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FT BA Flight Simulator Outing to Heathrow [UK] 20/27 October 2017

FT BA Flight Simulator Outing to Heathrow [UK] 20/27 October 2017

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Old Nov 15, 17, 7:27 am   -   Wikipost
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Its back again! Simulator choice this year is 747 and 777. One of the 747 simulators is actually going this year so you may want to try them before they all go. No one will be forced to fly on something they dont want though, and I would imagine the 747 is the one most want (and should) try.

Previous Trip Reports for the Simulators
Cost
Each simulator holds 4 people and one instructor. The total cost of a 4 hour session in one simulator would be 1,700 (this is cheaper than BA offer to the public), and this would give around 55-60 minutes of time per person on the controls although we would rotate during the session so this would be split in to a number of smaller time chunks. Please note that the prices on the BAFT website are quoted as 1,700 excluding VAT per simulator, but we have been offered them for a price of 1,700, including VAT.

As we are charged per simulator generally a group in multiples of 4 would be ideal, with cost per person being 425. If we only had three people for example we would still have to pay 1,700 so the cost per person increases to 567 per person, although we would each get a bit more time at the controls. If we end up with 5 though it may well make sense to go to 1 simulator to reduce the cost and have say 45/50 minutes each per simulator.

Basically once we confirm numbers we can make a choice if we don't have a multiple of 4, although a multiple of 4 would be ideal.

Payment
Once the date is confirmed and booked each person would pay their share directly to BAFT, this is likely to be around September or early October when payment is due. It would be non-refundable so if you don't show you would unfortunately not get your money back, but this stops those that do show all of a sudden having to cover any no-show's share. If you do commit and pay and find in a few months you can't make it one option may be to see if a friend, work colleague, or other FT'er can come and take your place and they can pay you directly for your share which you have already paid to BAFT.

I will ensure that we are absolutely not going to be in a situation on the day where I am asking those that have come along to dip in to their pockets to cover any additional cost. Sorry this seems a bit harsh, but I don't think anyone wants to turn up finding instead of 3,400 divided by 8 it is suddenly only divided by 6.

Dates & Times
Unfortunately weekends are not possible for a group booking, so the options are weekdays. My own preference would be a Friday and probably 1900-2300 as (coming from the regions) I would only need to take half a day off work and wouldn't have to worry about getting back for working the next day. For those in London or around the South East you could come in the evening and there would be no need for any holiday being used.

If we booked for a date more than 3 months in advance we can hopefully get our choice of date & time. I have already confirmed with BA that the dates offered below are available.

Attendees and Groups
See post 127 for the group lists - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/28614931-post127.html

Standby list -

Location
The simulators are all now at the new Engineering Base at Heathrow near Hatton Cross tube station - they used to be at Cranebank which is where we went in 2014, but they were moved last year and our 2015 and 2016 visits were at the new facility. More details here.

As this is part of a secure area you would need a passport or other photo ID to enter.

Flights

20.10.17

BA835 DUB-LHR (ETA: 1425) EI147, datschi
BA1343 LBA-LHR (ETA: 1535) KARFA,
BA753 BSL-LHR (ETA: 1240) florens

27.10.17

BA1343 LBA-LHR (ETA: 1535) KARFA, S_W_S

Hotels

20.10.17

Hilton Garden Inn Heathrow at Hatton Cross: florens, KARFA, flatlander
Sheraton Heathrow: headinclouds

27.10.17

Hilton Garden Inn Heathrow at Hatton Cross: KARFA, S_W_S

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Old Mar 31, 17, 3:41 am
  #1  
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FT BA Flight Simulator Outing to Heathrow [UK] 20/27 October 2017

I want to float the idea of a FT outing to a simulator some time later this year. This will be a repeat of the outings I have previously organised in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

A bit of background on my own experience so far. I am very enthusiastic/geeky about flying, and I know a few others on here enjoy what happens in the cockpit as well as just being sat in the back enjoying the champagne. I have one hour in a Cessna 172 which I did in 2013, and which you can read about here, and since then a few hours in various PA28 aircraft. I do plan to go for a PPL at some stage, but money and time needed mean it wont be for at least a year or two yet.

I have also been for a couple of Emirates sim sessions at their Aviation Experience near the O2 arena in London. This is very much at the more fun end of simulators. The only things that work on the cockpit are the throttle (inc. reversers), yoke/side stick, rudders, foot brakes, and gear. The primary and navigation displays work but you can't adjust anything on them. They have recently upgraded them so the speedbrake lever and a flaps lever work as well. All the buttons shown are just graphics, there are no working buttons. So basically it does feel like a very sophisticated home simulator, kind of FSX but sat in a simplified cockpit. It is not equivalent to a full simulator, and there is no motion. However, if you accept these limitations it is actually very enjoyable.

