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Flying a Boeing 737 flight simulator in Dublin Airport

Flying a Boeing 737 flight simulator in Dublin Airport

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
Cockpit view of Boeing 747 Landing at Kai Tak, Hong Kong

Cockpit view of Boeing 747 Landing at Kai Tak, Hong Kong

This is a great video of a Boeing 747 landing at the now decommissioned Kai Tak airport in Hong Kong.

I actually flew from Hong Kong International (Chek Lap Kok) to Kai Tak and landed a 737-800 back in April 2011 which was brilliant and in this video I recognise Chequerboard Hill where I started the turn in to land at Kai Tak flying over the buildings. … my flight however was in a fully equipped 737 simulator and not the real thing, but the flight sim experience in Singapore was realistic enough.

This video shows the full view from approach, turn, and finals.