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“Absolutely incredible! A top tier experience!”

Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center
Ranked #3 of 103 Fun & Games in Anaheim
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Consistently voted one of the top things to do in Orange County, Flightdeck is a flight simulation attraction providing civilians the opportunity to pilot fighter jets in actual cockpit simulators and a Boeing 737 flight simulator. Experience the challenge of aerial maneuvers at 500 knots, aircraft take-offs and landings and the excitement of air-to-air combat. Up to ten people can fly at the same time, each in their own authentic F-16 flight simulator! In the "Officer's Club", guests can view and listen to all of the action on large LCD monitors. Flightdeck also offers "Group Events at the Speed of Sound!", with event space for groups of 8 to 80, this is a unique venue where the spirit of Top Gun inspires the adventurer within with a variety of aviation themed experiences for corporate groups, team building (serious or fun), incentive trips, parties, customers events, sales events, seminars, product launches, off-site meetings etc.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Los Angeles, California
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Absolutely incredible! A top tier experience!”
Reviewed 28 February 2012

I purchased two Viper 1 Air Combat sessions, one for myself and one for my father, who was flying in from the East Coast to visit. The Viper 1 session is a specific high-end session which takes a little over 3 hours. It includes detailed training and 3 "flights". First, I want to explain the "above and beyond" treatment we received. Second, I'll go through the experience, and lastly I'll give information on things to be aware of when you go (and I know you will - it's so much fun!) This review is only on the longer Viper 1 Air Combat sessions, I haven't done a shorter session yet (but will in the future!)

I had called FlightDeck weeks before our scheduled appointment, and speaking to their friendly receptionist, I was informed that I could call a couple of days before our actual session to schedule a time. Fast forward to my father now in Los Angeles, visiting me, with this program being the big reason he came all the way from Washington DC. When I called to lock down our date, I was informed that the Viper 1 program requires more of a heads up to reserve a time, as they shut down the facility to focus on those attending the program! I was immediately concerned - she informed me that there really wasn't much they could do, large parties were already scheduled and she couldn't get us in until AFTER my father would be flying home. She kept me on the phone for a while, exploring options, until she let me know she'd call me back.

When she did, she had fantastic news. They would be able to take us the next day. She had spoken to one of the founders/owners, and he decided to go above and beyond and come in to have a special session for us. When we arrived, we were surprised to find out that the trainers we met had all decided to come in - just for us! It was their day off, but they felt it was important to give us the best experience possible. We were truly amazed - not only where they coming in on their day off - they were also the nicest, happiest group we'd encountered in quite some time. We were also pleasantly surprised to know that a few additional pilots had come in to do some training - talk about extra special treatment!

The program is simply awesome. You suit up in flight suits, get your leg boards to take notes, and sit in the briefing room to learn from your instructor. We had "Sockeye", who was a joy to learn from. Photographs are welcome, many times they offered to take our photo, which was very helpful.

Be aware that you truly "climb" into the simulators on small ladders, replicating the feeling of really getting into a fully operational F16 cockpit. It can be a bit tricky to get in and out, just an FYI. My father is 6'7" and fit just fine. Having the cockpit canopy close and hear your flight leader speak to you via headset really adds to the experience. A few reviews state that the screens are old and need to be updated. Yes, the graphics of the screens are dated - but these are not Xbox 360's or PS3's. We were told that the entire facility is going through an update, which will update the screens. Regardless, the graphics did not negatively impact our experience in any way.

A few things to be aware of that would be helpful;
-- They do have soft drinks/snacks on site. If you need a break, simply ask for it. You do get breaks between each of the 1 hour training/flight sessions.
-- Ask the instructors anything at any time. Don't be nervous, they're incredibly welcoming.
-- Speak with the instructors after your flights to get candid feedback on your flight. It was really exciting to talk to them and a pleasure to hear their tips.
-- Dress casually. You may want to wear a long sleeve shirt, but no need for a jacket. Although it's cool in the space, the flight suit keeps you warm!
-- Bring your camera! Not only can you get shots of you during the day, at the end of the Viper 1 program you receive a call sign and plaque. It's a great opportunity to get photos with your instructors.
-- You don't have to have any flying experience to enjoy the day. The instructors are thorough, fun, and incredibly helpful.

I have to say this was a fantastic experience throughout. It's a joy to recommend FlightDeck to any and all. It's taken me too long to get this review up. A huge thanks to the entire crew that was there that day - my sincere apologies that I've forgotten your names and call signs!

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
3 Thank JR C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Riverside, California
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Awesome!!!”
Reviewed 27 January 2012

I am a deployed soldier to Afghanistan, and I visited Flightdeck while I was home on my 2 week R&R. It was truly an awesome experience! You're able to wear a flight suit and fly in the cockpit of an F-16. Most of the staff are retired military. They are experienced, very nice, and helpful. You are briefed how to fly the jets, given time to get used to the controls, and then the fight is on!!! The dogfighting is very realistic and such a rush! It was definitely worth the visit, very entertaining.

