• Plumpflyer


Today's post is really special because it's the first time I am blogging about a aviation related experience. All these while, my posts are featuring air travel or lounge reviews.

Eventually I would foresee myself being able to blog about some unique overseas aviation museum or manufacturing plants in Hamburg or Seattle you know? It would be so awesome!

But for today, I would like to bring you to Asian Aviation Training Centre in Bangkok!

Founded almost 22 years ago in August 1996, AATC is a world class provider of ATR, Airbus A320 and A330 pilot and maintenance training and is well placed to fulfill wet and dry lease training requirements.

Situated at the southern end of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport, their state of the art training facility offers a modern, fully equipped training environment with EASA, Thai CAAT (and a multitude of other NAAs) qualified FSTDs and associated training tools covering ATR 42-300, 42-500, 72-200, 72-210E, 72-212A (-500 series) 72-212A (-600 series), A320-200 and A330-200E aircraft types.

All FSTDs are multi configurable and can be readily configured to reflect just about any airframe/engine/avionics combination to enhance your training experience.

The facility has numerous classrooms, computer-based training rooms, briefing and debriefing rooms, mock ups, administration offices, and extra amenities including an instructor’s office, customer lockers and various lounge areas.

Combined with a training history and vast experience, AATC offers the highest quality service to over 100 customers from around the globe.

As a aviation enthusiast, I do look out for unique opportunities related to aviation. Usually if I do get to travel to a particular country, I would try to see if there is some sort of activities that could satisfy my aviation thirst. I got in touch with General Manager John and he's kind to host me to the training centre.

On D-Day, I made a huge mistake by underestimating the traffic jams in Bangkok. Hence I missed the whole Airbus A320 simulator session that John has specially arranged for me.

Deeply upset on the taxi, I told John that he could just bring me on a tour around the centre without any simulator tryout. John replied me saying that he has already reschedule another simulator for me.

At this moment, I was lost for words. Suddenly, the frustration of the 3 hours traffic jam vanished in to the thin air.

I arrived 2 hours late and met GM John and Compliance Manager Cliff who will be taking me around the centre. It was so embarrassing for me to be late for 2 hours. I have never been this late for any appointment in my life! Lesson well learnt.

The airbus simulator i was supposed to be on is now in used with an airline.

John rescheduled me to an ATR72-600 simulator which i was totally grateful for. He could have just brought me on a simple tour and let me off but he didn't. He is such a sweet guy.

The "airbridge" to the plane...

AATC has 2 ATR 72-600 FFSs that are EASA Level D qualified with the latest technology RSI XT4.1 Raster 200° X 45° FOV visual system with over 100 level D compliant visual databases integrated, enhanced icing,  simulated smoke, scent cueing, remote IPaD IOS and enhanced debrief stations.

ATR72-600 operators in Southeast Asia includes Wings Air(Lion Group), Firefly, Malindo Air, Garuda Indonesia, Bangkok Airways & Cebu Pacific. Wings Air is also the world's largest operator of the ATR fleet.

It was a fanboy moment when i first step inside. The one that I have been to in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta is all fixed motion so it was such a surreal moment to be inside a full motion. It's another whole new game because there's a lot more sophisticated technologies, processors and engines to get this thing going.

This is where real pilots do their training and requalification here and here the amateur me decided to mess around with these machines.

Mind you i was told that these simulators easily cost 20 millions and above. I would probably not have such wealth in my entire life so it took me quite a while to shallow the fact that I am going to operate these million dollar machine. These simulators weighs approximately 6 tons and is very quiet from the outside. I thought it would actually be noisy with all the axis movement.

If you didn't know, these full motion flight simulators can replicate the exact same parameters and almost everything that could happen on a real aircraft.

It's capable of: - Position you in any airport around the globe - Hydraulic Axis platform to simulate even the slightest movement similar to the real aircraft - Realistic engine sound (startup/take off/landing) - Abnormalities (Any failures from Air Conditioning to Engine) - Smoke machine that produce smoke similar to a fire onboard *wow* - Scent cueing that simulates Volcanic ash, Electrical and Air Cond smoke etc

Simulator is the best place to make enough mistake, learn & master remedy drills for engine failure, engine fire, lost of flight controls, lost of electrical power and many more emergencies.

These are situation that shouldn't be happening on the real aircraft and if it really happens, there's where all the training comes in.

Here's cliff, my instructor for the day doing the preparation.

After a short safety briefing, cliff positioned the simulator in Songshan, Taiwan and off we go!

Taxi to the active for take off...

He showed me the procedures to start up the turboprop ATR72-600 and brought me on a circuit around the airport.

Off we go! After reaching cruising altitude, cliff hands over the controls to me and it was really an embarrassment. I can't fly these for nuts!

Nice "sunset". The picture doesn't reflect the actual and its more sharper and realistic in real life.

After enjoying the sunset, we landed back to the airport.

Clif also took the chance to show me the smoke machine. I really didn't know that it's possible and trust me, it's awesome to know that such scenario can be replicated because that shows how pilots are trained on the ground with scenerios that we don't want it to happen in real life.

As always, good things must come to an end. But it's not over yet! Cliff brought me to the brain of these simulators. These processors are needed to get the simulator working. It contains all the necessary data required to get this going.

Speaking of which, cliff brought me over to office where all the graphic designers are stationed at. With a wonderful view overlooking the runway of the airport, the team are responsible for generating and design the terrain inside the simulators.

What you see in the simulators like the runway marking, taxiways are produced by them.

Piecing up bit by bit is definitely a very tedious process!

Moving on, cliff brought me to the various classrooms.

One the left is the prop trainer & tow truck trainer.

Mockup Airbus Cockpit. These mockups represent A320 Standard 1.7 and A330 Standard 2.4.

The Airbus Procedural Trainer or APT is fully configurable to reflect any A320 or A330 variant and can operate in freeplay modes.

I was extremely happy with my visit to AATC and like to express my heartfelt thanks to General Manager John & Compliance Manager Cliff for spending your precious time hosting me.

P.S. I hope there will be a sequel post for the Airbus Simulator that i missed out. Such a pity.


Happy Flying,



Republic of Singapore