back to article Flight simulator sets fire to airport

A flight simulator turned into a real life hazard of its own, after it caught fire and caused €16m (£13.6m) in damage at Frankfurt airport. The virtual reality machine, intended to help pilots practise their response to emergencies, burst into flames in a building owned by airline Condor on Thursday. Some 200 people were …

  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Fiery immigrant takfiris

    ...practicing "starting but no landing"?

  2. redpawn Silver badge

    Seemed like a good idea

    at the time, for the sake of realism to use a jet engine for sound and vibration.

  3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    The picture looks like the simulator even has an emergency escape chute? Impressive.

  4. TechnicalBen Silver badge

    There are some that even do emergency water departure and while upside down.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here you go

    The incident took so long to get under control due to the virtual plane taking on a lot of virtual fuel just before virtual take-off, and eventual virtual prang and very real fire.

  6. DNTP Silver badge

    Simulated Emergency:

    Virtual Samsung Note 7 discovered in the simulated passenger compartment!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I know some people like that. I suspect most Reg readers do as well. You know the kind, you put a brand new shiny PC in front of them, and 20 minutes later the power supply fries. Or their new car with the exceptional reliability rating throws a rod. The kind of people who could crash an airplane in a simulator and start the entire building on fire.

    People like that are great to have around in a test environment, though. If the equipment survives them, it will survive just about anything.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All you need is a group of 5 year olds and feed them sugary drinks and chocolate.

    Any kit that survives that deserves military grade certification.

  9. DNTP Silver badge

    I used to historical fence with a longsword waster (blunt practice sword) made of high-density nylon. I used that thing full-contact for almost two years, against other wasters, shields, and two-handed strikes against pells and it never cracked or split (and believe me after hearing some of the accidents, you check your practice gear religiously for signs of that damage.)

    Then I lent it to a 12 year old for Halloween… and got it back snapped off at the hilt after he swung it around carelessly in one hand and struck a tree. How does that make any sense?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh god yes. I used to work with one. We called him "Magnet man" due to his amazing ability to screw up computers purely by being near them.

    I kid you not.

    We once asked him to drop a package off to one of our customers as he was going to be driving past. Next thing we know he's on the support phone back to base because the machine we had there died the moment he walked through the door to drop the package off. He swears he didn't touch it.

  11. kain preacher Silver badge

    red bull by the gallon.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My best mom was like. I did not believe. I said watch and learned. So he comes to my house and builds a brand new P4 and loaded it with windows 2000 and took it to his mums house and he said watch. Nothing happened he said keep on watching. Eventual we head to the kitchen for a snack boom BSOD. I'm like wtf. reboot can not find kernel32.dll. He Said for the next trick. He loaded Debian. Debian load fine and he said lets go wash our hands and was ok that seems funny. Came back kernel panic. WTF . Seems she can only screw PC up when you leave the room. I swear if she walked through the NSA unsupervised the entire place would crash and burn. From what Head she made a 64 freeze up.

  13. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "My best mom was like. I did not believe."etc

    English translation needed.

  14. harmjschoonhoven

    Re: Magnet man

    That is called the Pauli effect after Wolfgang Ernst Pauli (1900 - 1958). The most famous example is that of a chandelier in a lecture room at a German university which dropped down on the day Pauli passed the town by rail.

    BTW For me Pauli is famous for the article Relativitätstheorie first published in 1921 (to put all young physics students to shame, as it is the complete and lucid recap of the (special and general) theory of relativity, published under that title by Pergamon Student Editions (241 pages).

  15. Brian Miller Silver badge

    Hardware was Next

    Yep, another one of those magnesium cases catching on fire and burning through the floor. Maybe they should retire that old Next gear, and use a use a mobile phone. Oh, wait, the Samsung Note 7 didn't work, either...

    (Samsung Note 7 sitting on a Next machine?)

  16. SomeoneInDelaware

    Call out

    -- the simulated fire truck to put the fire out.

