Competition on the flight-deck: AeroTime puts aviation geeks to the test


Have you ever wondered why pilots have so many buttons in the cockpit? Or puzzled over what goes on behind the scenes, before, during and after the ‘passenger seat belt’ sign comes on? AeroTime’s new ‘Simulator Challenger’ shows what happens when you put an aviation enthusiast in the pilot’s seat.

AeroTime’s ‘Simulator Challenge’ brings people in aviation together in a competition designed to put the cockpit knowledge of aviation enthusiasts to the test as they face off in a head-head contest.

In the first competition, Richard Stephenson, AeroTime CEO and Editor-in-Chief, challenged Josh Cahill, YouTuber, airline reviewer and AeroTime Aviation Achievement Award Recipient. The participants had to successfully take-off from Manchester Airport in England, perform a fly-by over Old Trafford stadium, and successfully land on the airport runway in a single attempt.

After their ‘line up and wait’, both contestants put on their pilot uniforms, received take-off clearance, and put their passion for aviation to the test.

Learning to fly

Aircraft simulators have a long-standing history in the aviation industry. The first aircraft simulator devices in history are said to have appeared within a decade of Orville and Wilbur Wright’s first flight in 1903.

However, it wasn’t until 1929 that the ‘Link Trainer’ – a simulator device developed and patented by Edwin Link in Binghamton – was made available for sale.

Today simulators play a significant role in the training, certification, and rating of pilots all over the world. Within the next two decades plane manufacturers Airbus and Boeing estimate that the industry will need between 550,000 and 600,000 pilots to meet global demand.

Competition on the flight-deck

AeroTime’s simulator competition was conducted in a state-of-the-art Boeing 737 simulator at a BAA Training establishment, one of the largest pilot training centers in Europe. Both pilots were under the instruction of a commanding officer – a certified training captain from BAA Training.

AeroTime worked with Cahill in 2021 when he shared his ‘My Covid Story’ as well as flying on the first all-female crewed commercial passenger flight in Afghanistan on Kam Air flight RQ103. The historic flight took place from Kabul to Herat on February 24, 2021.

Following fierce competition and two successful landings from both pilots, Cahill was named as the first winner of this competition.

Celebrating pilots and inspiring the next generation 

From commercial and private pilots to sports pilots, recreational pilots and airline transport pilots, the people flying our planes are the lifeblood of the global aviation industry.  

Flight instructors also play a vital role in helping the industry to achieve and maintain pilot certification and type rating.   

The ‘Simulator Challenge’ forms part of our week-long International Pilots’ Day activities. International Pilots’ Day is the perfect time to celebrate the stories of aviators and inspire the next generation.  

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