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I flew an airplane: how was my experience

The professional pilot mentioned that if you can fly the airbus in the simulator, you can do it for real

By Triantafyllos SaridisPublished 7 months ago 4 min read

I have nothing to do with airplanes. I am just a passenger from time to time and know nothing about flying them. I figured out that it is really awesome to pilot an airliner and that you have nothing to be scared about. The navigating systems are so advanced that the chances of something irreversible happening are none to less. If you are a potential pilot or a scared air traveler I will reassure you that you can either start traveling by plane or start training about becoming a pilot without fear.

10000 hours of flights: the best pilot to talk about airplanes

Before going to the actual flight we had a briefing with a great pilot about what was about to happen and learn a few things about the simulator and the actual airplane. The cockpit of the simulator was equal to the cockpit of a real airbus A320, the most common aircraft for commercial flights. The highly trained and experienced pilot that helped us through the process told us that if you can fly smoothly the airplane in the simulator, you can fly an actual airbus A320. Of course, a rookie ''pilot'' like myself could not fly an airplane -not even in a simulator- without assistance from an experienced pilot. He also mentioned that all airplanes have backup systems if something out of the ordinary happens. It is the safest means of transport and there has to be a series of infelicities for the pilots to be unable to safely land the aircraft. If we take into consideration the high standards of most airlines in terms of pilot training, maintenance of the aircrafts, and staff control we can feel safe about traveling by plane. Also, the experienced pilot mentioned that turbulence through flights is inevitable and something normal to happen. The construction of the airplanes has been planned in a way to deal with the worst weather conditions without anything serious happening. He also told us that airplanes many years ago had manual navigating systems and the pilot had more responsibilities in terms of leading the aircraft. Nowadays, navigation systems are automatic, and the pilot steps in when the plane is about to take off and land. Additionally, in the extreme scenario that the pilot wants to do an extreme maneuver or inappropriate movements the high-tech navigating systems have a limit to the degree of the turns and upside-down movements, up to where it is appropriate for the certain type of airplanes. To sum up, the briefing was really interesting and the greatest way to prepare ourselves for the actual flight.

Inside the cockpit

We entered the cockpit of the simulator, which is exactly how it is in a real airbus A320. I actually flew an airplane! Isn't that cool? The experienced pilot was sitting in the co-pilot's seat and I was the one directing the airplane. The pilot regulated the height we wanted to fly at, the airport we were heading to, and the whole route we were supposed to follow. In a typical flight, the pilot manually directs the airplane during the take-off and then puts the auto-pilot on until the time of landing when he manually takes control of the aircraft. Because I was supposed to live the experience at its fullest, I was manually directing the aircraft throughout our whole trip.

During take-off, I had to push a heavy lever two levels frontward to gain the starting power. As the plane gained the required speed I moved a more flexible joystick downwards for the front part of the airplane to direct upwards. We took off from El. Venizelos airport in Athens, with destination the JMK airport in Mykonos. We flew at 12000 feet and as we were flying the pilot was showing me the islands that we were passing by as I was trying my best to fulfill the expectations of my first flight as a ''pilot''. With this flexible joystick, I was making tricks and amazing turns through the air and was enjoying this unique experience. I was doing great following the instructions of the pilot and then we had to land. Mykonos' airport is one of the hardest airports to land, as I learned later. During the approach for landing, the pilot has to open the extended parts of the wings to slow the power of the wind coming at the airplane. While he was doing that, I was all focused on doing the smoothest landing of all time for a ''rookie pilot''. I tried my best, the pilot said if this was happening in real life everyone would be okay as we finished the landing just before the airway ends. So I did it! I felt so proud! He was the best instructor as he was explaining well things and was doing some tasks along with me and I was a good student. If I would do it again? Of course! It was absolutely astonishing.

Approaching JMK: the view through the cockpit


Being a pilot is a really responsible job. But seeing a pilot with so much experience, and being so happy about showing people that have no idea about piloting an airplane how to do it, made me feel that this might be one of the best and most flawless jobs in the world. It does not matter what job you have chosen until it is not harmful to anyone and makes you feel happy. About the experience, I learned a lot about the way an airplane works and the whole approach the industry has towards piloting, and the whole experience of the travelers. I recommend you try to fly an airplane in a simulator or even start taking pilot lessons if you have not decided what you want to do in your life. As a passenger, I suggest you travel more by plane and discover the world! Would you like to fly an airplane in a simulator or in real life?

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About the Creator

Triantafyllos Saridis

Hello! I am Triantafyllos and this is my personal vocal media page.

Words that better describe my stories: Innovative, positive, with useful information

Since you came to my page you should take a look at my articles :)

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Comments (2)

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  • Shahid Anwar7 months ago

    Wao great experience

  • Joe Patterson7 months ago

    Very informative. I’ve been getting on airplanes my whole life and I love it. I’ve always felt comfortable and safe on planes, but this article makes me feel even more comfortable.

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