    (And yes, they have similar simulators for fire departments -- much more tree-hugging friendly than dumping 400 gallons of AFFF concentrate on the fire.)

    Of course, if it is your server room that is on fire, it could get a little tricky.

  17. Chez

    Dammit, Nvidia

    See title.

  18. Doc Ock

    Re: Dammit, Nvidia

    Nah it was AMD cards as those things have to run twice as hot and use twice the power to catch Nvidia.

  19. Chez

    Re: Dammit, Nvidia

    Nvidia causing housefires is an old meme that dates back to the early days of Fermi. True or not, the reputation stuck for quite a while.

    See also: Woodscrews, 1.7% yields, "AMD has no drivers".

  20. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    The cause of the incident was likely a technical fault.

    No s**t Sherlock. It's hardly likely to be pilot error, is it?

  21. Captain DaFt

    "No s**t Sherlock. It's hardly likely to be pilot error, is it?"

    Depends, was Homer Simpson training on it?

  22. Blofeld's Cat


    "Achtung Spitfire!"

    OK, OK - It's the flying-jacket and goggles.

  23. FuzzyTheBear

    Realism ?

    This is a great simulator .. real flames .. man .. what will they think of next ?

  24. LDS Silver badge

    'contained a replica passenger cabin'

    So it looks more a simulator for flight attendants than for pilots Someone heated the coffee too much?

  25. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    Re: 'contained a replica passenger cabin'

    Somebody spilled McDonald's coffee.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Frankfurt's Camel Smoking Booths / Passive Smoking.

    Frankfurt Airport. Just wish it was one (all) of those Camel Smoking Booths that had caught fire.

    The Cigarette/Camel advertising is one thing. The deliberate small gaps in the glass framework letting out smoke in general concourse is another, the fact its deliberate and this is revenue generating for Frankfurt Airport at the expense of other Passenger's Health, is what I find so annoying.

    Frankfurt Airport are turning a blind eye to Passive smoking, because they generate revenue from these Camel Booths. I'm not one to get annoyed about someone having a crafty cigarette, but I do take offence when big business are using passengers (and their health) as a means of revenue like this.

    If anyone here knows Angela Merkel, please let her know, because its fcuking annoying breathing in this shit when travelling through Frankfurt 'Smoke Free Zone' Airport.

  27. gerdesj Silver badge

    Re: Frankfurt's Camel Smoking Booths / Passive Smoking.

    "If anyone here knows Angela Merkel"

    Is she the airport manager/director in Frankfurt these days? Last I heard she was the Chancellor of Germany. I'm not sure if your customer complaint will land on her desk.

    If I was you, I'd assume she won't hear about it directly and get on to the Deutsche Bundespolizei or perhaps start with the state Polizei and work up the chain. Make sure to emphasize the awfulness of your treatment at the hands of an organisation that handles millions of people per year.

    Whilst you are there, could you also ask them to stop those nasty polluting aeroplane things from spitting out way more smoke than any bunch of smokers could possibly manage. I'll happily sniff tobacco smoke but the stuff that comes out of aeroplanes and diesel cars is way worse.

  28. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Re: Frankfurt's Camel Smoking Booths / Passive Smoking.

    Call their hotline and complain, if you must: +49 1806 372-4636

    Just remember, not smoking will help the terrorists. (source)

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Frankfurt's Camel Smoking Booths / Passive Smoking.

    A person/esp. a baby is far more likely to die/be affected from Passive smoking, than from any would-be terrorist, unless they are very unlucky, given the odds. Those Camel Smoking Booths are a much bigger threat than some would be terrorist at Frankfurt, in the scheme of things, over a lifetime.

    The terrorist/drone threat hyperbole fed through the media, is just to implement control of the general population, place them in virtual chains, with fine revenue, to clip heads, trip up those trying their best to obey the law, while they go about their daily lives, yet big business are quietly given special status, like this.

