many cockpit videos of flights on youtube but never could figure out this one thing !

@wanderernomad : excellent thought of a mid air TBHP meeting ! I also love your signature hehe.
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Old 26th July 2013, 14:46   #156
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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Originally Posted by ifly View Post

Haha! I would like that very much. I just announce iFly followed by the flight number only on the radios while talking to the ATC.

Regards,

Vinayak Raghubir Sharma
Hi iFly. Great Thread. I see u stay in Calcutta. I have some pilot friends in Calcutta too. One of them happens to be my childhood friend. All the questions asked here have already been shot at my friends at some point of time.

I am a frequent flier & had flown last week in the GHY sector but on Air India. What sectors do you fly ? Will be great to meet you sometime.
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Old 26th July 2013, 15:04   #157
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Just a wonderful thread. To read about the grand Airbus A320 right from the horse's mouth is like listening to a sermon right from God.
The first I came across the thread, I was like, what! An A320 review on TBHP. But then I know, its still a three wheel (pun intended) with some engines that burn oil. So well accepted thread I must say.
Thanks for all the info that you have given and the pic of the mountains is just wonderful.
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Old 26th July 2013, 17:07   #158
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Ifly,
Nice thread. Thanks for sharing. Also Jeroen and rev tech etc who contributed so much to this thread. I will ask the cabin crew to tell you when I am next on a Indigo flight and you are captaining. Say Hi then.
Slightly OT: when you descend, do you also get ear pain? How do you avoid that? Some cabin crew relatives told me to chew gum or something but it has not really helped.
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Old 26th July 2013, 20:40   #159
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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Slightly OT: when you descend, do you also get ear pain? How do you avoid that? Some cabin crew relatives told me to chew gum or something but it has not really helped.
I guess your already aware that usually happens due to the pressure difference between your inner ear and the ambient pressure in the cabin. the only way to avoid that is by trying to equalize the pressure between the two which like you said could be done by chewing gum, swallowing, breathing from your mouth, yawning etc.
usually you shouldnt have a problem unless you have a blocked nose , though sometimes when planes descend with a high vertical speed, it aggravates the situation.

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I have always thought as to how do you steer the aircraft while taxi ? I have watched many cockpit videos of flights on youtube but never could figure out this one thing !
On ground the airplane is controlled using rudder pedals or the tiller.


rev
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Old 26th July 2013, 20:48   #160
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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Originally Posted by gtonsing View Post
Ifly,
Nice thread. Thanks for sharing. Also Jeroen and rev tech etc who contributed so much to this thread. I will ask the cabin crew to tell you when I am next on a Indigo flight and you are captaining. Say Hi then.
Slightly OT: when you descend, do you also get ear pain? How do you avoid that? Some cabin crew relatives told me to chew gum or something but it has not really helped.
One way i know is to press close your nose and try to blow your nose. This will help relieve your pain fast

Last edited by sagarpadaki : 26th July 2013 at 20:50.
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Old 26th July 2013, 20:53   #161
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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One way i know is to press close your nose and try to blow your nose. This will help relieve your pain fast
yes that too. Its called the valsava maneuver, though if done incorrectly(excessive force), it can damage your ears

rev

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Old 26th July 2013, 21:51   #162
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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Originally Posted by luvDriving View Post
Wonderful thread !! Thank you so much for starting this thread for all aviation aficionados here.

I have always thought as to how do you steer the aircraft while taxi ? I have watched many cockpit videos of flights on youtube but never could figure out this one thing !

@wanderernomad : excellent thought of a mid air TBHP meeting ! I also love your signature hehe.
On planes like the Airbus and Boeings the pilot uses the tiller. See my earlier post where i point it out on the cockpit photographs post earlier too.

In most (larger) planes the rudder pedals also control to some extent the nose wheel. However, during ground operations and taxi it's down to the tiller.

On smaller planes like the Cessna's I used to fly, there is no tiller, but you control the nose wheel directly with the rudder pedals. On other small planes like the Diamond, Cirrus, the nose wheel is free castoring, like the wheels of a shopping trolley. You steer by applying (differential) brakes on the left and right main gear. You do this by pushing, usually, on the top, of the rudder pedals. On all/most large (commercial) planes you also control the brakes on the main gears with the rudder pedals. Differential braking on these large planes is simply less effective as the nose wheels but it might help getting through a turn.

They might also be used during take/off and landing to control the plane in case of extreme crosswind. I've witnessed a Lufthansa training captain doing a cross wind take off on the Full Motion Simulator. It was a simulation way beyond what is normal/allowed. I seem to recall well over 40-50 knots cross wind. He had his rudder fully out and used differential braking to keep the plane aligned on the centre line. Tried it myself a few times, but ended up in the ditch every time.

