The Abu Dhabi PTA was invited to the iPilot grand opening at Yas Mall; and of course, we accepted because when else will we have the opportunity to fly an Airbus 380….in the mall? Never. So we went.
We arrived at the little iPilot office which is conveniently located near Cheesecake Factory for our flight simulation experience. The design was very airport like. The flight attendant greeting us looked just as spiffy as any Etihad or Emirate attendant and was accommodating too ushering us into the cockpit of what looked like a REAL PLANE!
Here’s what the company has to say on their website, “At iPILOT we enable you to fulfill your dream of being the Pilot of a Boeing 737 or an Airbus A380. Our simulators are so real that Pilots can train in them. They offer a total immersion experience with a fully enclosed Cockpit. You can take off and land to any of over 24 000 Airports around the World, with Hong Kong Kai Tak and St. Maarten being firm Favorites. Our Instructors, many of which are Experienced Pilots, guide our Customers through this experience of a lifetime. iPILOT has been featured by CNN, The Sunday Times, BBC London, The Observer, German TV Sat 1 and RTL. It has been voted by Sunday Times Travel as one of the hottest things to do… Book Your Flight Experience Today!”
Maha was dressed for the occasion. Sporting her usual uniform of heels, Bebe top, and ripped cool jeans; she was ready to take on any of the 24,000 airports mentioned above. Of course there is always a pilot and then a co-pilot; so we agreed to take turns. I would take off and Maha would land. As it mentions in the company info it FEELS like a real plane. Not that I have ever sat in a real plane cockpit but let’s just say, it’s a plane, in a mall, and it fooled me. All the buttons, and lights, and gears, and even a working headset so Maha and I could communicate our flight patterns. That’s industry talk. I know. You won’t get it until you too have had the iPilot experience 🙂
So we were prepped on the important stuff and then practically left on our own to guide the big bird into the air. I must say it is quite the sight to see a well-dressed woman behind the controls of an airplane. Yes, the UAE does have the famous female pilot Major Mariam Al Mansouri, but she wasn’t wearing stilletos and ripped cool jeans while flying an Airbus A380, which I was informed, is the big monster double decker of a plane. The whole experience was a little surreal. I felt the motion of the plane as I guided it off of the runway and up into the air. I managed to not harm anyone on board or take out any high-rise buildings in the process. I turned the controls over to Maha and she steered the plane in for the landing. We waved hello to the Burj Khalifa as we speed past enroute home. Two chicks. Two PTA moms. Bringing a big giant plane in for a safe landing. What an experience! We looked at each other as we were leaving and said, “Our husbands would love this!” Go and fulfill your dream of being an airline pilot. Go experience it for yourself. What a great gift to give for the holidays.
iPilot at Yas Mall is now open and there is currently a Groupon offer available. For more information on iPilot please visit their UAE website for general information or stop by and visit them at Yas Mall.