At the Professional Flight Training Exhibition held in April at London Heathrow, British Airways offered a fantastic prize for one lucky visitor – an experience in a Boeing 747-400 Simulator. Lucky winner Emily Nash had a day at Heathrow in June with British Airways. Here she shares her experience:
I started off on basic take off and landing at Heathrow. The controls felt very different and much more physical to how I expected and, until I figured out how to trim properly, it required a lot of my strength to hold the control column back to keep the nose up when turning.
The simulator was incredibly realistic in the way that it moved and in many ways easier than standard PC simulators because of all the information given to you by the instruments. After getting a chance to put the 747-400 into some corners that might have upset a few passengers’ gin and tonics, Dan let me try the Canarsie approach to JFK at night. It was challenging, but I’m proud to say that with a little input from Dan I didn’t do too badly on the two times we tried the approach. I also had fun flying with full passenger capacity on two engines!
As a passenger I will be much more confident now, as I know what the aeroplane is capable of actually coping with. My dad very much enjoyed landing at our local airport, Exeter, and his bumpier landings were perfectly recreated by the sim!
I am very interested in a career as a pilot and winning this experience has increased my love of flying and desire to pursue that career, even more since my first flying lesson at the age of 10. At the moment I am still caught between commercial pilot training and university, with a Physical Natural Sciences course at UCL lined up for September. If I don’t throw caution to the wind and drop everything for flying by September, I will definitely be looking to continue my interest with the university air squadron and hopefully get in a few more hours in the air.
You can meet representatives from British Airways and find out more about a pilot career with Britain’s flagship airline at the next Professional Flight Training Exhibition. The event will take place at the Sofitel Hotel, T5 London Heathrow and you can buy your tickets by clicking the button below.