View Full Version : Flying the 737-800 Simulator (CO at IAH)

Art at ISP
09-29-2007, 11:26 AM
As some of you know, I am a very active advocate for frequent fliers, with my activity up until recently almost 100% concerning US Airways. As many of you also know, US Airways current management thinks as little of its customers as it appears to think of its employees. Coupled with the operational breakdown of late, many of my members have asked to me to arrange status matches or challenges at other carriers.

The first response I got in reaching out was to CO, and as a result of that, and now being a happy CO customer, I am now in Houston for the Flyer Talk Continental "DO III"), which is an event sponsored by Continental for a few hundred customers who happen to be on Flyertalk as well. As a perk of the event, we each got to pick from 5 or 6 tours, including back room operations at IAH, the "bunker" where all the backup systems for CO are, and of course, the training center, where the sims are. It was a lottery, and supposedly the flight sim choice was governed by revenue and status. Despite that (just kidding), I was thrilled to find myself in the first of two flight simulator groups for this morning. I could not have asked for a better gift for my 51st birthday.

So at 7:15 CDT, 20 of us assembled in the hotel lobby and took a bus ride over to CO's training facility at IAH. We were split up and assigned aircraft (I got the 737-800 almost by choice since I fly on it so often). Since I was the only "real" pilot in my group, I was given first shot, and was given the most hand flying. The training captain was fantastic, and I did actual engine startup, systems checks, and realized as he programmed the FMC that I could actually follow along (thanks FS9 and X).

So we positioned on RY 26L at IAH, and I moved the throttles slowly forward, and the Autothrust engaged to takeoff power. Steering gently with the rudder pedals, we hit V1 in no time, and a good bit of back pressure, and off we went. Although it was CAVU night outside, I went on the instruments right after gear up, and made the common mistake of overcorrecting and chasing the flight director, but quickly got acclamated. We did a full cycle around the airport, including use of the auto pilot, and finally turned final for the first of a bunch of touch and gos (my group was 3 so we each got 1 full cycle). I actually surprised myself that I was able to land the 737 pretty well--and with minimal correction of the instructor pilot (in another sim we heard it crash from outside the sim a while later).

I am now back at the hotel awaiting the others to finish their tours and then we have our panel discussions with CO management. I actually got to talk to Larry Kellner for quite a while last night--for those of you who know my position on US, he has it right--he told me that his priorities are exactly what I am telling US theirs should be:
1. Employees FIRST
2. Customers SECOND
3. Shareholders THIRD

When one is done right it takes care of the next one down.

This afternoon I am on the product panel and the one pass panel...I forgot my card reader so I will need to wait to post photos.....

09-29-2007, 12:21 PM
Glad you enjoyed your simulator ride. I wish more people could experience it. Thanks for flying Skyteam.

09-29-2007, 06:57 PM
Art. sounds like a great day with the nice folks at CO, at least as you say they seem to get it ! Congrats on not crashing the sim and for winning the prized seat in one. And even bigger congrats on your 51st birthday !