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.

 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Air Partner appointed by airBaltic to remarket three B737-500s

Air Partner Remarketing has been appointed by airBaltic as its exclusive remarketing agent for three B737-500s.

Manchester Airport marks one year of £1bn transformation

Manchester Airport is marking one year of construction on the biggest investment project in its history by releasing images showing the work completed so far.

Stansted launches NAP consultation

London Stansted has launched a public consultation on its draft Noise Action Plan (NAP) setting out the airport’s approach to managing aircraft noise and reducing its impact on the local community.

Dstl scientists' sepsis test now available for commercial licence

A new test for sepsis, which globally claims six million lives a year, could soon be available thanks to an innovation by scientists at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

Culdrose Merlins join HMS Queen Elizabeth to support F-35 deck landings

Aircraft, aircrew and support personnel from 820 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) have embarked HMS Queen Elizabeth to support her forthcoming F-35B flight trials.

First ACJ320neo is assembled

The first ACJ320neo has been assembled on programme, fitted with CFM International LEAP-1A engines and painted in ACJ house-colours, in preparation for a first flight in the coming weeks.

ODU SK191217191218
See us at
DVD18BT3105200918SMI GMSCBT3005081118Aviation Africa 2019SMIFAVSBT151118AdvancedEngin BT1406011118