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Old 03-28-2020, 08:04 AM   #1
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My Awesome Birthday Present

Yesterday was my Birthday.

Pause......while you all say Happy Birthday.

My darling wife organized an awesome surprise present.

Thanks to our neighbors, owners of a commercial flight school, I got to log .5 as PIC in an Airbus A320. That's half an hour in the left seat of one of the nicest flying twin engine commercial aircraft in service today. Simulated of course.



As a high time GA pilot of advancing years and limited disposable cash, actual flying has been non existent over the past ten years or so.

The opportunity to fly a full motion sim, usually reserved for airline pilots to train or practice on was indeed a thrill I've still not yet got over.

The realism of motion and the view out of the cockpit are totally immersive, imagine the best CGI Hollywood can provide visually, and that's what you see and experience out the window.

From take-off to landing I was lucky enough to hand fly the A/C without intervention from the FAA training Capt. seated behind me and overseeing the 'flight'.

He threw a couple of minor league curve balls at me, adding heavy chop turbulence, and snow at one point but I'm proud to say I still managed to put it on the numbers 'shiny side up'.

I'm so lucky to have a wife who knows instinctively what I'd like, and friends with the resources to make it happen, thank you to all of them, this was truly a memory I can cherish forever.

I just had to share this with you guys.

Best regards everyone, stay safe and well.
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Old 03-28-2020, 08:29 AM   #2
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Happy Birthday John.
That's a pretty awesome present.
Hopefully there was no need for any of that hard to come by, elusive TP.
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Old 03-28-2020, 09:04 AM   #3
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Happy Birthday. I’d flown that virtual flight to some virtual virus free island.
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Old 03-28-2020, 09:35 AM   #4
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Thanks Guys,

Lloyd, no TP necessary, well not for me anyway, and the Capt. seemed quite comfortable too.

PapaT, ironically the CGI location was set to NY's JFK so I flew an extended pattern there. They have an option for a 'Sully' scenario for students to practice ditching which I declined. I did ask if I could fly somewhere more exotic just for the extra time, Tahiti came to mind, but time was a consideration....Boo.

I would like to have shot an approach into Hong Kong or Singapore as both of those have striking architecture immediately adjacent to the airfield which would I'm sure have looked fantastic, but probably distracting. Another time maybe.


Stay well guys. Bye for now.
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Old 03-28-2020, 09:40 AM   #5
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Happy Birthday!

Glad it was a good one.
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Old 03-28-2020, 12:17 PM   #6
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I now have someone to sing happy birthday to for the prescribed 20 seconds while I wash my hands.

What a remarkable day you had..congrats!!
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Old 03-28-2020, 01:51 PM   #7
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Great BD present, Happy Birthday. Brings back that itch to get back into the pilot seat for real.
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Old 03-28-2020, 06:17 PM   #8
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What an awesome gift, But is that the ejector seat button the wife has her finger on?? Lol
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Old 03-28-2020, 10:04 PM   #9
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Happy Birthday! Congrats on the simulator time. It's been so long since I've been in the left seat that I can't remember my last flight.
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Old 03-29-2020, 02:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rrizz View Post
What an awesome gift, But is that the ejector seat button the wife has her finger on?? Lol



Haa haa ha, It wouldn't be the first time she's threatened to punch me out...
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Old 04-03-2020, 06:50 AM   #11
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Happy belated birthday! Congratulations! Isn’t that the greatest?! I have a training class date in the A320 this fall. I’m looking forward to it, everyone I know that flies it, loves it.

I fly the Embraer 190. When I was in initial training for that plane, my wife came down to training for the first few days of orientation and they let her fly the A320 simulator. She still busts my chops that she’s flown a bigger airplane than me. ��
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:44 AM   #12
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Thanks Baumsy,

I think I'm married to your wife's sister.

We did a similar thing in two race cars around Brands Hatch in England.

I drove a single seat open wheel F3 car, she went with a professional race driver in a super sport and clocked a faster lap time than me.....

I've never been allowed to forget that either.

Remember, the definition of a great pilot is one with the same number of landings as takeoffs..

Fly safe my friend.
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:58 AM   #13
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Yes, Happy Birthday Biggles (belated). That outing looks fantastic. It must of been a blast. Great read. Thanks for sharing!
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