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank William L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento, California
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“An excellent time”
Reviewed 18 January 2012

I flew the fox-1 mission and I had a great time! The staff were knowledgeable and friendly and the flight itself was a lot of fun. You fly around the gigantic map and shoot your friends down while smack talking them on the radios! I definitely recommend trying out flightdeck whether on vacation or local. I also tried the Boeing 737 sim while i was there and had a blast getting a behind the scenes look at the things the pilots do and see while flying!

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank Andrew K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Diamond Bar, California, United States
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Fun Date Idea for your man!”
Reviewed 11 January 2012

I surprised the fiance with this for our date night! We came in and checked in and we came when they were telling the stats of the other people's 'flight'. They stressed landing is hard. So after this class was done...

We suited up and prepared for our 10 minute class. My jumpsuit was huge. When we took photos, it looked like I was WAY overweight. I was sad. I wish I knew I didn't look cute in it... haha... yes... I think about that. I'm a girl. But the cool thing is that the jumpsuit was so big, I could had been a flying squirrel! Awesome.

Anyways, we sat down for the class and got a a flight stick to practice shooting and missiles. He explained everything basic.
* What everything was
* Altitude, Speed reader
* How to fly up
* How to turn
* How to shoot
* How to land
* How to not die (by crashing)

It was SO much information. I wish I had a notepad to write it all down. Yes... I'm one of THOSE students. I wanted stuff to review. I hate not knowing step by step and having a review card. Yes... the nerd in me.

So it was a quick process and we went to out planes. We were assigned the planes and my fiance was on my team. He was my Goose... or Maverick. Whichever works because we weren't in the same plane tho. But same team!

So we got into our individual planes and put on our headsets. I felt like I was playing a video game in a big giant plane - basically I was. The seats were comfy and I saw the gears and everything. They had us do a practice run and I took off smoothly. My hands were all clammy.

The great thing was that the head guy could talk to us and give us instructions. Thank goodness. We could ask him questions and the people in the other planes couldn't hear, so they couldn't hear my cries of "What do I do? What do I do?"

And yes, I asked the question that my fiance made fun of me... I asked where the horizon line was. My fiance said where the land and air meet... I MEANT THE LINE ON THE SCREEN (there were multiple lines and I wanted to be sure I was following the correct line to spin. I KNOW what a horizon is :P

Anyways... we pressed the grey button to communicate with your partner and control. Control was helpful and helped me land a kill... even tho I'm a pacifist. :D I only had one kill the whole time because I was busy just enjoying flying.

My hand was becoming tired from moving the joystick (control) around. It's heavy to move. I'm not weak... I just kept moving around trying to avoid being killed. They had us dog fight each other. I got killed twice... 308... I know it was you... So then I started to just fly away.

My fiance had a great time. He's the type to try to kill as many people as possible... in the game. Geez, I'm not in love with a crazy man. He's really a calm guy.

Anyways... it was fun. If you get killed, you just automatically get back in the air. It's not like when you are killed - that's it. No... you get to do it again! It was fun.

Landing - we get to have two attempts. My objective was just not to die. The first time I tried landing, I missed the landing and flew away (Abort)... second time, I was ejected from my plane... I forgot why. I didn't crash into anything.

At the end, we get our stats from the commander and he goes over it. No one in our group crashed and landing is hard.

It was REALLY fun. I liked it a lot because that's really how it's like in the air in a plane... I probably would never know because I'm not in the military and I'm afraid of heights. I rather fly in a simulation than in real life, thank you.

NOTES:
* Kinda hard to find. It looks like a regular work building, so look for FLIGHTDECK around the curve of the street.
* Plenty of parking
* Make sure to do reservations
* Pee beforehand
* Photo ops allowed

HOW TO FLY:
- When you get to speeds of 170-180, pull nose up.

HOW TO ACTIVATE MISSILES:
- click grey button (on right hand) left and then UP (to find a target) - once target says SHOOT, then hit red button to shoot!

HOW TO LAND:
- Speed of 200-250, aim for landing strip brown/black dot part

IMPROVEMENTS:
* I wish they would teach us how to better find your target because I would find my target but they were miles away from me (too far to shoot)... so I wish we had a better review of that.

WISH LIST:
* Since command center could hear the conversations between me and my fiance... I wish I prepared for him and I to do quotes from Top Gun.... That would had been AWESOME! The command control probably heard it all... but that'd be FUNNY!

PLEASE SOMEONE DO THIS!
Iceman: You two really are cowboys.
Maverick: What's your problem, Kazanski?
Iceman: You're everyone's problem. That's because every time you go up in the air, you're unsafe. I don't like you because you're dangerous.
Maverick: That's right! Ice... man. I am dangerous.

And then sing "you've lost that Loving feeling"

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
6 Thank Laura S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Doonan, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Excellent Fun and very welcoming staff”
Reviewed 7 January 2012

Great guys, great fun and well priced. Be aware main entrance recently moved and new entrance less obviously around side and taxi driver got confused.

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank cyberdoc1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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