Real Answers from Real Pilots

The Torture Chamber aka Da Sim!


Spending the rest of the month in virtual reality. Gotta admit looks pretty real!

(Eric) #2

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8 more days?! Yikes! I actually volunteered so there’s no pressure (whew). Yea this sim is only a couple of years old. Really pretty impressive but still not an airplane. Have fun! and do good!

(Matthew Dean) #4

Why is I the torture chamber?. Lol is it really that bad or what?


Yes Matthew it is! But that’s the point. Simulators vary from your home PC with MSFltSim to full motion Level D sims we have at the airlines. All are designed to allow you to practice and perfect your skills. The fact is bad things (while rare) do happen in airplanes and another fact is often (not always) it can be attributed to “pilot error”. Now the plane I fly, the Airbus A330-200, costs about $230mil dollars, not to mention it burns about 10,000lbs of jet fuel per hour (approx.1500 gal) so as you can understand the airline frowns upon pilots taking airplanes up without passengers and trying to break them (and if we did it with 300 pax in back I’m sure many of them wouldn’t like it either). Soooo once a year we are required to spend some quality time in the sim honing our skills. The sessions can vary but you rarely are just sitting back enjoying the artificial view. For example this evening me and my partner suffered 5-6 engine failures at takeoff (which is the WORST time to lose one), both engines at altitude, loss of 2 of our 3 hydraulic systems (which in an Airbus is REALLY BAD), windshear, traffic alerts, incapacitated crewmember and jammed flight controls. While this may sound like fun and obviously it’s all simulated so no ones bending any metal or worse, it can be and usually is VERY stressful. Now I can’t really complain too much since I volunteered (I’m not due till Dec but it helps keep me sharp). The level of torture can also vary with the instructors level of sadism but I guess that makes me a masochist?

Long short the idea is that when things get ugly you simply reach into bag of experience and do as you’ve been trained vs becoming a statistic. Either way you may end up on the 6 o’clock news but we’d all rather have a happy ending so it’s definitely worth it… I think?


(Matthew Dean) #6

Got ya, thank you.