Have you ever thought about what it’s like to be in a pilot’s seat? To have the ability to take off for any destination you want, fly in whatever weather you choose, deal with “emergencies” and land in the place of your dreams? Starting today, the above thoughts can become a reality at “The Pilot Center” or the first recreational flight center in the country… One of the owners, Mr. Lefteris Chrysanthidis, explains how..
1. What was it that prompted you to create “The Pilot Center”?
Initially it was our love for aviation in general, but also our passion for any flight experience that gets your adrenaline pumping! This led us to realize, the huge gap that existed in the market, in terms of making professional flight simulators available to the general public, as entertainment now! Recognizing firstly how much emotion flying a plane can give you, and secondly, how many people in Greece would like to live such an experience
2. What can one do in this original Centre?
At “The Pilot Center” flight simulation center, people of all ages have the opportunity to gain access to the cockpit of an Airbus A320 passenger aircraft or a Falcon F-16 fighter aircraft, to really take control in their own hands and feel what it is like to fly an aircraft yourself. Of course, having professional instructors – pilots by their side at all times to guide them, step by step. In Greece’s first entertainment flight centre for the public, with professional simulators – a state-of-the-art audiovisual system and seats with electronic vibration – that will really make you believe you are in the air. A test drive will amaze you!
3. What kind of journeys can you make on the Airbus A320?
If you prefer a flight in “The Pilot Center” simulator with the Airbus 320 commercial aircraft, you can choose the flight scenario you would like to follow. First you will choose an airport from our 24,000 destinations, the time you will fly, and the weather conditions. If you want to up the difficulty level, you can defy the rules and even add breakdowns or emergencies!
4. What’s the feeling on the Airbus A320 & what’s the feeling on the F-16 fighter aircraft?
In the Airbus A320 flight simulator, an exact replica of the real plane used by airlines, you will feel like a real pilot. Once you step into the cockpit of the 1-to-1 scale simulator and take it in your hands, you will experience the most authentic flight experience,! All of the pilot’s panels, instruments and seats look and operate just like a real aircraft. The cockpit layout and the audio-visual system make the flight extremely realistic. With you as the pilot and an experienced, professional, instructor pilot beside you as the co-pilot, guiding you, on a flight as close to a real one as possible!
In the Falcon F-16 flight simulator, available for the first time to the Greek public, you will feel like an elite soldier ready for air combat! Once you enter the simulator and try every single function of the real F-16 fighter aircraft, such as Mach speed, diving, changing course, pursuit, with your flight projected on a giant screen, you will live an incredibly realistic experience
5. In Europe these games are very popular and are easy to find in the big cities. Why didn’t they exist in Greece until today?
The truth is that such a venture is quite expensive for an entrepreneur to set up so that in itself might have been a big obstacle, for anyone else who might have considered it. We are talking about multi-thousand euro machines, with state-of-the-art simulation programs and a staff of highly skilled people, the best pilots in the market. Furthermore, this as an entertainment service abroad, is rather classed as something more “elitist” with prices in e.g. Germany, being over €120 for 20′ of flight time in an Airbus. A cost that might have seemed “prohibitive” for Greeks and the Greek market. However, we managed to overcome this obstacle, succeeding to provide the same high end service of the foreign country, at half the price – only €65 – and for longer time – 30′ Flight
6. Which age groups are you targeting? From what age can a child fly your plane?
This experience is for everyone! Young, old, women & men! Children from 12 years old and up to the oldest – up to 70 years old – can pilot our planes. Of course being all certified healthy..
7. How is the training done?
Each simulated Airbus A320 or F16 flight experience is conducted individually and lasts for beginners in the first phase, a total of 40 minutes. Initially the instructor pilot provides a short briefing 10′ before the flight where he explains the procedures and some operating positions. Then the take-off takes place. The guest will have 30′ of flight time. Either as Captain of the A310 aircraft with the instructor as co-pilot facilitating him by providing as much assistance as needed, on a short route until he lands at his destination airport. Or as a pilot of the F16 fighter aircraft with the instructor present throughout the flight and guiding him during his missions. Our instructors tailor both the technical briefing and the flight – the simulations – to the individual’s level of knowledge and experience. Serving from people with no experience, to professional pilots who can have more advanced simulations with more time and a more complex flight plan.
8. After how many “lessons” can a person fly on their own?
How many lessons one needs to fly the Airbus or F16 on their own is a relative thing, but no matter how many flights one takes they can always have an experienced pilot on hand for any advice and guidance
9. Why choose a flight experience at “The Pilot Center”?
It is an unforgettable experience for those who love flying and adrenaline! It is an original gift of “experience” for your loved ones! The perfect venue for a corporate event, a small team building and an unforgettable birthday party for all ages. And for professional use, since professional pilots are prepared here and Aerofeedback sessions can be held by psychologists.
10. Tell us some initial feedback that people have given you?
They have loved it! Even those who hadn’t even considered that they could fly a plane find it simply amazing that they get to take the plane in their hands and be the ones flying the Airbus or F16 over the clouds alone!
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