    There have been 'mad-men' for centuries, its nothing new, its just they are publicised in the UK's DM at very opportunity in 2016, again because it puts eyeballs on their webshite, to generate advertising revenue.

    The Aria Milk tanker driver I spotted on the M4 playing a game on his ipad Tablet, held over the steering wheel at 70+mph, how's he any different to a would-be terrorist? He potentially doing exactly the same as recent incidents, just without the deaths (yet).

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Frankfurt's Camel Smoking Booths / Passive Smoking.

    "on the M4 playing a game on his ipad Tablet, held over the steering wheel at 70+mph"

    The Daily Mail have actually been quite vocal against that kind of stupidity lately. Just thought you might like to know. Not sure whether it shows in the online edition but it's certainly been in the hardcopy my next door neighbour gives me every day (look, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it, OK).

  31. werdsmith Silver badge

    Re: Frankfurt's Camel Smoking Booths / Passive Smoking.

    Probably an Arla milk tanker.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Frankfurt's Camel Smoking Booths / Passive Smoking.

    those Camel Smoking Booths

    Bloody Germans, always trying to go one better. What's wrong with plain old smoked salmon, or kippers?

  33. skeptical i

    Re: Frankfurt's Camel Smoking Booths / Passive Smoking.

    Someone suggested smoking a horse, then a committee formed, and then ....

  34. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Re: Frankfurt's Camel Smoking Booths / Passive Smoking.

    Nice rant and troll. You got your attention. But seriously, what the hell did this rant have to do with a flight simulator????

  35. anothercynic Silver badge

    Re: Frankfurt's Camel Smoking Booths / Passive Smoking.

    At least the airport still caters for those too weak-willed to stop smoking. I'd rather have those cubes than having some smoker run amok in a terminal (necessitating a much bigger response).

    Given your comment "I'm not one to get annoyed about someone having a crafty cigarette", you seem to be the kind of person who will happily have a smoker cause a general evacuation because they caused a fire in a bin by not putting out their crafty cigarette properly.

    But what that has anything to do with a flight simulator going up in smoke is a mystery.

  36. Jos V

    cabin trainer

    For those of you confused about things. This was actually a cabin crew training rig and not so much a pilot training (at least not flying) simulator.

    They train for evacuation procedures on these.

    In case you want to see the "before" picture (link is safe):

    Have a great 2017 all!

  37. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

    Re: cabin trainer

    > Have a great 2017 all!

    Cheers & Prost!

  38. werdsmith Silver badge

    Re: cabin trainer

    I have done exercises on a cabin simulator at Cranebank. A young cabin crew shouting at me and pushing me down the inflatable slide.

  39. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    "The cause of the incident was likely a technical fault"

    I'll say.

  40. BebopWeBop Silver badge

    Re: "The cause of the incident was likely a technical fault"

    To be fair to them, it could have been arson.

  41. Stoneshop Silver badge

    Re: "The cause of the incident was likely a technical fault"

    it could have been arson.

    Well then, just undo it.

    $ arsoff: command not found

    $ arson -off: command not found


  42. W4YBO

    FlightGear 2016.xx has never set my computer afire, but I threatened to do so installing X-Plane 10.

  43. Herby Silver badge

    Gives new meaning to...

    "Halt and Catch Fire".

    (0x4E on a M6800).

  44. kain preacher Silver badge

    First check the OS makes sure it's not windows 10. Then check to make sure it was not windows 7 in a forced up date. Last two things makes sure there are no random USB sticks plunged in or McAfee running .

  45. This post has been deleted by its author

  46. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge


    Phoenix Condor rises from the ashes

  47. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    C̶o̶n̶d̶o̶r̶ (Leighton) Buzzard Flight Simulator

    Condor could send their pilots to Leighton Buzzard until their simulator is repaired or replaced.

  48. Sporkinum


    It vas chust following orders!!!

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