SWAPPING GIGS: Sterling Riggs tries his skills in a UPS cockpit - WDRB 41 Louisville News

SWAPPING GIGS: Sterling Riggs tries his skills in a UPS cockpit

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Louisville, Ky. (WDRB) -- UPS relies on that fleet of brown trucks and a fleet of airplanes to quickly move packages around the world. Sterling Riggs is swapping gigs with a UPS pilot to see how Louisville's largest employer gets the job done through the air.

Louisville International Airport is home to UPS's Worldport headquarters and its 229 UPS planes. Riggs is a pilot, too. So UPS pilot Chris Zimmerman let him take a multi-million dollar 757 jumbo-jet for a spin. "It's neat to see the city though the air, " he says.

Companywide, UPS employees more than 26-hundreds pilots, and most pilots also log training hours here in Louisville.

After a quick look around the city at 10,000 feet in the air, Zimmerman wanted Riggs to attempt to land this huge bird. "It was not pretty," Riggs says.

They laughed about the rough landing because they were playing a $20 million video game. But taking a flight in UPS's simulator is about as real as it gets. The company has six flight simulators located at the flight training center at Worldport headquarters. In the simulator, pilots can train for any possible situation and even feel turbulence.

"There's traffic out there. We can put that in, we can put in any kind of weather, engine failures, fires that those types of things," Zimmerman explains.

Pilots normally go through six weeks of training in the simulator before they ever fly a real plane. After about an hour in the simulator, our team returned to base. And that's how UPS synchronizes the world of commerce--at least in a simulator!

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