During the seven days in November 2008 that WorldFlight was running, 243 different pilots joined in for all or some of the 45 legs on our round the world flight. The 243 pilots amassed a total of 1,792hrs and 45mins which is a record for the WorldFlight organization.
The total funds raised by the seven full sized cockpit simulators converted to the same currency and totalled:
AUD 44,459 which equates to;
GB PDS 20,492
You can read more about our World Flight (click below or on the title of this posting) or directly jump to the World Flight Photo Blog.
World Flight is not a small event. It is the largest concerted effort worldwide to raise money for charities using a very uncommon piece of apparatus: a full-size, fully functional, physical airplane cockpit simulator. Wait, did I say one? Seven of these! Each year in early November, seven teams worldwide join up to fly a round the world trip taking seven days of 24/24 flight time. Dozens of pilots and air traffic controllers rotate in a tight schedule to keep the machines going, and dozens more support the event. People do join in from their homes using a desktop flight simulator, and at times over 70 aircraft have been spotted flying all in the same airspace.
If you think this is just easy, sitting in a fullsize cockpit for seven days, think again. It comes so close to what the professionals do that it actually turns into hard work. And we do not have the backup crews that the real airline pilots have -- we need to do it all ourselves. From catering to flight planning, from simulator maintenance to approach review, from fuel calculations to keeping the schedule; none of these is trivial if you do it for seven days (and nights!) with a hundred people all over the world. The logistics of World Flight are staggering, and cost many personmonths to get running in the first place.
The main purpose of the event is to gather donations for various charities all over the world, usually local medical organisations. The full scale flight deck that John Davis builds in Coventry, UK is our 2008 simulator (and has been for a few years). I am lucky enough to have been able to personally contribute to this simulator in many ways. John has chosen the local Air Ambulance as his charity, and we are happy to support it. The 2008 target for the whole of UK World Flight in Coventry is £4000, and our family target is £350. Please help us raising this money for the Air Ambulance by donating, either in person or by visiting the JustGiving page indicated to the left!