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Thread: NEW to VA: trying to orientate myself

  1. #1

    Default NEW to VA: trying to orientate myself

    Hello to all members of FlightSim,

    It is my first post. It is done in a "new member" presentation area but here I did not find so I apologize if I missed it.

    Going back to the Title:
    I know this is not a new issue and I have read some posts about it. After reading I know for sure I need a help to orient myself in the big VA world.

    Let me tell you how I like to fly so you can adress me to the right VAs.
    I fly a Dash 8-Q311 of the Iceland coast guard.
    and a Dash 8-Q202 for passengers service.
    Very pleasant to fly!!!

    Doing this job I fly both IFR and VFR, actually in the northern part of europe (scandinavia, North UK, Iceland) but I can extend my flights all over the world.

    The IFR flights are those to move from one particular area/airport to another, both for passengers regional flights (Dash 8-202) or to move the coastal service in different areas (Dash 8-311).

    The VFR flights are the ones planned to do the coastal service along the coastline at low altitude.

    I like to fly following VFR or IFR rules, flight plans proposed by the VA or to be built. I use approach plates, ATC and so on.
    I can fly regional routes as requested by the VA but I like also to fly the Coast Guards surveillance service along coastlines (sea, lakes, ..)

    Now the question is:
    Which one are the right VAs that would accept an "old" passionate pilot that wants to fly "their" scheduled flights and routes and, at the some time, that can give a coastal service to the agreed countries for a VFR coastal service?

    Just as a small example I gave a look to:
    www.virtualnorwegian.net
    www.flyaka.com
    www.vacanada.org

    But I know there are a lot more and I cannot understand with just a quick look if they are right for me and, mainly, if I am right for them .
    Can you address me?

    Thank you for your patient.

  2. #2

    Default

    Those terrific three virtual airlines that you mentioned do not cover what you need and do not use two planes that you love to fly.

    Given your specific geographical flying areas and based on your two specific planes, you will be better off flying for Mountain Air virtual at its website http://www.mountain-air.org/ which offers free flights, any plane, and any livery you want.

    I would recommend Virtual Norwegian due to its outstanding features but that does NOT meet your specific requirements.

    What you need is a virtual airline offering free flight program while allowing you any plane and any livery so that you can fly your two specific planes along your specific geographic areas.

    Another alternative is to fly for three or four virtual airlines covering your desired geographic areas but I doubt there is any VA offering local Icelandic flights.

    Good luck!!

    Regards,

    Aharon
    Last edited by aharon; 04-20-2017 at 07:07 PM.

  3. #3

    Default

    Dear Aharon,

    Thank a lot... now one step more:
    - I have fully read the www.mountain-air.org documents to understand the way they like to fly. They allow free flight but...they prefer, encourge and their "gaining points" policy reflects an "organized" flight. They like also commuter short range flights, that are my style. They are quite ideal for my passengers flight. Lastly..they use the DH8.202 that I like. ...thank you for your suggestion.
    - about the VFR coastline flights they probably accept it but it is not their "style".

    I realize that probably the right thing to do is joining 2 VAs: one for the passenger short range service (that I like) and one for the "special ops" like coastline survelliance.

    At this point...dividing into two VAs...let me "gain again" from your long experience to widen my range of exploration:
    - for the passenger service: any other interesting, also european suggestion? (eg: do you know www.airgreeceva.gr they seem as small as professionals whilst flying over the amazing Greece sky)....could you list solid short flights specialized VAs ?
    - for the coastline service may be I have to join a special ops VA. I have seen www.virtualcoastguard.org. Other to give a look?

    Sorry again Aharon...but I do not like to "join a VA to test"...I consider more respectable to read among many possible "right choces" ..then to decide and ask to join.

    Thank you again,
    Stefano

  4. #4

    Default

    There are two ways of addressing your preferences. Either you opt for a VA that focuses on your geographical area or you opt for a VA that gives you the freedom to create your own missions.

    Platinum Airways is in the second category. We apply the Open Skies principle: our pilots fly the mission of their choice with the aircraft of their choice at the time of their choice. In other words: although we don't have your preferences covered in flight suggestions out of our five voluntary hubs, you have total freedom to fly them as you please. We are pilot-focused, and not VA-centered. We don't want to prescribe how you would like to enjoy your hobby. We try to create a community via our forums and a lot of ideas, including a Destination of the Week, military flights, vintage military flights, cargo missions, sports related suggestions and much more. Our only conditions: min 18 years of age and have fun when flying.
    --
    Stijn
    President, Platinum Airways
    www.platinumairways.org - Email: [email protected]

  5. #5

    Default

    Stefano,

    Well there are many factors and some of them puzzling. You have mentioned your desire to fly ONLY two planes Dash8-200 and Dash8-300 yet you want to do coastline patrolling for US Coast Guard which does not even have those 2 specific planes.

    Let me clear any misunderstanding up and present you suggestions but of course it is strictly up to you!!

    As for Mountain Air, you do NOT NOT have to participate in their group flights and you do NOT NOT have to worry about their style. You can fly ANY FLIGHT, ANY PLANE, AND ANY LIVERY.

    The Greek airline looks nice but does not have your two planes and if you join them, you will be limited to flights around Greek islands and into and out of Greece. That will not cover rest of Europe including your desired Icelandic area.

    I fly for eight virtual airlines to cover every part of the world and I use Mountain Air whenever the other seven virtual airline do not cover the geographical aspects. But I doubt you can handle flying for eight virtual airlines.