On large planes like the 747 the tail acts as a huge wind sail. As long as you're flying or early in the touchdown the aerodynamic forces of the air rushing past it will keep the plane going straight. As you slow down that force diminishes and a crosswind becomes much more noticeable. This is also the time where the nose wheel doesn't give you full authority yet. So in order to stay alligned you need to step on one of the brakes. As you slow down further the nose wheel steering becomes more stronger where the rudder effect becomes less.

During a crosswind take off it works the opposite way, as you increase your speed the rudder authority increases and nose wheel steering and differential braking becomes less.

It take a lot of skill and practice, its a continues juggling between different forces with the rudder, the nose steering and the brakes and you need to keep the wings level as well! So you use one hand on the yoke, controlling elevators and ailerons, one hand on the throttle, feet on the pedal, controlling the rudder by moving pedals for and aft whilst also using one foot to depress the top of the rudder pedal to brake.

After several practices, in these very severe cross wind, I did manage to get the 747 on the ground, but every time when I slowed down I ended up in the ditch. Keeping the plane on the runway slowing down was far more difficult then getting it to touch down on the runway.

Crosswinds separate the men from the boys! Great fun, inmensely satisfying when you get it right, but some (professional and private) pilots never get the hang of it.

There are diffent cross wind landing and take off techniques. But all require a constant jugling of all the different control mechanism at your disposal.

Search for "cross wind landing" on youtube and you'll find some amazing footage!

Check this out:





Enjoy Jeroen
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Old 27th July 2013, 01:47   #163
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

So, finally we still haven't learnt why the Indian skies are more stringent (and hence safer), have we?

I remember a particular Air India flight which literally jolted everyone. This was from Bhopal to Mumbai, and the landing went so horribly wrong the baggage compartment doors opened and a couple of pieces of baggage actually fell down. The tail swung wildly for a few moments before finally the plane stabilized. A narrow escape. That was as a passenger. I don't know if the pilot had it in control and whether this was just one of the "Ouch!" moments - just like when I ride rough over some potholes and my passengers may feel anxiety and jolts, and I might just shrug it off.
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Old 27th July 2013, 01:52   #164
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So, finally we still haven't learnt why the Indian skies are more stringent (and hence safer), have we?

.
Yep, still waiting for that one; Its a toughie, will take a real pilot to answer that one.

If you're looking for a real pilot this is an interesting site; checked my own name and sure enough I'm in there.

http://pilots-airmen.findthedata.org/

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 27th July 2013 at 02:05.
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Old 27th July 2013, 17:52   #165
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As you might have gathered from my previous posts I have a Private Pilot License and have done most of my flying in the US. However, being interested in aviation is something I've been my whole life. I started flying gliders when I was at university and have been studying aircraft system more or less as an hobby nearly all my life.

I used a semi-professional PC Based Flight SIM for that: http://www.aerowinx.com

Amazing software, Nothing like Mircrosoft Flight SIM, There is no outside view, no scenery, just incredible detailed functionality with every switch, dial etc fully functioning as in real life. The author is presently rewriting this amazing program with even more functionality.

So I spent many hours at my desk pouring over all aircraft documents and manuals I could get my hands on. Strictly Boeing 747-400 only.
Aerowinx has a very active forum and I found out i lived close by one of the other members. So we started visiting one another and jointly exploring this hugely complex piece of machinery.

At some point in time we decided that we wanted to get a more realistic view of how it all worked. So we decided to rent a Cargolux Full Motion Simulator. These are used to train the crews on, cost a bundle (upwards of 30 million USD) and are incredible realistic. In fact, many pilot certifications and hour building are done of SIM's rather than on real aircraft. These SIMS are run 24/7 to train crew. But if they have free hours they used to be rented out to the general public. Cost a bundle, our "flight' was literally a few days before 9/11 and since it has become much more difficult to privately rent these SIMs. We went back many times and also became friends with some of the guys who run the Lufthansa SIM in Frankfurt. So even passed 9/11 we managed to sneak in numerous times and I can say I have build quite a bit of hours flying 744's.

Anyway, the very first time we did this, I did a write up on the Aerowinx forum. That old forum doesn't exist anymore, but I wrote these text as plain Word documents before uploading them.

Thought I'd share them with you all. It is an incredible experience. If you ever get the chance to visit a full motion SIM please do. You won't regret it.

So here goes, remember this some 12 years ago, a few days before 9/11. Also, the real pro's will notice a number of things we did that were not exactly in line with normal procedures:

QUOTE
Some time ago, Ton and myself decided that we wanted to experience a real full motion 747-400 Simulator. It had to be, of course, a Cargolux freighter configuration. You can rent such a beauty from ProFlight in Luxembourg. Which we did last Saturday, for a full two hours!!

