“I grew up in the city of Linköping, in the county of Östergötland in Sweden.
Every day, the air force flew their planes around us; Saab 29 Tunnan, Saab 32 Lansen, Saab 35 Draken and Saab 37 Viggen… As well as the commercial turboprop airliner Saab A340. Saab Industries builded those planes and tested them on their own airfield just outside Linköping, and the military airfield F13 Malmslätt was situated just opposite on the other side of the city, so just imagine how much flying that went on all days…

Of course I grew up wanting to be a pilot, but I soon learned you needed great physical condition, as well as excellent multitasking, be great at mathematics and… I soon retired those plans. I became a graphic designer, still with aeroplanes and flying them as a great passion. I never got myself a license as a private pilot, but took all possibilities of riding in commercial airplanes’ flight decks, and learning more and more about navigation, technical systems and constructions.

Then I stumbled over X-Plane a few years ago.

StiernspetzToday I fly three airliners by the book: The Boeing 732 Twinjet (which I love), the Boeing 757 Cargo and the Saab 340. All by the checklists and procedures in real time, the real local time, as well as the real weather. Using the SIDs and STARs, and the real routes.

From time to time I also fly the Douglas DC3 up in the Northern Territories, at Hay River and Yellowknife as the guys at Buffalo Airways. Try to make a nice take off with crosswinds in a DC3… THAT is something completely different thing than for example in the Twinjet…. These planes gives me the most realistic simulation of the flight deck work, and it has to be done properly, otherwise things don’t work out. For me it’s like a dream come true.

Living in Sweden in the northern corner of Europe gives you real challenges with crosswinds, fast changing weather with clouds and fog, and in the winter flying in darkness is the most common thing you do as a commercial pilot. And I am proud to say, I do it rather well!

I have learned to master the Sperry autopilot, and later also the Boeing type FMS. So, later in life I could actually get to fly the planes I have admired and traveled with so much. Next big thing – if I ever can get to do it – is to climb into a real Boeing 737 simulator or later model, to see if I actually could master the real deal after all these sim hours..! But here in Sweden that is too expensive, and it can be done only some hours in the middle of the night, if ever.

But I keep on dreaming, and when the family goes to bed, I take my papers and enter the flight deck of my Boeing 732 Twinjet, turn on the battery and ground power, turn on the light, put the headset on and reach for my checklists…

X-Plane is the best there is.

Thank you so much for letting me fly my heavy birds!”

— Capt. Stiernspetz