Flight-astic experience!

EVER harbour dreams of soaring through the skies? Have you wondered what it feels like to be in control of a commercial airplane?

Believe it or not, you can literally allow your dreams to take flight – without your feet ever leaving the ground.

Reporters from The Star Online had the opportunity to fly a 737 Next Generation plane ... in a mind-blowing flight simulator.

We were the so-called captains for the flight. Luckily, it wasn't a real flight. Even with the simulators, we needed the assistance of flight instructors, who are actual trained pilots.

Located at Shaftsbury Square, Cyberjaya, the Sky Simulator has been open since July 24.

Sky Simulator (M) Sdn Bhd managing director Badrulsyah Daud said that every weekend, the place is packed with customers.

The simulator was supplied by a German company, Cockpit Sonic, and assembled by Badrulsyah and his assistant manager. Badrulsyah spent about a million Ringgit to set-up his flight simulator here.

Badrulsyah started this business due to his passion for flying. This is his first consumer-based business and so far, his hard work has paid off.

"It's a good business because it exposes people to flying. It's famous in Europe and Australia," he said.

People are able to experience what pilots go through when flying a plane such as going through the checklist and the feel of an airplane cockpit.

With the simulator, Badrulsyah says, one can fly to 24,000 different airports around the world and in all sorts of weather conditions.

Sky Simulator managing director Badrulsyah Daud (left) with one his flight instructors in the cockpit of the flight simulator. Starpic by KAMARUL ARRIFIN
Sky Simulator managing director Badrulsyah Daud (left) with flight instructor Shamil Md Zukri in the cockpit of the flight simulator. Starpic by KAMARUL ARRIFIN

"We can even make it snow in KLIA if we want," he says.

Based on real-scale measurements, the 737 is not able to land in some airports due to small runways and with the system, you're able to fly from overseas locations.

"If you want to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong you need to book the simulator for three hours as the flight time is that long," said Badrulsyah adding that one customer had visited the simulator to hone his flying skills.

"The best feeling is to see the reaction of the customers. Every time they come out from the cockpit, they are wowed by the experience," adding that customers post good reviews on their Facebook page.

He also said that his instructors are friendly and able to cater the needs of the customers by answering their queries on flying.

When asked if customers have asked to try on-board malfunctions or even to crash the plane, he said customers are not encouraged to do have negative experiences during simulation.

"Most of our customers just want to take-off, fly and land safely. That's what the experience of a flight simulator is about," he said.

With the flight simulator, you can fly the 737 in any airspace you want, without any restrictions.

Young children have also tried the simulator with their parents, those who harbour ambitions of becoming a pilot one day.

For those who want to experience flight simulation, there are two packages - the sky flyer and ultimate flyer.

The sky flyer costs RM180 and the ultimate flyer RM280 and each are for 30 and 60 minutes respectively, both with the assistance of a flight instructor.

When asked about his future plans, Badrulsyah wants the simulator rated next year as a flight-training device (FTD).

"The Department of Civil Aviation, Malaysia (DCA) will examine the simulator and if we pass their requirements, pilots will be able log in their flying hours with us.

"To make the simulator into a FTD, they will have to make some changes to the cockpit to ensure it is approved by the DCA."

He also plans to open an outlet at Penang next year and before branching out to other major cities in Malaysia.

"This will take four to five years to complete. After that, we are planning to franchise it to the international market," said Badrulsyah.

The future looks bright for Badrulsyah and his team as they take off to conquer the skies!

Sky Simulator can be contacted at Tel:03-83209737, For more information, visit its website at www.skysimulator.com


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