By Charlotte Schroeter
Chris Morris was very surprised when he won a 30-minute flying experience with Virtual Flight Centre recently after seeing the competition advertised on their website.
Mr Morris, of Horsham, gave the prize to his grandson who came to visit for a week from Ringwood, Hampshire.
Mr Morris said: “I was just looking online for things we could do this week and saw the competition. I’m amazed I won just like that, I don’t normally win anything!”
Mr Morris’ grandson, Ali Burnett, 12, said: “I’m very excited to be doing this today; I’m looking forward to learning how to land the plane. I play Microsoft simulators at home and will take what I learn here to my games.”
After entering the cockpit and taking his seat in the plane, Mr Morris said: “It’s amazing to see where the pilot sits, the cockpit is so small! And it’s great that you can sit back here in the gallery. It’s incredible to have this opportunity right on your doorstep, it’s a real gem hidden away here.
“Years ago you could ask nicely and see the cabin deck, you can’t now, this is the only way you would, we’re lucky to be able to come along and see this.”
Kevin Saker, who works at Virtual Flight Centre in Coolham, Horsham, was on hand to guide Ali through his flight experience and showed him how to take off, fly around and land and would also let him tackle different weather conditions, in the day and the night.
Kevin said: “We’re lucky to be near the airport so it’s an ideal location. It’s the first 25 foot of a real 737 plane that has a real history. It started flying in 1982 with Britannia and then finished off its service with Ryanair.”
For more information go to www.virtualflight.co.uk where you can also purchase gift vouchers for your friends and family to give them a unique present. The centre has links with the local pub, The Selsey Arms if you need somewhere to stay close by.
If you want to enter their next competition, keep an eye out on the website in the New Year and check regularly for a variety of special offers.