Technology: Into The Wild Blue (Digital) Yonder

The new simulators re-create reality -- and fantasy -- with gut-wrenching accuracy

The McDonnell Douglas MD-80 turbofan jet had just lifted off from New York's LaGuardia Airport and was streaking toward the Manhattan skyline when its left engine burst into flames. Pilot Bob Harry kept his cool. Banking sharply, he cut a swath over the city, put the Statue of Liberty behind his right wing and headed back to LaGuardia. In a matter of minutes, he had lined up his plane over an empty runway, pulled out the flaps and felt the familiar jolt of a successful touchdown.

But this was one emergency landing that was not greeted with relieved applause from the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!