Wing Commander Dinesh K retired from IAF after serving in MiG-21 Fighter Aircraft Squadrons. He has recently setup India's first of its kind Aircraft Simulation Center in Powai - 'Cockpit Vista'. Together, he and his wife (a former Air Force pilot who is presently a Captian with an airline) carry fifty years of aviation experience and have decided to contribute in an area of growing concern for air travellers – 'Wellness & Safety'. My Powai met up with him to understand this unique concept. Excerpts:
What is Cockpit Vista simulator?
In Cockpit Vista, everyone can fly an aeroplane simulator under guidance just as the pilots do!! The facility includes fully functional Boeing, Airbus & Cessna class simulators, having open door cockpit, realistic controls, surround visuals and sound, plush cabin ambience and rows of passenger seats with amazing window views. It is like hiring a private jet and flying it yourself to any of the 25,000 airports in the world!!
What was the reason to launch Cockpit Vista?
Cockpit Vista provides a funfilled & exciting flight experience of piloting a plane with a lifetime purpose!! Worldwide, four out of ten passengers have flight anxiety. The lack of aviation awareness is leading to sharp rise in flight anxiety cases especially amongst the NextGen children and elders. Flight Anxiety adversely affects our health, wealth and wellness. Sadly, the alarming disconnect & gap between the flight-deck and the passengers is widening rapidly due to increased security scenario. Cockpit Vista, believes that if you have flown an aeroplane yourself (preferably as a growing child), you will be free of flight anxiety lifelong.
Do you see this as an activity for the kids only?
Not really, Cockpit Vista has flight experience relevant for all age groups as the facility is way beyond gaming simulators seen in malls & other public places. Flying a plane fascinates one and all especially if laced with a purpose!!
What are the different programs you have in Cockpit Vista?
During vacation we set focus on children, the NextGen jetsetters with our half day (basic), full day (inter) and weeklong (advanced) courses. We have customised weekend programs for group of families and friends, flight enthusiast children and elders. We get school sponsored children and Corporate guests including frequent flyers. We host celebration events like Inflight Birthday which is very popular. You could even gift a flight experience to newly wedded. Small kitty groups often fly Cockpit Vista!! Real world pilots and aircrew too fly with their families here. However our focus remains on flght anxiety seminars. Whatever be the program, every guest at Cockpit Vista flies for a takeaway....