I love to travel and I love airplane rides! So, when I received an invitation from iPilot Flight Simulator Center to experience what is it like to be in the Pilot's seat and not in our usual Economy Class, I eagerly replied "yes" without any reservations. :)
My excitement caught Ed by surprise. He never thought I'd like it as the activity is not fit for a girly girl like me and I can easily get confused with all the techie buttons and switches. But, I'm pretty sure he was happy that I decided to go for it. It's something new for both us. And just like me, he's curious on what's going on in the cockpit.
So, Ed and I excitedly went to The Dubai Mall where iPilot is located. That morning, we had a funny conversation in the taxi.
Me: When we get to The Dubai Mall, we should walk as fast as we can. Our flight time is at 10:45 AM. It's already 10:30. We might miss the flight.
Ed: The plane won't leave without us. We are the pilots, remember?
|iPilot center at The Dubai Mall|
Thankfully, we arrived at the iPilot store on time. It is a small, unassuming shop in front of Sega Republic, but inside, it looks cooool! There was a family booked ahead of us, so had to wait a little at the reception. We used that time to check the merchandise and to get to know more about iPilot. The staff informed us that we're going to have a 2-hour flying time in a Boeing 737 to and from any of the 24,000 airports in the world. The simulation is realistic that aviation students also visit the iPilot center to practice.
When our time to fly came, our instructor Christian warmly greeted us and led us to the cockpit. Or should I say mockpit. Pun intended. It is a mock-up of a Boeing 737 cockpit, complete with buttons that will control the flap, the speed, and the works. We can choose the type of weather we like to experience and the flight time. Of course, I chose to fly on a sunny morning. No turbulence please!
|Flying for the first time with iPilot's Instructor Christian|
|I had to control the speed, the altitude, everything! It seemed real!|
I bravely said I'll go first, hence the instructor introduced the aircraft controls to me. He carefully explained the direction finder, the altitude indicator, the pedals, how to go higher and how to go lower. Yes, I was confused, very very confused. Gosh! I can't even drive a car, how can I fly a plane? Hahah!
iPilot simulator is so realistic that I panicked! I asked the instructor to proceed with the take off and I'll try my best to control the plane once we're up in the sky. We flew over the desert and over Burj Khalifa. Not wanting to miss the experience, I followed his instructions and ended up flying above Palm Jumeirah! Wahh! Awesome!
|I chose to fly over Dubai. This futuristic city has the most amusing aerial view.|
|flying over the desert|
|I let the instructor do the take off and landing. |
Our lives were not at risk, but since it's too realistic, I was scared to make a mistake.
Ed took over the Pilot's seat and had the time of his life. He flew from Heathrow to St. Maarten! The Guts! As we all know, St. Maarten is one crazy airport with a runway situated close to Maho Beach. He landed there... after several attempts! In short, he crashed the plane. Boohoo. Good thing, there's no seat movement in the simulator. I love flying, but I still find it hard to cope up with turbulence.
All's well that ends well. At the end of session, the husband was the happiest!
|Buttons. Switches. Dials.|
|More switches on top. There, I found out how to turn on the Fasten Your Seat Belt sign.|
|Successful landing in St. Maarten|
So... Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. Joke! My experience at iPilot did not magically turn me into an Aviator, but it sure did fulfill my dream of flying an airplane. It is not easy. Hence from now on, I'd be happily sitting, praising the Pilots for a job well done, in the Economy.
|Pilots for two hours at iPilot|
Flight Simulator Experiences start at 349 AED for 15-minute flight.
Packages and Gift cards are available at iPilot eshop.
The Dubai Mall
Contact # +971 56 738 7444
Advance booking is recommended.
We were invited to experience iPilot Flight Simulator. Opinions in this blog post are my own.