In October, I experienced something I will never forget for the rest of my life. I am going to tell you about it.
We took flights on America West, yadda yadda... That is a different trip report.
I ended up waking up on the morning of the 17th of October. It had rained the night before and it was cold and damp out. I stopped at Jack in the Box for a quick bite to eat. Afterwards, we made our way to the Long Beach airport and to the Alteon Training center. I went upto the first building and rang the bell. A voice answered and I asked for Mike Comuniello. They said next building over. Before we even got to the doors, Mike was there to greet us.
We went in and got some information ready. After all that, I was taken around the building for a tour. There was some fun stuff there. Once the instructor had finished putting up the sim for us, we went into a briefing room where we talked for a few minutes. Finally we got to the simulator. I went in and sat in the left seat of the MD
-11. After adjusting the seat to my heitgh, etc. we were ready to go. The setting was LAX
in the early hours of the morning. The plane was holding short of the runway. I moved the throttles forward and we slowly taxiied on the runway. Not being used to the sensitivity of the tiller, I jerked the plane on the runway. I moved the throttles forward and we blasted off practically. The feeling of acceleration was amazing! At V1 I rotated and we started climbing. After getting a good feel, we started to come in for a landing. Throughout the flight, I kept my eyes on a box and had to keep it on two perpendicular lines. That proved fairly difficult. We then did a couple of stall outs and recovered from them almost perfectly. The thing that struck me odd was, that to recover from a stall, you point the nose up with full throttles going, rather than down. After mastering my first landing, we moved on to the 717 simulator.
The 717 was a bit different from the MD
-11 simulator. I took my place in the left seat. The setting was HNL
. The instructor had us pushed back. Once starting the engines, I moved the throttles forward and we inched forward. I had a better feel of the tiller and moved the aircraft down the center line almost perfectly. I think we went to runway 13L, we held short. Once getting ATC approval, we went onto the runway. The 717 was like a rocket! I was pushed back in my seat with great force. After rotating, I followed the box on the lines again, only taking in the scenery with a glance here and there. I think we did 4-5 touch and go's at HNL
. On my last one, I missed the turn and went around. For our last landing, we did a full blown ILS landing in 0 visibility conditions. That was pretty scary, because at this point, you kinda lose the thought of whether it is fake or real, because it is so real. After making a landing, we taxied back to the terminal and parked. I was disappointed it was over.
I did however, leave with bag of goodies put together by Mike himself.
This whole experience cost $300 USD. That was for about 3 hours sim time, all the goodies, the tour of the facility and a helluva good time. This is something I would definitly be back for when I am in the LAX
area. Thanks to Mike and the Alteon crew! Pictures are soon to come!
I will be back in LAX
for some kind of family get together thing in Feb. Would anyone be interested to do this with me then?