39-Valkyrie’s View: A Year Among the Stars

February 8th, 2552 Arcade Games
Flight Simulator Failure/Lab Rat – Katherine ‘Kat’ James Reporting

Today, based on the new protocols, all pilots were called upon to report to the simulator for training. My problem is— the simulator isn’t real. In the history of simulators, I have yet to find one that actually handled like a ship – the feel and response time is always off, and it throws me off.

Fortunately, I started flying with a shuttle my brother borrowed from his friend’s dad– I did mention that my brother was a bad influence, right?

Then again, if it wasn’t for him I don’t think I’d ever been allowed to drive, let alone fly. The conversation with the flight officer on the Valkyrie went something like this:

FO – Pilot, I’ve seen you fly. I’ve seen you land on a deck when the ship was heaving and the pitch and yaw were out of synch. You landed without missing a beat – what’s the problem here?
Me – Sir, (always remember to be polite) This is not a ship landing on the deck of a carrier. This is an arcade game.
FO – You’re still a pilot.
Me – Yes.
FO – Then what’s the issue?
Me – I’m more hands-on practical effect, with this I might as well be playing pong for all the feedback it gives me.
FO – You haven’t even tried it.
Me – I’ve tried enough in my day.
FO – (you could almost hear his eye-roll) You’re what, 25?
Me – 27.

He glared at me but he must have seen something in my eyes. He agreed to take me through an unrecorded sim session if I agreed to give it my best. It ended with a wrecked ship and me with the dry heaves. I’m not sure which came first but once the sim stopped things cleared up.

“That’s not an issue with the simulator not giving you good feedback,” he commented as he helped me to my feet.

I’m not sure what causes it, but the simulator has to not only present the preset program, it has to respond to ‘issues’ being introduced, not to mention the pilot’s reaction time. Something gets lost in translation. The simulator makes me sick – the ship does not.

We came to an understanding – until we had a planet he could certify me on, I was to focus on supply runs, shipbuilding… and training, always training.

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