Do you have a fear of flying? Or would you like to fly a professional 737-800 simulator? if so, the award winning, Virtual Jet Centre, based around 6 minutes drive from Willow Lodge – Finlake, is one experience that cannot be missed.

Originally set up to offer pilot training, the centre swiftly added flight experiences to their offering.

Flight Simulator

The aviation industry has always set the standard for safety training and team development and Virtual Jet Centre employs a team of highly skilled pilots and facilitators to run their events and training courses.

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What an opportunity! Choose any location in the world as your ‘destination’, set a flight path and feel the full thrill of flying a 70-tonne 737-800 jet from take off to landing, all with a professional pilot in uniform to help guide you.

The brainchild of commercial airline pilot Captain Andy Wilkins, the Virtual Jet Centre is conveniently located just off the A38 road, around 5 minutes from Willow Lodge – Finlake. With an extensive career spanning 30 years as a commercial pilot, Captain Andy is realizing his vision of bringing the joy of flying to the wider public. Come and meet the experienced team of commercial pilots at the Virtual Jet Centre’s purpose-built facility tucked away in a corner of Chudleigh and prepare to be impressed.

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At the heart of the business is our fully bespoke 737-800 jet simulator. Originally developed for the military, this innovative jet simulator combines a state-of-the art full-motion platform with a 220 degree ‘field of view’ display making this simulator the closest experience to a real aircraft possible.

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Our Centre offers the 737-800 flight simulator, a training suite with PC-based flight simulators, a cabin fuselage and a comfortable lounge for relaxing with a drink.

Overcome your fear of Flying

Did you know that approximately 1 in 6 people have a fear of flying – or aviophobia. The emotions can be so strong that they become overwhelming or they prevent people from flying at all. For some people, it’s the anticipation of flying that is more frightening than the actual experience while for others, the entire journey is an endurance test. The phobia can come on at any age, even affecting people who have done a lot of flying previously.

Virtual Jet Centre’s dedicated and experienced team can help you overcome your phobia and for many people, actually start to enjoy travelling by air.

Fear of flying is a simple phobia but with many complex factors. There are millions of reasons why the fear develops in the first place and so we treat each of our clients with understanding and sensitivity.

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The centres approach is to empower each individual with knowledge, so a major part of the course is training you to actually fly our jet simulator, with a highly-experienced pilot on hand to support and help you. Your pilot will demonstrate how an aircraft flies, what happens when you raise and lower the gear and flaps and which noises and sensations accompany this process. This process is key to helping you overcome your fear of flying. Sitting in the 737-800 flight simulator and taking the controls yourself is a transformational experience in dealing with a fear of flying.


The course is a 3 hour session with the Virtual Jet Centre Owner and Lead Trainer – Captain Andy Wilkins. The course is individually tailored to your specific fears. Andy has spent many years researching this debilitating phobia and has over time, developed a variety of techniques to help you combat your fears.

Anything discussed during the course is completely confidential and there is a strict do-not-disturb policy whilst the course is running. They would therefore advise that no one else is present during the course. There is however, a relaxing waiting area with refreshments available. The centre has built some short breaks into the course for your comfort.

Cabin Time

In order to help combat your fears, they will spend some time in their fuselage which is exactly like an aircraft cabin. With your pilot, you will enter the cabin and talk about your emotions at that point.

Simulator Time

You’ll sit at the controls of a 737-800 flight simulator while your pilot talks to you about the aircraft and explains how it all works. You will fly the London Heathrow to Manchester route, working the controls under the expert guidance of your pilot. This is the best way of you seeing, hearing and feeling how a ‘plane flies and is a powerful way of helping you overcome your fears and alarms while flying. You’ll spend about an hour flying the flight simulator.

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A confidential discussion with Andy Wilkins about your fear of flying, your experiences to date and how you feel about flying.

Cabin Time

You now re-enter the cabin very briefly, followed by some time spent watching two videos including one about the Airbus which contains much helpful information about aircraft safety.

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Coping Mechanisms

In this final stage, you will use visualisation techniques and your pilot will discuss with you the most appropriate coping mechanisms to help you. You will then re-enter the cabin for the third time and experience the noises usually heard during a flight.

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At the end of the course, you will be debriefed on your progress and feelings about flying, and can discuss your next steps.

Next steps including a real flight

You may not require anything more from us. Some people book more time in the flight simulator while others want support to experience a real flight. In that case, we will help you book a flight with FlyBe, usually to London, with Captain Andy Wilkins accompanying you 1:1 – but only if this is something you want to do.

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The airline will offer pre-boarding, giving the client an opportunity to meet the crew and receive a tour of the flight deck prior to all other passengers boarding.

We will then either fly back or use alternative transport for the return journey. This will allow an in depth discussion about the your flight experience.

Why not book your stay with us, and experience this for yourselves.

Willow Lodge, Brambles 4, Finlake Holiday Park, Chudleigh, Devon, TQ13 0EJ, United Kingdom.
Copyright © 2019 Reliance Managed Services Limited (Company Number. 11421269. Registered Office: Layfield House, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 9TD.