A Los Angeles Times reporter offers a hands-on account of testing the FAA's new air-traffic control simulator for Los Angeles International Airport. Built at a cost of up to $700,000, the "state-of-the-art device" can create daytime and nighttime simulations, varying weather conditions and even emergencies such as bird strikes. With more than half its controllers slated for retirement by 2017, the FAA is counting on simulators to help reduce the training time needed for replacements.

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