We wanted to execute a complete flight (Take off, climb, descent, approach and landing). We opted for ELLX (Luxembourg) to EHBK (Maastricht). Total flying time around 19 minutes. We had been preparing a number of times together. Making sure we could handle the procedures, call-outs. We even had a Sunday afternoon checking out with our manuals and posters all the different switches and how to operate them.

As Luxembourg is still a good 4 hours drive from where Ton and I live in the Netherlands, we decided to travel up there on the Friday morning, even though our SIM ride wasn’t until Saturday evening. Also, Ton had been in contact with Thomas Klein of Cargolux and he was going to show us around the Ops department on Friday afternoon and a ramp visit on Saturday afternoon. It was a great experience to see some of the planning and dispatch activities going on. We stood on the ramp for well over two hours, with 744’s coming and going. We were allowed into one 7474-400F as well. First time for me in a freighter version. It is absolutely enormous. We spent some time in the cockpit. Familiarising ourselves with all the knobs, switches etc. etc. We saw a wheel on a 744 being changed. Noteworthy was the jack they used. It taps its pressure simply from one of the tires on the landing gear!!.

My first car was a Volkswagen beetle, which deployed a similar system for its window washer system. Its little water tank was pressurised from the spare wheel. Same principle!!

At long last I have also seen the “Steering pin inserted” business on the nose gear. Don’t look for anything big. It’s a minute pin, at the back of the nose strut, which is huge.

Many thanks to Thomas who gave us a great tour.

Saturday evening 18.45 we reported to ProFlight. We were met by Mark, a 737 FO of Lufthansa who would be our instructor. Although he flies 737-400 himself, he is certified to handle the 747-400 simulator.

We had prepared flight plans and some other materials and Mark was suitably impressed. (“I’ve trained well over 200 private people, but nobody has brought their own flight plan before.”). The briefing room had a set-up with MCP / FMC and some PC’s and we quickly showed Mark that we knew how to enter this little lot into the FMC. So his attitude was: well, let’s not waste time on the briefing, let’s do some flying.

The moment of truth; You climb up the stairs to this huge machine and you enter through a door, right into the 747 cockpit, exactly as the one we had been sitting in that very same afternoon on Findel-ramp. We had agreed beforehand that for our first flight Ton would be in the left seat and be PF and I would take the right seat and be PNF.

First a quick check of all the instruments and switches. Mark, our instructor, can’t get rid of the EICAS message concerning X-feed. He tells us not to worry, but Ton knows his fuel logic and reconfigures the panel and presto: all messages cleared!!

So here we are: Lined-up on the 06. We’re cleared for Take Off: Ton shoves the throttles to 70%, goes TOGA and we just seem to spin around our take off position. Definitely something wrong here with the SIM. So it gets rebooted (or whatever you call it for a full motion SIM) by Mark. So we try again and this time all goes well. It is an unbelievable experience!. I call 80 knots, V1 (Ton lets go of the throttles), Rotate and we’re off!! Ton decides to hand fly all the way to Maastricht. The scenery is unbelievable. We’ve taken off by daylight and it is absolutely incredible what you can see and the amount of detail.

After our 45 second cruise at FL140 we start our descent into Maastricht. I set up the FMC and even enter a few more waypoints to get us nicely lined up. Ton is still on manual and we catch the localiser and the glideslope. Gear is down. Flaps to 30. We’re passing 800 feet. The weather is beautiful, but where is Maastricht, or even more important; Where the fxxck is the runway?? We’re bang on the glideslope (ILS set correctly). Mark goes: We better “go-around”. Captain Ton keeps his cool and the throttles go “balls against the wall”, positive rate of climb, gear up, flaps to 20, Perfect go-around 15 minutes into our first full motion SIM flight!

Would you believe it: We spent a small fortune on this SIM to end up with a SIM which still does not have all airports in it’s database!!!

Anyway we’re off into the blue-yonder levelling off at around 4.500 feet. We look around us a bit and see in the distance a big town. (It is really unbelievable what you see). I check the ND and we figure we’re barrelling towards Luik (Liege). I start setting up the FMC. I’m used to our PS1 of course and I can tell you the real FMC is a pain. There is no way you can “speed-type”. It takes ages to enter data and to update. But I get it all sorted out and Ton makes his first real landing, full manual. It’s nice and smooth, and now we also know how the reversers work on the throttle quadrant.

Next, it’s my turn. Ton and I swap seats and we decide not to worry about Maastricht and Mark puts us on the 01L at EHAM. All systems are running fine. Flaps are set to 20. The FMC is programmed for a take off at 01L + LEKKO SID. (This you always have to do yourself, it’s not done automatically by the SIM, it only puts you onto a certain position).

