My name is Karl, (nickname: Clarkey) I'm a British ex-pat working and living here in Brunei on the island of Borneo. I'm in my 40's and have spent all my life working on both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft.
I joined the British Army at the age of 16 and after spending 17 years serving and reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant, as an Aircraft Engineer.
I worked on various aircraft in my military career such as Scout, Gazelle, 212, Lynx, Apache, AS365, and the Britte Norman D4K. My favourite aircraft of all is Boeing's Apache Longbow (AH64D). This was an engineering marvel with the emphasis on ease of maintenance and combat reliability.
I served across the world in many theatres, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq & Afghan. I also managed to travel the world skiing and meeting some of the most amazing characters life has to offer.
In 2012, I left the British Army after to pursue a civilian career as a civilian licensed aircraft engineer. I then headed with my family (my wife Helen, my son Joshua & my daughter Chloe) to the other side of the world to Brunei, which is where we have been until this day.
I still work for the British Army in a way, now as a civilian contractor for FBH/Cobham/Draken working on three Bell 212's. I now can officially say I get the best off both worlds (military & civilian) in an amazing place in the world.
In 2014, I became a little frustrated with my job. Coming from the very advanced Boeing Apache (military world) to the Vietnam Era of the civilian 212 really was a step back in time. The most complicated thing on the 212 was a 1978 autopilot called SFENA. At that time we had another engineer called Emma Deacon sitting her avionics license. Emma would ask me to explain the mechanical side of things. As I did, she started to teach me the avionic side of things. This was just the thing I needed to keep my mind busy. I found it fascinating, and for the first time in nearly 20 years, electronics and avionics was no longer black magic and I found very quickly I could understand radio and electron theory. One year later I quit my job as a mechanical engineer and became an avionics engineer. In truth, I'm actually both.
YouTube: Heli Mech
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Helen & Karl Clarke
7 FLT AAC,
As a test of my new-found knowledge, the company decided to upgrade the ancient communication and navigation systems of the Bell 212 to modern digital systems. This meant removing over 30 Kg of wiring looms and associated equipment and completely rewiring 3 aircraft from the start. It was terrific and I wanted more.
One night lost in the rabbit hole of Youtube aviation. This video popped up called Build A Boeing by Peter. In one night, I think I watched every video on his channel and my new fascination in life had begun. In the morning, I announced to my wife Helen, I would be building a Boeing 737.
Her response was, "what and why?"
Nonetheless, she let me and has supported me the whole way. Sim 1 became a reality.
Two years later I wanted better and bigger. This is where you find us now, on Sim 3 trying to build my sim and help others achieve it on a budget and bring down the costs. Or maybe have a little fun building on the way and sharing our experiences. We certainly don't have bundles of money to throw at this or parts that can be delivered easily. Its make it from what we have available and try to show how it's done.
Shortly after, www.737DIYSIM.com was born. I needed this website to share my plans and ideas. This allowed me to communicate with the sim world and see what others needed and wanted.
I needed to move away from the mainstream forums, where I was the new guy myself and I generally found that if it wasn't genuine Boeing parts or a recognised Sim company people seemed to be very dismissive and opinionated.
This is where 737DIYSIM comes in, It's going to take a little time, more time than I thought to get all the info onto the website. After all, I haven't finished my build yet and there are those of you that are following along that have nearly caught up with me.
Please bear with me, if I'm slow in responding it's because of the sheer amount of questions and over so many different social media platforms. If you haven't gotten a reply promptly, send it again.
Please remember, this is a two-man show. I myself build and Helen runs the website and questions. We are also 8 hrs ahead of GMT (UK). So as most people use their computers in the evening, we are already asleep.
If you have managed to read all that blurb, well done and a very warm welcome aboard 737DIYSIM.
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