Muhammad Malhas, a Jordanian, kept his aspirations alive by devouring books on aviation, aircraft engineering, and how-to guides.
Muhammad Malhas, a Jordanian, has always aspired to be a pilot. He’s soaring above the skies in a cockpit he built in his basement at the age of 76.
“Man has been seeing the birds in the skies since the beginning of time, dreaming of flying freely,” Malhas told AFP.
He remembers flying his kite as a kid and marvelling at how something made of paper could go so high.
“It was then that the love of flying began to obsess me,” he said, sitting in the flight simulator, which is a reproduction of the cockpit of a Boeing 737-800 that he built from scrap and secondhand goods over the course of three years.
“My heart was always in the sky, and my desire was to be a pilot, but circumstances prevented me from doing so,” he explained.
In 1969, he earned a master’s degree in hospital administration from a London university and joined his father at the hospital that the family had founded.
Malhas, on the other hand, kept his aspirations alive by devouring books on aviation, aircraft engineering, and how-to instructions.
In 1976, he enrolled in the Royal Jordanian Air Academy, rising early in the morning to take flying lessons in a tiny Piper plane before travelling to work. He received his driver’s licence two years later.
He was a member of the(JGC) Jordanian Gliding Club for almost a decade, flying every weekend.
He was virtually flying by 2006, owing to flight software he got onto his computer.
He became part of a global network of flight simulator lovers who could fly in practically real-time under the supervision of an air traffic controller.
“We were a group of approximately 30 to 40 people, aviation enthusiasts from various nations, communicating online in our spare time about flying.”
“We used to fly to Beirut, United kingdom, Damascus, Baghdad, and even the United States.” “Sometimes we sat on computers for six hours, pretending to fly real aircraft,” he told AFP.
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