Skip to content ↓
MIT student blogger Piper '13

Like a G6 by Piper '13

except for the wings, the engines, the flight controls…

You may have heard of the MIT Flying Club, which I’m not actually active in.  (I learned to fly pre-MIT and probably won’t have much time to fly until post-MIT – in the meanwhile, I’m mostly spending my time taking advantage of opportunities I didn’t have at home ^_^)  In any case, I am on their mailing list, because they are awesome and frequently do awesome things.  Like putting this in the Z center (our humongous campus gym):



It was an F-35 simulator, and I was SUPER STOKED upon signing up for it.  It sounded pretty shiny.  In classical me mode, my first thought upon hearing about it was “I WONDER WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU CRASH THAT THING.”   Since I make regular practice of not crashing planes I fly, I figured a simulator is a good place to do it.  Until I saw a shiny, shiny pin that one of the MIT Flying Club members was wearing…

“Whoa, they give those to you?”
“Only if you don’t crash.”

But man, the pin sure did look shiny.

Very, very suddenly, it was my turn. I handed my phone (man, why didn’t I think to bring a real camera?) off to my boyfriend, climbed into the “cockpit”, and oriented myself to the controls.

First thing I noted was that it was different from the Cessnas I was used to. A stick instead of a yoke, and my steering/throttle hands were switched. Once the simulation started, the second thing I noticed was DANG THIS THING IS SENSITIVE. I was used to rather dramatic movements to get a tiny Cessna to move. These controls… were amazingly sensitive, which is unsurprising given that they crammed many more horses into its engine.

“Okay, we’ll have you do a landing.”

^ That’s me, an approach to the runway, and a guy telling me vital things like, “You want to be going about 145 knots to land in this plane”. Lower the landing gear. Don’t worry about flaps, there aren’t any in this plane. Keep for the runway. Power back, slow down, flare…

And earn the shiny pin.


They were also letting everyone take shiny posters and stickers.  My agenda is now decorated…

As I grabbed some freebies, I noticed that they had a second simulator off in the corner – not full-bodied and without a rudder, but neat nonetheless – where I then realized my dreams of stalling and crashing the plane repeatedly into the ground. I am sad to say that there was no massive video-game-esque explosion at these crashes (you just pulled up and continued to fly), but I did get to see targets explode off on the horizon. It was around then that I realized, whoa, these are one-seater planes — you can’t fly them with an instructor.


It’s almost like simulators were created for this purpose.



And… that is another bite of my life at MIT.

As has been a frequent disclaimer lately on this blogs – and should really always be assumed to be true – you guys are more than welcome to ask questions of us bloggers, be it through comment, email (see the bar above, we all have ’em there), carrier pidgeon, smoke signals, etc (though, I don’t know how to read smoke signals).  I will say that, no, I will not read your application essays.  But I have and will tell you about life here, and why you shouldn’t be driving yourself crazy over the application process ^_^

See you next time.

12 responses to “Like a G6”

  1. Piper '13 says:

    Raj – Generally, it’s the education that’s referred to as “drinking from the firehose” – basically, MIT floods you with information. Classes move super quick while expecting you to develop a deep understanding of the material, which can be overwhelming wink The rest of life at MIT can be that way, too, if you so choose – there are over 300 student groups, and you’re likely to find 10 or 12 or 30 that interest you, so you can really pack your schedule with awesome stuff. If you don’t want to sleep, that is ^_^

    I personally don’t have a packed schedule of responsibilities. My responsibilities are my classes, I have a couple of groups that I’m dedicated to, and then I have a lot of open-invitation activities on my calendar. “Hmm, I’m free, do I want to go bouldering? Or do I want to go to Patrol (shooting people with toy guns) with the Assassins’ Guild? Or do I want to go to juggling practice? Or do I want to go sailing?”

    Personally, I find it a wonderful schedule – it doesn’t have stress outside of my classes, and I always have things to relieve me of stress when I need them smile

  2. They say that life at MIT is like tryna drink water from a fire hose. How true is that?

    How do you manage to have fun despite the choc-a-bloc schedule?

  3. José ('17?) says:

    AW MAN, i just looks great, I hope they put it there again in 2013 so that I can give it a try.
    And I love the pin.

  4. Piper '13 says:

    ^ Worst case, you can join the club and make it happen. That’s how things work at MIT – it’s not beyond you to ensure there are awesome things here wink

  5. Awesome!! Jaw-dropping! :D
    It does sound very much exciting to me, the way you put it! And yes, If I get in I’d surely like to meet you to get a hang of life @ MIT :D

  6. Siddharth says:

    You guys are really so lucky. I mean a simulator! That too one of F-35!!

    BTW how in the world MIT manages to get all these things?

  7. Piper '13 says:

    @Raj – Hehe, hopefully see ya at CPW smile

    @Siddharth – We’re just that awesome wink (I actually have no idea how the Flying Club did this, but in general, companies like to interact with MIT students and encourage MIT students to apply to work for them.)

  8. Piper '13 says:

    @Siddharth – Sanity? Who said anything about sanity? wink

    Most people develop a balance at MIT. It is hard – especially for the freshman who thinks they can do everything – but most people eventually figure out a balance of work, activities, and sleep that works for them. Trial and error ^_^

  9. Siddharth says:

    Lucky you.. wink

    MIT is awesome!

    BTW just one thing I am curious about- how do you guys manage to stay sane with out crashing with so much to do and no sleep at all? Puzzles me every time I read the blogs…

  10. Siddharth says:

    I was kidding when I talked about sanity.. smile

    I just hope all these things will be there next year.. And I totally hope to meet you bloggers next year!!(if I am lucky enough with my application that is!)

  11. Piper '13 says:

    ^ I can’t guarantee that any one specific thing (like the simulator in this post) will be here next year. But there’s always some new awesome thing popping up year to year. Compare blog entries from years ago to ones we’ve got now — there are many, many differences, but the awesomeness continues. Always ^_^

  12. kilanko says:

    simply mit awesomeness, pleased with the whole big ideal of enjoying your self but that really shows where all your big fees is going into …cudoes MIT