Flying in a straight line sounds simple enough – once you are off the ground – but what about guiding a top-speed fighter jet through the Gorges du Verdon?
At the AviaSim branch in Cagnes-sur-Mer, that’s exactly what brave amateurs are invited to try. For the last three years, the company has provided a place for pilots of all levels to practise their take-offs and landings. It costs around 100€ an hour for an experience in the pilot’s seat, including support from co and real pilot Alexandre Tabarini, who will explain the many buttons and flashing display boards in the cockpit. You can depart from Nice or virtually any other airport in the world and, with joystick in hand, take flight into the skies.
At the end of 2017, the company launched a second simulator experience, this time in a F35 fighter jet. It’s an authentic experience that really does get the blood pumping, and pilots are given a helmet, goggles and suit to wear for the duration of the flight. Tabarini stays by our side throughout as we wind through the Gorges with evermore excitement: “It’s important to listen to your instincts and keep a cool head when trying any daring manoeuvres!”
For those scared flying, AviaSim also offers English-language seminars to help you overcome your fears.