    So my advice is to join Mountain Air virtual airline and while flying for them, you can continue looking for one or two more virtual airlines to suit your flying pleasure and your specific geographical areas. As for me, whenever any of seven virtual airlines I am flying for do not cover specific airport that I would be in mood to fly into, I always can fall back to Mountain Air and use it to fly any plane and any livery I want to the airport.

    REMEMBER IMPORTANT FACTORS when picking a virtual airline: look at pilot roster and see how many are flying. If a VA has 25 pilots, it is not good. Also, look at a VA's forums. If it is active, it is good. If it is dead forums, it is not good. Moreover, look how many years has the VA operated. If many years, it is good.

    Here is the link for list of virtual airlines you can browse and look for:

    https://vasops.vatsim.net/

    Just scroll down and click on "Virtual Airlines+" icon or "Special Operations+" icon and see if any suits your specific geographic areas and your specific two planes. Also look for a virtual airline that offers you COMBO of scheduled routes and free flights.

    Regards,

    Aharon
    Last edited by aharon; 04-21-2017 at 09:20 AM.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by aharon View Post
    ...

    So my advice is to join Mountain Air virtual airline and while flying for them, you can continue looking for one or two more virtual airlines to suit your flying pleasure and your specific geographical areas.....

    ...REMEMBER IMPORTANT FACTORS when picking a virtual airline: look at pilot roster and see how many are flying. If a VA has 25 pilots, it is not good. Also, look at a VA's forums. If it is active, it is good. If it is dead forums, it is not good. Moreover, look how many years has the VA operated. If many years, it is good.
    ...
    I agree with the first point:...start with one, become confident with one VA, then look around to see one more, if necessary.
    For the second point: ...thank you Aharon...this is a good way to filter the huge world of VA.

    to StijnDP...
    Thank you for your advice: your VA could be the one for my surveillance coastal VFR flights.

    Now is the time to start with the first one.

    Regards,
    Stefano

  7. #7

    Default

    Stefano,

    Good luck with your flying for one or more virtual airlines!!

    I fly for about eight virtual airlines covering specific part of geographic areas as seen below:

    EL AL Alliance of EL AL, Israir, and Arkia virtual airlines at http://www.elalvirtual.com/main/ reason: covers my birthplace Israel

    Eastern virtual airline at http://www.virtualeastern.com/
    reason: covers entire America using classic jets

    Norwegian Air virtual airline at https://www.virtualnorwegian.net/
    reason: covers entire Europe

    Alaska Airline virtual airline and its subsidiaries at http://www.flyalaskava.org/
    reason: covers Alaska

    Buffalo Airways Virtual at http://www.buffaloairwaysvirtual.com/
    reason: use heavy iron classic props such as C-46, DC-4, DC-6, and Electras

    Metro Air Virtual at https://metroairvirtual.com/
    reason: covers America using modern jets plus code sharing with FlyUK virtual airline to cover England and Scotland

    Caribbean themed virtual airline: still looking for one to cover Caribbean sea

    Canadian themed virtual airline: still looking for one to cover Canada

    Mountain Air virtual airline at http://www.mountain-air.org/
    reason: cover whatever other mentioned virtual airlines do not have routes to

    I love Paradise airline at http://www.paradiseairways.com/index_main.asp to cover Hawaii and Pacific rim but unfortunately it closed its doors.

    Regards,

    Aharon

  8. #8

    Default

    Really a lot of funny and incredible job for you...
    Now I am feeling like a kid for the new experience of VA . I want "to taste it" slowly and deeply...to get the maximum satisfaction.

    I have registered in www.mountain-air.org and I have seen you in the roster.

    Now I am waiting for the callsign.
    Then I will study all documents...and I will start flying with them.

    Hope to see you in the sky
    Ciao and really thank you again for your assistance.. (I am sure I will have to ask you many other things in the next future )

    Stefano

  9. #9

    Default

    Stefano,

    No problem. Have fun flying!! Always remember that you can find two or more virtual airlines to cover your desired geographical areas and you can rely on Mountain Air virtual airline to cover any airport that your next two virtual airlines do not offer routes to but you like the two virtual airlines enough to join!

    Alaska Airline at http://www.flyalaskava.org/ with its subsidiaries do operate your desired planes: Dash8-100s and Dash8-200s if you feel like specializing flying within Alaska. Alaska Airline permit use of historic fleet planes which Dash8-200s are qualified for and Alaska airline's subsidiary Era Alaska operates Dash8-100s.

    Regards,

    Aharon

  10. #10

    Talking

    Dear Aharon,

    I joined Mountain-air. Some flights done!!! Really a lot of fun. You can see me (MTN2892) in the active roster ...but I got some issues to solve:

    1. I have chosen a password with a special chr (#). I think it is the reason I cannot send my logs with FSacars at the end of the flights (all flight plans had to be closed manually). I have asked to delete that chr. I will see.

    2. They fly the Dash8-200 and 400. I am Flying a 300
    I have tested their 200 but it is not as complex and complete as that one I am flying (eg: I use VC the 200 and 400 they use has not). So I am Flying with "my" Aircraft. In the next future I will buy the Majestic DH8-400.

    3. Can you explain me the policy of the VA in term of Aircraft and correct branding/painting? they choose some freeware and repaint them? Could be possibile to repaint the 300 or to ask them to do it? I am new to the VA world and I cannot realize how do they manage the fleet.

    Thank you again and see you in the sky!

    Stefano

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