Calgary man schedules regular Boeing 747 flights in basement

Calgary man schedules regular Boeing 747 flights in basement
  1. Calgary man schedules regular Boeing 747 flights in basement
    When Marco Governali renovated the basement of his southeast home, a flight to Tokyo was in the…
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When Marco Governali renovated the basement of his southeast home, a flight to Tokyo was in the blueprints.

Now, $25,000 and thousands of hours later, the sky’s the limit for the computer whiz who has constructed a Boeing 747 flight simulator faithful to the smallest authentic detail in the lower reaches of his McKenzie Towne home.

When one Dubai-based pilot saw a video of his creation, “he said, ‘how did you get clearance to get in a 747 cockpit?’ ” said Governali.

“I said ‘no, it’s in my basement.’ ”

The genesis of the flight simulator began taxiing in the mid 1990s with a computer and 14-inch monitor, picking up speed to more ambitious projector screens and control panels, to reaching full altitude today with equipment from real aircraft, he said.

It’s a hobby that’s wedded a passion for flight, computer expertise and a handyman aptitude, said Governali.

Though it’s fully functional, it remains a work in progress aided by extensive research and input from airline pilots, said the 55-year-old, who operates a computer store.

“Not a week goes by that I don’t add a switch or light,” said Governali.

It has access to air traffic controllers’ monitors from across the world, borrowing actual flight conditions in real time.

“You’re basically listening to air traffic controllers, you can simply type in YYC and you’ve got Calgary airport . . . it’s perfectly legal to do,” he says. “They don’t see me — I see them.”

Once he’s performed a taxi and takeoff, he slips his faux aircraft into autopilot and retires to his version of business class — an adjacent part of his basement — for a movie or nap.

“It’s what pilots do in real life,” said Governali.

The sense of motion created by…

Tags: #Boeing
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