Today we flew to JFK Airport in New York, while five minutes later I made a successful landing at Istanbul Ataturk Airport and I had to abort a descent in Kathmandu, Nepal. One moment it was snowing like hell, 30 second later the sun was shining in the cockpit and I needed my sunglasses. Science fiction? Not on board the Turkish Airlines A330-200 flight simulator in Istanbul. â€śWhere do you want to fly to?â€ť Asks the flight simulator expert while he is playing around with the weather conditions. Snow? Fog? Rain in the dark? â€śYou ask, we put it online.â€ť The windows of the cockpit are high tech graphical screens which give you the impression you can almost touch the Empire State building or count the peaks of the Himalayas. My co-pilot is a trainer but also still flying around the globe. â€śThis week to Casablanca, next week to Boston.â€ť He smiles while he is descending again above the Marmara Sea to land in his home airport. He is casually showing off his skills when he successfully touches down with a broken landing gear. â€śWe are still alive!â€ť he says while the plane comes to an abrupt halt after a seriously hard landing. Softer are the cushions used here to jump out of a plane. The cute Turkish Airlines flight attendants are training and keeping serious while they jump out of the plane in a very elegant and efficient manner. After the exercise they smile for the photo, it’s all part of the job!
In this huge Aviation Academy, Turkish Airlines trains its own staff while they offer also training opportunities to other airline personnel. Greek Aegean Airlines trains and Uzbekistan Airlines next to British Airways, itâ€™s a big international mix.
In the Flight Training Centre there are 6 full flight simulators, A320 (2 units), B737-800 (2 units), B777 and A330/340 simulators. In addition to these are the FNPT II/MCC simulator used in pilot training and A320, B737-800, A330/340, B777 FTDâ€™s (Flight Training Device) and 2 A320 and B737 that are used for cabin crew training which have a mobile cabin, along with A310 and A340 that includes a cabin emergency and door training device and B777 Door Trainer.
If you want to see how big a flight simulator actually is, spot us looking up at one of these monsters. Impressive!