I'm a Victorian freelance writer & photographer living in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne.
Published June 26th 2017
Clear For Take-Off
The advent of the Flight Simulator was undoubtedly one of the greatest ever advancements in aviation safety, allowing pilots to hone their skills and practice emergency situations without actually incurring the massive cost of getting an aircraft into the air. 'Sim time' was part of being a professional pilot.
But today the opportunity to pilot an airliner or even a jet fighter is available to people of almost all ages and with no previous flying training or experience.
Imagine yourself on 'short final' approach at the controls of an Airbus A320 - do it in a state-of-the-art flight simulator right here in Melbourne. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
A number of Melbourne based flight simulators offer flight experiences in Boeing 737- 800 and Airbus A320 airliners, the 'Fighting Falcon' F-16 jet fighter and light general aviation types including the Cessna 172 and Piper Seminole.
All allow customers to 'captain' the aircraft during take-off & landing at major airports around the world, fly circuits & bumps or scenic tours over designated locations.
A flight simulator ride will allow you to take the controls of a Boeing 737-800 and land & take-off at any one of hundreds of airports around the world. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
These are not toys. They are latest technology pilot training systems approved by aviation regulatory authorities around the world. Some are 'full-motion' simulators meaning that they are the nearest thing possible to actually flying without ever leaving the ground.
Most operators offer corporate experiences and children's parties as well as the basic one-on-one flight experience and most offer gift vouchers.
Strap in to an F-16 'Fighting Falcon' jet-fighter for the ride of your life - all without ever leaving the ground. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
If you've got the need, the need for speed, here's a list of flight simulators available in Melbourne that will put you in the captain's seat for a very realistic flight experience.