I also went to Virtual Aerospace near Northampton in February 2014 on their 737 simulator. This is basically a fully workable fixed base cockpit with fsx graphics projected in front. More absorbing and real than the Emirates experience, but still not a full motion or fully wrap-around graphics. I have also previously gone to the 737 iPILOT simulator in London.

Finally over the last two years I have been going fairly regularly to a fixed base 737-800 simulator near Rochdale. The simulator is this one Flightdeck Experience. As well as the cockpit the guy who owns it has built a cabin as well with 12 seats. You can see photos on the website. You actually get a simulated view from the windows as well. It makes it good for group outings and you can sit in the cabin for the time you are not flying in the cockpit.

I realise we have a wide spectrum of experience on these things, but hopefully it would work. You should certainly not feel you need any experience to come, and in previous years people with no experience have come and enjoyed it.

Please only express an interest if you can make at least one of the dates and are prepared to meet your share of the cost. I realise this is not a cheap activity, but having done it three times now I can say that it is very much worth it.

Rather than doing this as a poll, please just post any date preferences in the thread. I expect we will settle on a specific date in the next month or so, and I hope we have finalised plans by early May.

  • Please say whether you can make 20 October or 27 October or both (dont worry you are not committing to both dates).
  • Also please let me know whether you have a preference for a 777 or a 747 or dont mind either.

Thanks
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Old Mar 31, 17, 3:49 am
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Thanks KARFA for once again looking to arrange this. I have had a simulation session on the 320 sim in Coventry, which was really good with it being an actual cockpit but no motion. I've flown a little bit through work and had a couple of opportunities where pilot instructors have allowed me to take the controls of a couple of helicopters.

Would be great if you could give an indicative cost. Sadly, I can't commit to either date as with work I get 6 monthly rotas, and won't get the Rota from August 17-Feb 18 until probably around July and thus missing you May deadline, but hope everyone who goes has a great time, I would urge anyone interested to go for the experience.
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Old Mar 31, 17, 3:52 am
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I'd be interested in this, I did book a session a few years back (they were doing a special offer at the old LCY Air Day) but BA cancelled my session for operational reasons, I then forgot about it and the voucher expired! (my bad)

I am a 400+ hour PPL with a few ratings, but would love a go at some jet stuff.
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Old Mar 31, 17, 3:53 am
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Originally Posted by navylad View Post
Would be great if you could give an indicative cost.
Thanks navylad. The cost details are in the wiki which has now been added. Basically cost is 1700 per simulator for the 4 hours, and this is shared equally between everyone in that sim - so for a group of 4 that would be 425 each.
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Old Mar 31, 17, 4:11 am
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Originally Posted by bhbloke View Post
I'd be interested in this, I did book a session a few years back (they were doing a special offer at the old LCY Air Day) but BA cancelled my session for operational reasons, I then forgot about it and the voucher expired! (my bad)

I am a 400+ hour PPL with a few ratings, but would love a go at some jet stuff.
Hi bhbloke. Sounds like you would be a natural! Yes if you want to go for it just let me know date availability and any particular preference 747/777. I would recommend the 747, and there are more 747s available anyway so we are more likely to get them.
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Old Mar 31, 17, 4:15 am
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Hi Karfa, I'm flexible on a/c type and both dates are currently wide open so happy to go with the concensus.

Us piston pilots apparently struggle with jet engines, so you should find it easier than me!
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Old Mar 31, 17, 4:29 am
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Originally Posted by bhbloke View Post
Hi Karfa, I'm flexible on a/c type and both dates are currently wide open so happy to go with the concensus.

Us piston pilots apparently struggle with jet engines, so you should find it easier than me!
Thanks. Have added you as available for either date.
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Old Mar 31, 17, 6:15 am
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After you organised such an excellent outing last time, sign me up please. I'm checking whether 2 others would like to sign up.
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Old Mar 31, 17, 6:27 am
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Originally Posted by BoeBus View Post
After you organised such an excellent outing last time, sign me up please. I'm checking whether 2 others would like to sign up.
Thanks BoeBus, I have added you.
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Old Mar 31, 17, 7:09 am
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This was great last year and would happily do it again, considering also the perfect organisation. I am in Greece the weekend of the 20th so available for the 27th only.
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Old Mar 31, 17, 9:50 am
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I can vouch for KARFA's outstanding organisational skills - and the BA simulator experience is equally excellent.

Sadly I'm leaving the UK this summer, and probably won't have the time to fly over in October, so will miss out on this year's edition
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Old Mar 31, 17, 12:59 pm
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Thanks fransknorge, have added you for 27th.

Sorry you can't make it csutter, and thanks for the comments.
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Old Mar 31, 17, 1:03 pm
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I'm in - either date is ok with me. 777 this time :-)
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Old Mar 31, 17, 1:21 pm
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27th for me on the B744 pls!
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Old Mar 31, 17, 1:53 pm
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Thanks, added you Kungpo and Pilot37.
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