I believe I can fly

I believe I can fly

Junior reporters get a taste of flying a plane

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Young Post Junior Reporters experience a Flight Experience Flight Simulation at MegaBox in Kowloon Bay.
Young Post Junior Reporters experience a Flight Experience Flight Simulation at MegaBox in Kowloon Bay.
Photos: Jonathan Wong
If you've ever dreamed of flying, read on: your dream could become (almost) a reality. Young Post recently took a group of readers to Flight Experience Hong Kong at MegaBox, where they learned what it takes to fly a commercial jet.

The students first had a theory lesson, then they took their seats in a simulated cockpit. They embarked on a 'flight' from Hong Kong International Airport and landed at the old Kai Tak airport. Here are some of their thoughts on the exciting experience.

Olivia Chloe Chan, 12

I've always been interested in aeronautics and how a plane works. This experience enhanced my passion. It was the perfect opportunity for me to learn about aviation. It has been my dream to become a pilot since I was little. The instructors were helpful and provided interesting insights into flying. I even got to try on the pilot's cap! This is certainly something that cannot be experienced at school. The workshop gave me a better understanding of aircraft.

Wong Yuen-ting, 15

Although the briefing before the 'trip' was a little boring, the information was useful during the simulated flight across the Victoria Harbour. My time in the cockpit felt so real - it felt like I was really flying a Boeing 737. I was captivated by everything around me, especially all the panels and buttons in the cockpit. I was so tempted to press all of them, but thought I had better not.

The two other girls who were together with me in the simulator were nice and friendly. I am looking forward to another flight experience in the future.

Jason Khoo, 16

The flight simulator gave me a 15-minute glance at what a pilot does. We started our adventure on the runways of Hong Kong International Airport. After giving me a quick explanation of the switches and controls, my instructor/co-pilot gave me the 'okay' to start the engine and take off. As I pushed the engine throttles forwards, the cockpit roared with the raw power of the 737's massive engines. It felt like I was in a real plane. As if that wasn't hard enough, there were two screens that required constant monitoring: the primary flight display for speed and the radar screen for direction.

Among all the difficult tasks, I found a few seconds of peace during which I realised how much I was enjoying flying. But I don't plan on becoming a professional pilot. I'm happy to stay on the ground where the lives of hundreds of people don't depend on my multitasking skills.

Inderjit Singh,18

It is not every day that one has the chance to fly a Boeing 737. And since becoming a pilot has been a dream of mine since I was young, this simulation was a very enriching experience. We took off at Chek Lap Kok, flying over the Victoria Harbour with the most realistic effects, and finally landed at the old Kai Tak airport. Most of us found landing at Kai Tak a challenge as there are many buildings near the airport. However, with the help of an experienced pilot, it was made a lot easier.

From Rui, I learned that getting into Harvard is not only about academic results.

Minnie Yip Ming-yuen, 12

I really enjoyed the workshop! I felt very proud of myself 'flying' a plane over Hong Kong. I learned a lot about preparations before flying and the different measures pilots should take when they come across bad weather, unstable air currents or an accident. Being a pilot is harder than it looks: one has to be highly alert and constantly looking out for changes in weather conditions. A pilot also needs to stay calm in all situations. Memorisation is also important, as there are so many different buttons on the control panel. I started getting dizzy when I looked too closely at them! This was a very special experience.

Tara Lee, 15

I was very nervous as I stepped into the cockpit, but the flight was much easier than I anticipated. With my co-pilot's help, my main tasks were steering the plane and adjusting the engine power. The only trouble I had was trying to spot the runway in the concrete jungle. It was very relaxing to sit in the small, dark cockpit and watch the control panel lights blink and the city lights glow. Imagine such a sight from a real plane! This was a great experience and I'd love to do it again.

Tang Yan, 15

I flew a plane! Well, not technically. This flight experience made me realise how hard and complicated a pilot's job is. There seemed to be hundreds of buttons on the control panel, which made it quite confusing for me at the beginning. Luckily, with the help of my co-pilot, I was able to 'fly' the Boeing 737 from Chek Lap Kok to Kai Tak without crashing it. The scenery outside was beautiful, making this a truly unforgettable experience.

Timmy Sham, 10

It was fascinating to go inside a cockpit and see the 180-degree wraparound panels. The background noise sounded just like a real plane. I learned about the functions of various buttons, screens and instruments in the cockpit. I couldn't wait for my turn but the instructor - who is a real-life commercial pilot - had to make a few minor adjustments first. My legs were too short to step on the pedals, but I navigated the thrust levers and control panel with my hands. As the pilot, I had to manage the speed, maintain the altitude and determine the direction of the plane. I took off and landed safely. I was so happy I didn't crash the plane!

Bimal Mirwani, 17

The flight simulator was an awesome experience because it allowed me to experience the excitement of flying a plane over Hong Kong. The flight was enhanced by the graphics of the city and the moving cockpit. The best part of it was the challenge of landing at Kai Tak, which, according to many pilots, is one of the hardest places to land.

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