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A love letter to flight simulators

By Admin User on October 20, 2021

How many of us can remember, as kids, immersing ourselves in our favourite movies, books and video games? Maybe you’ve watched every episode of Star Trek since you were 6, or perhaps you’ve been a dungeon master since middle school. Most kids from my time found themselves satisfied with fantasy worlds like these… but if you’re like me, you like something that brings a bit more thrill.

As early as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by things related to flying: I’ve gone from reading books and making models as a kid to joining the Air Cadets as a teenager, and now joining the Air Force in my 20s. But the real catalyst for this passion was when I took the controls for the first time and got to feel like I was flying.

Obviously, letting an adolescent boy try to pilot a real airplane by himself would be nothing short of catastrophic. But simulators grant freedom and accessibility that you can’t otherwise get in the real world. Messing up has no repercussions – you can start flying a new plane right away. And the only things limiting what you’re able to do are your skill and the aircraft you choose.

It didn’t take long for little me to learn all the basics, and pretty soon, I went from plunging my plane into the dirt to soaring with ease. I learned everything to do with flight theory, aerobatics, control schemes, and even air combat tactics. I even connected with fellow pilots, and we shared tips and tricks, flew missions together, and helped each other improve. Even to this day, I still fly with some of those people.

Long-time friend of mine that I helped crew a B-17 Flying Fortress with. All the crew members are from a different country!

I’ve grown a lot as an aviator since I took the stick in my hands for the first time. I’ve done several recreational flights, and now I’m looking to make a full-time career out of flying. But without having started as early as I did, I may have never recognized that passion, to begin with.

Teenage me, moving through the ranks of the air cadet program. By now, I knew I belonged in the skies!



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