Did you know there is a Boeing 737 flight simulator in Dublin’s Terminal 2 departures?

While getting ready to board a recent Aer Lingus flight to London Heathrow when I saw the signs in the departures area. I love aircraft and I just had to try it. It is not my first time doing this, as I tried the Flight Experience Boeing 737 flight simulator (800 series) in Singapore in 2011. On that occasion I enjoyed a simulated flight from Hong Kong International to the now closed Kai Tak, one of the worlds trickiest airports to fly into.

The Dublin flight simulator is called uPilot and starts at 15 minutes for €45. Some might call it steep but for what you get it is well worth the money. There was a small pre-flight briefing but since I knew a lot of the controls and procedures before I knew it I was taxing along runway 28 at Dublin Airport. The simulated flight took a left turn over Wicklow, out over the Irish sea with a few slight left course adjustments we were heading for the Isle of Man. It was at that point I started a further left turn and descent to intercept with the localiser. Thankfully for everyone on board my simulated flight, the landing was safely made for a smooth touchdown at Dublin Airport.

Afterwards the person running the flight simulator system told me that this particular Boeing 737 flight simulator was hand built from scratch by an enthusiast. It is incredibly realistic with everything from seatbelt sign noises and engine fire simulations to FMC settings, engine failures and full auto-pilot features.

The flight simulator could easily distract you from your flight so make sure you have plenty of time before your gate closes – in matter how realistic the flight sim, it won’t get you to your destination.

Shane McDonald at the controls of a Boeing 737 flight simulator
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