We started off the day by driving to Dallas Love Field, headquarters to Southwest Airlines. My mom’s cousin’s husband Mike is a instructor for SWA. He was going to show us around his workplace and let us fly in the simulator. The first thing we saw when we walked into the headquarters was U-2 flight suit. It is a pressurized suit used by pilots in the U-2 because they fly very high. The hallways are filled with cool pictures and memorabilia from SWA employees. We got to see a couple of different types of simulators from basic to ones worth millions of dollars. We got to see where pilots train for emergencies, like how they go down an evacuation slide, how they might fight intruders into the cockpit, and how they put their oxygen masks on.
Mike had us use a brand new simulator in a brand new building. When we walked into the great hall with all of the flight simulators, it was extremely quiet even though many were being used. We walked into simulator #12 which looked like it was suspended on stilts. The cockpit of the plane had to be exactly the same as the actual 737. I was the first to fly. It was easy because Mike controlled pretty much everything except the yoke and the rudders. It really felt like i was flying the airplane. On my first landing, I did pretty good, but on my second landing, I dragged the tail. Woody, Cole (Mike’s son) and my dad all flew the plane as well. Everyone did a pretty good job. This was an awesome experience and I’ll never forget it.
After a tasty Tex-Mex lunch at Pappasitos, we went to Frontiers of Flight, an air museum back at Love field. The museum was great because it had a complete history of aviation with lots of info about the airport and Southwest Airlines as well. My favorite things there were all of the flight simulators, showing how different they’ve looked throughout the years.
I’m super happy Mike was able to let us use the simulators. Today was filled with airplanes which I enjoy and a great way to spend the end of the year. (Andy Tischer)