The flight simulator is an indispensable part of the training of new pilots, but also afterwards for keeping track of their flying skills. At Schiphol-East you will find one of Europe’s largest simulator centers, owned by the Canadian CAE. One of the Netherlands’ most famous pilots also trains there: King Willem-Alexander.

    At CAE there are no less than 15 simulators, each worth several million euros, containing cockpits of, among others, the decades-old Boeing 737-300, Boeing 747-400 and ATR72. You hardly ever see the former and latter aircraft at Schiphol, but CAE’s simulators are used by pilots from all over the world. 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    It is also possible to make flight hours in much more modern cockpits, such as in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX and Embraer 190. In such a simulator, pilots can solve all conceivable problems that can occur during a real flight. Whether it’s engine failure, fire or landing in dense fog: you can’t imagine it so crazy or it can be trained in a flight simulator.

    The article continues below the photos.

    NH90 in Den Helder

    The Canadian company, which celebrated its 75th anniversary this month, is not limited to civil aviation simulators. It also specializes in training military pilots. A simulator of the NH90 combat helicopter, of which the Ministry of Defense owns 19, is located at Maritime Air Camp De Kooy in Den Helder.

    King Willem Alexander

    CAE is very proud of a regular guest in the simulator center at Schiphol-East, namely King Willem-Alexander. The monarch has been a guest pilot at KLM for years. First on KLM Cityhopper’s Fokker 70 and since 2019 co-pilot on the Boeing 737. It is certain that he completed part of his training in a CAE simulator.

    No snoopers

    The company neither confirms nor denies that Willem-Alexander still visits every now and then. There is a good chance that he will come here every now and then: there are several 737 simulators on the secure site, so he can spend his training hours there without being snooped on.

    On the Youtube channel of NH Airtime you will find all previous broadcasts and longer uploads of new aircraft, airlines and lounges at Schiphol. From now on, NH Airtime will be broadcast on the NH television channel every first and third Wednesday of the month at 5:20 pm (with reruns until the following evening).