Former pilot’s store helping people fly

By Zaid Siddiqui @newsbyzaid

Flight Experience Sydney is helping people fly their dreams by offering flight simulators on the Boeing 737-800 as well as other sims.

The simulator at Flight Experience is an exact replica of a 737 cockpit and is used for people so they can enjoy and have an educational experience on how to fly a 737. It is also used for flight training.

People can fly a 737 with the aid of a commercial pilot and go through landings, take-offs, circuits and weather conditions.

If you’re a fan of fast jets, you can fly an FA-18 Hornet or F-15 in a virtual reality military jet simulator.

The 737 airliner experience costs $195 for the basic 30-minute session while if you’re really keen you can pay $395 for the deluxe 90-minute package. Commercial pilot preparation sessions range from $350 to $895.

Ben Evans is the owner of the store in Sydney and is a qualified pilot who achieved his aim of working for Air New Zealand but now is the owner of Flight Experience Sydney.

Up, up and away. Video: Zaid Siddiqui

“As a Kiwi, as a New Zealander, working for Air New Zealand was sort of a goal. However plans changed and as I got further into it, I started working for Flight Experience and eventually ownership of the company,” Evans said.

Prior to Covid, Flight Experience had stores all around the world.

“We have seven, eight stores globally around the world, five which are in Australia, we only really have Australia, Singapore and New Zealand at the moment,” Evans said.

“Covid-19 took out a few stores, we had three in Europe, we used to have one in America, a few across Asia as well. “

Flight Experience Sydney in Ultimo has a Pilot Downunder shop, a separate company that has been taken over and offers a variety of aviation-themed merchandise, model aircraft, books and much more.

“We introduced a Downunder Pilot shop as well, so all the merchandise is a separate company that we took over,” said Evans.

Inside Flight Experience Sydney. Photo: Zaid Siddiqui

“It was only an E-commerce company and now we’ve combined it with Flight Experience to produce the retail side of it as well.

“This is my dream of the store coming reality and its very cool to come together and get comments.”

The store in Ultimo is only six months old, prior to that store there was in Darling Harbour.

Flight Experience do an intensive course for pilots to operate the 737 –800 simulator and how to interact with customers.

They also do certified courses for pilots, airline preparation courses for pilots and, if you’re scared of going on a plane, they also do fear of flying courses.

For entertainment purposes, the simulator is focused on the weekend.

Flight Experience is not far from Broadway shopping centre.

Feature image: Inside the Boeing 737-800 Flight Simulator at Flight Experience. Photo: Zaid Siddiqui

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