We are cleared for take off. I advance the throttles to 70%. All engine parameters look ok. Push the TOGA. Keep your hand on the throttles whiles the autothrottle spools up the engines to take off thrust. You feel the throttles going forward. Push the yoke forward to keep pressure on the nose gear. We’re rolling. I steer with the rudder pedals keeping us aligned with the centre line of the runway. The plane is shaking as I’ve experienced many times in real life as a passenger. Ton calls thrust set, V1 (I take my right hand of the throttle and have now both hands on the yoke), ease back a little. Ton calls Rotate and I pull back gently on the yoke and at 10 degrees nose up we take off!!. I’m actually flying a 747!! Positive rate of climb, gear up and we start retracting our flaps in accordance with the PFD. I’m a bit puzzled as the flight director seems to point me in a different direction from what I would expect on the ND. Mark is puzzled as well. Then I notice the ND is still in PLN mode, so that figures.

We have levelled of at 6000 feet and I call for LNAV, VNAV and CMD-C. Ton engages all this automation –lark and we catch our breath again. (According to Mark it is Lufthansa Company policy not to engage LNAV/VNAV on the ground. I always do though, as all my check lists from various carriers tells me to.).

The LEKKO SID takes us on the downwind leg back parallel to the runway again. I use FL CH to descent to 3000 feet. Then HEADING select to turn towards the runway. Mark tells me to fly at a very big angle towards the runway heading. We hit it at about 80 degrees, so nearly perpendicular. I had the APP engaged and the Localizers goes active as we more or less cross the runway heading. It throws us in steep right hand turn, banking sharply, as we overshoot the runway heading. But the autopilot recovers us brilliantly and lines us up perfectly. (I’ve observed this many times in PS as well, it works very well. Try this in MSFS and you will experience what oscillation means and why aircraft that oscillate tend to crash eventually). At 500 feet I disengage the autopilot, but keep the autothrottle on.

It is definitely easier landing this near-real bird than the PS one!!.

Both Ton and I take a few more turns flying this little circuit. We’ve hand flown it a couple of times as PF and PNF, and also executed one full automated CAT III landing. Without being cocky or overconfident I would claim that if I would ever find myself in a situation in a real 747-400 where I would have to land the plane, once all the automation works I can manage!!. It is exactly as in PS1. Except you don’t have a mouse, of course.

Thomas was with us as well and managed to capture most of our flight on video. Thomas did one landing as well. As he has a PPL he did very well, even thought he flies MSFS nowadays and mostly smaller planes too (SAAB’s, BA146 etc).

All in all, it’s an incredible experience. Thomas had video-ed it all, and later that night, Ton and I managed to hook up the video to the hotel-TV. We re-lived the whole experience over and over again.

The things that struck me most were:

Enter data into the FMC: It’s really slow!
Speed brake: I find it fiddly to arm. With flaps you can’t miss. The handle “cloincks” into the different slots.
All the CRT’s are incredible in detail and the way everything moves so smoothly
Flying this real SIM is easier than flying on your PC. The yoke feels solid and every little move gets a response. Trimming is dead easy as you can feel the yoke easing up on you.
The scenery is amazing. We flew during daytime and EHAM also at dusk. You can see the cars travelling on the A-4 (motorway). This, by the way is highly unrealistic as the real A-4 is always chock-a-block with cars not moving at all at that time of the day, but never the less: it looks very good.
Full motion SIMs have a few bugs as well. Neither are their databases perfect. You will be relieved to hear that they do come equipped with a “pause-button” though. The instructor can stop it at any time.
The instructor can put you anywhere, on the ground (providing it’s in the database) or in the air. You do have set the switches (e.g. gear/flap/overhead panel etc) to the correct position and also you need to re-enter data into the FMC which correspond with your actual position.
The movement of the SIM is as with a real aircraft. It is very realistic. Sounds as well. You can hear the gear going down, flaps etc.

Ton and I had a great time. And I’m sure after we look at the video some more, we will remember even more.

UNQUOTE

Here's the site of ProFlight. Gives you some idea on what is available, cost etc.
Since 9/11 I don't think they allow you to book jointly with some one else. You will be with other persons, but not of your own choosing. Also, they will decided by and large what you get to do, not like we did it.

http://www.proflight.com/-proflight-e/index.php

Remarkably, we both got a call from several law enforcement agencies about a week or so after 9/11. Germans and Americans. They were very polite and wanted to know why we rented the SIM, where did we get our theoretical training, where did we get the manuals. So we showed them. It did have one positive spin off; we became pre-9/11 authorized users and that meant we could still rent it the way we saw fit, jointly and doing our own training and exercises. Even better, after a while we got to ride it free, because we got to know some people.

The below YouTube give us a good impression on what a full motion SIM is all about:




Hope you enjoy!

Jeroen
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