Qantas Flight QF 406 On Saturday 25 October, the three cadets chosen to fly in the new Qantas Boeing 737-800 Simulator.

CFSGT J. Hablethwaite, CCPL Z. Jones and LCDT C. Stern, met up at Qantas's Training Centre near Tullamarine, for an opportunity of a lifetime. Senior Captain Robert Rickards gave them a briefing, and they then spent 4 hours in the simulator, each getting a chance to be Captain and First Officer.

Captain Rickards, sitting behind the pilots with his computer, set up some challenging take offs and landings at Cairns, Singapore, Hong Kong, Auckland and Queenstown New Zealand. The landings were made even more interesting with fog, 30 knot crosswinds, ice on the runway and even a few instrument approaches in blinding rain. Not at all easy, even for experienced airline Captains.

The simulator was so realistic, with the controls, scenery, sounds and especially movements, that everyone had to be strapped in, as the simulator would jolt violently, if it was brought in too hard on the runway. The stress was palpable and there was much drying of sweaty palms after each landing.

The cadets acquitted themselves well and showed a real talent as future pilots. We look forward to seeing their progression in the years to come.

A big thank you to Captain Rickards and Qantas for this unique and incredible experience.








© 406sqn AAFC 2008