News Section

2502 & 1188 Take to the Virtual Skies

Article posted: Nov 22, 2010 by Sqn Ldr Utting

On Sunday 7 November, 3 of Hamilton’s cadets and 5 from 1188 passed there Flight Simulator Introduction weekend in 2502 squadrons Boeing 737 800 Simulator. The cadets have just spent two day learning about the 737’s cockpit, instruments and procedures.

The first day of the course involved cockpit orientation, departure, climb out, circuit and approach procedures and Air Traffic Control for both first officer and pilot roles. Needless to say it was a long day in the classroom, however this would be the easy part as day two was putting it into practice in the simulator as well as talking with Air Traffic Control.
It’s an early start for the cadets with wheels up from RAF Brize Norton at 0830. Crewed in pairs the first crew took to the virtual skies of Oxfordshire. First to take the Pilots seat was Cdt Manning (1188), who completed one touch and go and one Missed approach. Setting the bar high was crew member (co-piloting) Cdt George (2502), then swapped on the downwind leg out of Brize and took the Pilots seat. Cdt George successfully completed a touch and go’s and a full stop landing. As a crew they spent 2 hours flying in the simulator.
Later that morning the next crew completed successful circuits getting around an hour in each seat as first officer and captain. During the day a further two crews took to the skies, totalling 8 hours flying time between them. All crews were flying in real weather condition simulated as they would be a Brize Norton.
With the day done and some 100,000bls of virtual fuel later, the students have successfully completed the first course on the simulator.
Cadet Clark (1188 Sqn) said: “That was brilliant. It’s a lot different to just playing it as home. You really do believe you are flying and are very nervous coming into land as you don’t want to crash!”
Cadet George (2502 Sqn) said: “Its not as easy as people make out, you have so much to remember for Landing and everything! I was very proud I managed to fly it and not do anything wrong.”
Flt Lt Andy Faulkner, Officer Commanding 2502 and Course Instructor said: “Some exceptional flying skills have been displayed today in the simulator. You have cadets who use flight sim at home then come on the course and realise how different and difficult it is to do properly. Quite a few cadets over this and past courses coming out of the simulator sweating through anxiety and fear of messing it up. That said, they have all flown very well and I have prised them all.“
A course video is available to be seen at
Using Microsoft Flight Simulator X with a number of add on packs allowing us to give a realistic Primary Flight, Navigation and EICAS displays layout, giving a good impression of instrument panel on the 737.
If you have any questions or cadets who maybe interested in being on any of the courses run, please contact OC 2502, Flt Lt Andy Faulkner for courses available.