Being an avid lover of National Geographic’s AirCrash Investigation show, I have always wondered what it must be like to be in control of a doomed airliner as disaster approaches.
And I recently got to experience a small part of that sickening feeling as I helplessly crash landed into the runway at Sydney Airport.
Luckily for me I was only in control of a Boeing 737 flight simulator and have lived to see another day.
The state-of-the-art simulator, which is run by SimSpot and located on the top floor of the Cornerhouse in Nottingham, offers a fully authentic flying experience with the cockpit laid out exactly the same as any commercial airliner.
And as I stepped into the simulator, tasked with landing a Boeing 737 at my favourite city in the world, the full extent of my challenge was apparent.
The cockpit greeted me with a mass of confusing dials, pedals and switches, making my experience as authentic but as confusing as possible.
I gently took the plane up in the air with the help of flight instructor Darren Wheeler.
And once in the skies it was apparent my skills were somewhat lacking as I struggled to keep the plane level, with the plane rolling up and down like a wave in a thunderstorm or banking alarmingly to one side like a theme park ride.
With Sydney Harbour bridge and the Opera House in view, I attempted to bring the plane down to safe ground.
The height slowly ticked down on the cockpit instruments as I rather jerkingly narrowed in on the tiny looking landing strip, slowly swerving side to side with every touch of the controls seeming to affect the plane with alarming sensitivity.
And, with Sydney city centre getting ever nearer below as I closed in on the runway, I heard something any pilot must dread and the sign that the plane is in trouble.
“Pull up, terrain!,” shrilly blared the automated cockput voice, telling me unless I took evasive action serious trouble would follow.
With that warning in mind, I corrected the situation and continued towards the runaway, only this time I was coming in at a very wide angle instead of head on as desired.
Try as I might, I was simply unable to straighten the plane up for the perfect landing.
Instead I crash landed with the plane coming down half on the run way and half on the gravel. Had this been a real life flight the plane would have broken up, caught fire and led to many deaths. In my fantasy world the simulator, thankfully, did not even shudder.
Clearly I am not fit to be a pilot, but at least I briefly lived the dream.
For further information, or to make a booking, call 0844 693 1182, email email@example.com or visit http://www.simspot.co.uk/