And, in fact, I have since flown to many of the real-world airports whose digital approximations I once regularly visited. In the summer of 2000, my college roommate and I flew an old 172 to Meigs Field and spent the weekend in Chicago. It’s a good thing that we did, because a few years later that thug Richard Daley illegally bulldozed the place in the middle of the night, abruptly snuffing out a hard-fought battle to save the airport. As a flight instructor in Southern California, I regularly took students to Catalina Island; if anything, the real-world version looks considerably trickier than in Flight Simulator, but it’s a really neat, tranquil place to visit. Kai Tak closed in 1998, so I’ll never get to fly the checkerboard visual, but my airline job has taken me to Kennedy, Charles de Gaulle and many other big, busy airports where I “flew the line” with Noble Air. In most cases, the airports look distinctly different than they did in Flight Simulator, but I still get a little déjà vu with digital roots every once in a while.