Your father may have taken you camping, or driven you to cello practice, or taught you all the lyrics to Jefferson Starship songs. But chances are he didn't go the lengths Laurent Aigon. Over the last five years, at great expensive and after much effort, he built a 737 cockpit so life-like, it's been used as a training simulator.
Aigon is not a pilot by trade; he's a waiter who always wanted to be a pilot. And since 40 is a little late in life to start that process from scratch, he did the next best thing: Methodically order parts from the internet, at a cost tallying thousands of euros, until he had assembled a control panel and screen that functions precisely the way the real thing would.
He didn't stop there; by attaching five networked monitors to his set-up, he's made it possible to simulate journeys to destinations as far-flung as Sydney and Rio de Janeiro. His copilots, presumably, sleep in the bunkbeds to his right.
As Sudouest (via Google translate) reports, Aigon's work received plenty of notice outside his home; he was invited to lecture at the Institute of Aircraft Maintenance at Bordeaux-Merignac, which also used his simulator to train its students.
What's next for Aigon? He's hoping to complete the five-year certification process required to make a career out of building flight simulators. Meanwhile, let's hope he passes the time by turning his gaze upward a little bit; if his kids enjoy the 737, just imagine how much they'll dig waking up to a Flight of the Navigator cockpit.