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TechTatva’15: Cruising Altitude

Flight of Fantasy definitely wasn’t one of your average everyday events: you weren’t allowed to walk in without any prior knowledge about aviation, because this event was just not that simple. A four day workshop was conducted before TechTatva which taught the participants all they needed to know. It covered everything ranging from communication with Air Traffic Control to the angle and speed at which your craft should land. Anyone who did not attend it and did not have the prerequisite knowledge behind flying an airplane was disqualified from the event, reducing the number of participants to around ten. These ten individuals did know their stuff, however, and handled the problem statements really well.

Although this event appeared rather casual, coming off as just a game in which you fly a plane, it was quite technical. The problem statement given stated that the contestants had to get a Boeing 737-800 from an airport at Copenhagen to one at Stockholm using a simulator. An FSX simulator was used in this event, which gave the cockpit’s point of view. The catch was that there was a limited amount of fuel, and so the participants had to consider factors like the number of passengers on board and the most appropriate route to be taken. They also had to communicate with Air Traffic Controllers, and control the aircraft if they were not given the signal to proceed. All these things had to be taken into consideration while figuring out the most efficient approach, and not everyone managed to pull it off. A few participants ran out of fuel or couldn’t control their plane and thus crashed out of the competition. They had to figure out a solution within four hours. The event heads and organizers were helpful throughout, giving pointers to the contestants if they got stuck at any point. A judging software incorporated into the simulator was used, which also took into account the dynamics of the take-off and landing. At the end, among the teams that didn’t crash, Ankur Boruah figured out the best approach to get to Stockholm and won the event, while R Rahul took second place.

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