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Simulator can fulfill the need for speed for county residents

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 8, 2000

PORT RICHEY -- If you ever wanted to be Top Gun without strapping two jet engines to your chair, the Navy is giving people the chance to experience a computer version of the real thing.

An F/A-18 Hornet simulator, made by MicroSimulators of Casselberry and used by the Navy to train pilots, will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, said Jacob Elder, a Machinist Mate Second Class and a Navy recruiter in west Pasco County. The takeoff point is in the Gulf View Square Mall parking lot.

Elder said people will get to fly the simulator after watching a short video teaching them some basics of flight. The whole process takes about 15 minutes and the cockpit is an exact replica.

"Every switch, every thing is there," Elder said. "It is so much fun."

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