photographer Greg Bowker took the controls of an Air New Zealand flight simulator at Auckland Airport and 24 hours after successfully landing he was still buzzing.

Bowker took a Boeing 787 Dreamliner for a quick flight from Auckland Airport and back under the guidance of Air New Zealand's chief pilot and safety officer David Morgan.

"It was one of the coolest things I've ever done. It was incredible," says Bowker, a photographer for 14 years.


He admits his takeoff was a bit steep - "I was heading for Mars" - but after some helpful hints from Morgan, it was under control. He was able to complete a circuit over the Waitakeres and lined up the runway in the crosshairs before executing what he said was a "glass smooth" landing.

"It was pretty stressful but it all ended up well," said Bowker.

The simulator, almost identical to the flight deck in one of the world's most advanced aircraft, is used to train the 787 flyers among the airline's 1300 pilots.

And Bowker was able to return Morgan's flying instruction favour.

He set the veteran pilot to take a good pic and Morgan duly obliged.

- nzherald.co.nz