in Aerospace / Features

Jenson Button test drives new career as BA pilot

Posted 26 January 2017 · Add Comment

Formula 1 star Jenson Button enjoyed racing through the skies this week after piloting a British Airways A380 flight simulator at London's Heathrow Airport.



The former World Champion - who recently announced his retirement from the track - spent 90 minutes perfecting take-off, cruise and landing of the world’s largest commercial aircraft.

The simulator at British Airways’ state-of-the-art Flight Training Centre near London’s Heathrow Airport - where the airline’s 4,200 professional pilots are trained - uses cutting edge motion, audio and graphics technology to deliver a completely immersive experience.

Jenson was coached on the flight deck by British Airways’ Head of Technical and Training, Captain Dave Thomas and Senior First Officer; William Swinburn for his first ever sim experience.

The 37-year-old made three landings into Hong Kong International Airport in total and was thrilled to take control of the iconic double-decker four-engine aircraft, which forms the centrepiece of British Airways’ fleet along with the Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Jenson said: “It was so cool! I’ve flown all over the world but this is the first time I’ve experienced what it’s like to be at the controls and it was a pretty incredible feeling.

“It’s like you’re in a real aircraft and after a while you forget it isn’t the real thing. I think I did pretty well for a first timer - though if there had been passengers in the back we might have had a few complaints about my first landing. Let’s just say it was a bit bumpy.”

Captain Dave Thomas, Head of Technical and Training, was impressed by Jenson’s handling of the aircraft. He added: “Jenson obviously has experience travelling at high speeds and he adapted well to taking control of the A380.

“Being a pilot is all about calmness under pressure, preparing properly and getting from A to B with safety being the foremost priority at all times, so I think coming from a Formula 1 background Jenson definitely has some of the attributes required of a pilot.”

BA A380s now fly between London and Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Singapore, Washington, San Francisco, Miami and Vancouver.

 

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Defence organisations concerned over inability to support disconnected ops

IFS has shared research revealing that military operators and defence in-service support providers consider disconnected operations a priority to effectively assist missions that take place with minimal or no information system

UK Military deployed in Scotland to aid Storm Arwen response

Following an urgent request for assistance, the military has been deployed to the Grampian region of Scotland to support the response to Storm Arwen.

Dstl supports new COVID-19 decision-making tool

A new interactive graphic developed by UK researchers including Dstl will help people decide what to do in everyday situations to protect themselves and others.

BA and Phillips 66 agree first UK produced SAF

British Airways will become the first airline in the world to use sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) produced on a commercial scale in the UK after signing a multi-year agreement with Phillips 66 Limited.

MAG hosting ‘Runway to Recovery’ for SMEs close to Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands airports

Small and medium sized businesses can learn more about how they could become a supplier to the UK’s largest group of airports next week, when Manchester Airports Group (MAG) hosts a virtual ‘Runway to Recovery’ meet the buyer event on

FAC conference embraces carbon-free flight

Delegates attending the annual conference of the Farnborough Aerospace Consortium (FAC) last month, were left in no doubt about the future emphasis of the sector – sustainability.

ADS S&P SK26111170322
See us at
WIRED BT2311141221RAF Museum BT