Sim puts you in cockpit

Game Room

April 30, 2001|By Kevin Washington | Kevin Washington,SUN STAFF

Every time I fly on a passenger jet, I dream of being in the cockpit. In reality, I just want to be in control so I won't feel so helpless if things go poorly.

Wilco Publishing puts you in control, all right, with "767 Pilot in Command" ($40), a PC flight simulator with a twist: You learn how to deal with the kinds of in-flight emergencies that sometimes crash jumbo jets.

Released as an add-on to Microsoft's "Flight Simulator 2000," Pilot in Command lets you experience an engine fire, depressurization, wind shear and several other emergencies while flying the 767-300.

The simulator's instructions are clear and concise, with an instructor's voice teaching you the ropes for flying normally and getting out of trouble. The cockpit is detailed, and the airplane handles much like a jumbo jet would be expected to handle, slowly and deliberately.

Emergencies caused my pulse to race and forehead to bead with sweat. Despite the solid instructions and my years of experience in virtual cockpits, I crashed more times than I can remember when confronted with an emergency.

On more than a few flights, I was ghoulishly reminded of the last words of some pilots that have been transcribed from the black boxes after a deadly crash.

You can turn off the emergencies and just fly around if you like. Needless to say, that doesn't get the adrenalin pumping.

767 Pilot in Command requires Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000 to play on a 300 MHz Pentium II with 64 megabytes of RAM and 240 MB of hard-drive space.

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