I recently learnt there is a flight stimulator in Singapore called Flight Experience. Anyone can enjoy the experience of flying a commercial plane.
Flight Experience is located on level 2 of the Singapore Flyer. Even though most Singaporeans do not know about this place, Flight Experience was awarded TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice 2020/2021 award.
That sounds so cool! Imagine soaring into the sky and piloting a jet airliner without having to get a pilot license! Okay, let’s do this!
Book Your Timeslot
I strongly advice you to purchase and pre-book your session on the Flight Experience website to avoid disappointment. They do accept walk-ins but they are almost always fully-booked on weekends and school holidays. It is safer to book in advance.
There are 4 experiences to choose from, depending on how long you want your flight experience to be – 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 60 minutes or 90 minutes.
You can also use your SingapoRediscover voucher for Flight Experience.
The only option available for the date I chose was 30-Minute Hong Kong Special [S$100] (no longer available) so I signed-up for that.
Once you have selected your desired timeslot and made payment, you will receive a confirmation email containing your personal “boarding pass”.
Due to the current Covid-19 regulations, you will need to show the security on the ground floor your “boarding pass” and check-in with TraceTogether token or app to be allowed into the Singapore Flyer. Take the escalator to level 2 and Flight Experience will be to your right.
After checking-in with TraceTogether, a staff ushered me into the shop. He asked me to sit before a television where I watched a 10-minute introductory video. The video kind of stressed me out as it seems I need to remember a lot of things . There’s actually no need to worry about it as your co-pilot will go through with you everything you need to know before the actual flying.
After watching the introductory video, my flight instructor brought me into the cockpit. It looks exactly like what I saw in photographs with all the lighted-up controls. This stimulator is an exact replica of a Boeing 737 cockpit and it is used for real commercial pilot training.
As the Captain, I got to seat in the pilot seat and my flight instructor was my First Officer. The flight instructor gave me a through explanation of the different controls and how they affect the plane. The pre-flight briefing lasted around 5 minutes.
All the instructors here are real pilots who have been trained in the Boeing 737 stimulator and have a high level of customer service and instructional skills.
Flying the Boeing 737
After assessing your level of expertise, your flight instructor will help you to choose your flight route and destinations.
Since I signed up for 30-Minute Hong Kong Special (which is no longer available), my flight instructor decided that we take off from Macau International Airport and land at the notorious Kai Tai International Airport. The History Channel program named Kai Tai International Airport as the 6th most dangerous airport in the world.
My flight instructor explained to me Kai Tai International Airport’s runway was surrounded on three sides by water. With Kowloon City’s residential apartment complexes and 2000+ft mountains to the north-east of the airport, aircraft could not fly over the mountains and quickly drop-in for touchdown. Instead, aircraft had to fly above Victoria Harbour and Kowloon City, passing north of Mong Kok’s Bishop Hill. After passing Bishop Hill, pilots would see Checkerboard Hill with a large red and white checkerboard pattern. Once the pattern was sighted and identified, the pilot had to make a low-altitude (sub-600 ft) 47° right-hand turn, ending with a short final and touchdown. For pilots, this airport was technically demanding, as the approach could not be flown by aircraft instruments, but rather visually because of the right-hand turn required.
I was ready to start my flight experience. Seated on the pilot seat with panoramic view of Macau International Airport’s runway in front of me, I was both nervous and excited. With the help of my flight instructor, I advanced the thrust levers and the aircraft hurtles down the runway. My flight instructor called out “rotate” and I pulled the control column back towards me. The nose wheel lifts off the runway and we are airborne! The scenery were stunningly realistic, it really felt like I was in the air!
Following the flight instructor’s instructions, I tried to make the low-altitude right-hand turn to land in Kai Tai International Airport but I had a rough landing. My flight instructor let me try again and I made a successful landing this time!
The next appointment had not arrived, so my instructor let me try landing in Hong Kong International Airport. This was much easier and I pulled it off on the first attempt.
My flight instructor presented me with a certificate that says I have successfully flown a jet airliner. I do wish there was a video of me during the flight experience, that will be one hell of a video!
You can buy souvenirs such as caps, t-shirts, plane models and lanyards in the shop too.
Flight Experience Flying Club
If you want to become a flight instructor, you can consider joining the Flight Experience Flying Club. You can choose between Flying Club Membership (S$359) or Flying Club Pre-Pay Membership (S$995). The membership entitles you to a box of goodies (total value S$463 – save S$104)
- Flying Club Training Manual
- Boeing 737 Wings Pin
- Boeing 737 decal
- Club Membership ID
- Flight Experience Lanyard
- Flight Experience Flying Club Cap
- 4 x 1 hour lessons (only for Flying Club Pre-Pay Membership)
It will take approximately 4-5 lessons each to get your license 1, pre-flight endorsement and license 2. You will be trained in all aspects of flying the flight stimulator, following a process similar to gaining a real pilot license – for a fraction of the cost. Once you are trained, you can fly using the flight stimulators without the aid of an instructor. You will be able to fly your family and friends to over 24000 destinations around the world.
My Flight Experience
Flight Experience is one of the best-kept secrets in Singapore and it is so much fun! Even though both are in-air experiences, you have to physically fly in the air in iFly Singapore. Whereas in Flight Experience, you only have to sit in the pilot’s seat so even those scared of heights can have fun with Flight Experience.
If you have ever wanted to be a pilot, you should definitely try out Flight Experience. It will give you a good idea what it’s like being a pilot.
Address: 30 Raffles Avenue, Singapore Flyer Level 2, Singapore 039308
Opening Hours: Wednesday – Friday 2pm – 8pm, Saturday – Sunday 10am – 10pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)