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15th edition • October 2015

SPIRIT OF IVAO Flag Exchange Project

My Career In Special Operations Why we love IVAO? Around The World VA Hanger


EDITORIAL A NEW VIRTUAL SKY There is a new dawn for Virtual Sky: New graphic project, new team, new pictures… a whole new communication doctrine: The simple is best, less is more, and the (in)famous “keep it simple” philosophy. The purpose is to have a magazine from

Publisher International Virtual Aviation Organization (IVAO) VZW

members and to members. Now we have reader’s letters, quotes, and pictures, and an open channel to Executive and Staff talk to users. On this space they will be able to share their innovations, say in what they are working, give some tips, and much more information. We have a space for women write about

Editor Fernando Hippólyto (219971) Text revisor John Swaney (449737) Fares Belkhiria (384422) Layout and design Fernando Hippólyto (219971)

their experience at IVAO; and there is a SO airfield (or airbase, if you prefer), where you can come to learn a bit more about Special Operations, their doctrine, and their marvelous flights. Staff worked hard to bring you the best of best events, so we have a table of upcoming events, to allow you - dear reader - to come and participate. What are you waiting for? Come aboard and have a delightful reading. The new Virtual Sky is for you!

Fernando Hippólyto Virtual Sky Editor

IVAO website http://ivao.aero/ Logo designers Stephen Howarth (305511) Splendor Bouman (155904) Disclaimer Any information, suggestions or illustrations published in this magazine are exclusively for use with computer flight simulator. All views expressed in this magazine are the views of respective authors. The publisher does not accept any responsibility for those views. Copyright None of the information in this magazine may be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the publisher.

Magazine Team Advisor MTL Designer [219971]

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OCTOBER 2015

Contact pr@ivao.aero


SUMMARY

ALL EDITIONS 6

Executive

8

Spirit of IVAO

Flag exchange project

17 Next events

THIS MONTH 7

Staff

Back to the school (France HQ) The South African Airspace

The best of IVAO: The users 10 Why do you love IVAO? 12 Screenshot winner: edited 14 Screenshot winner: non-edited

16

Around the world

22

VA Hangar

20 Desmistifying Special Ops

How to create and maintain a VA (Transavia.com)

21 General aviation

23

SOG Airbase

18 Picture of the month

Discover New Caledonia airspace

Cessna 172 over Greece

Flying over Czech Republic IVAO numbers

My career on Special Ops

OCTOBER 2015

Virtual Sky

3


EXECUTIVE We trust that this issue of our Virtual Sky magazine provides you with great information and enjoyable reading. The Executive Council of IVAO is pleased to be part of this release of the magazine and we look forward to many more informative issues into the future. Who and what is the Executive Council of IVAO and what does it do? A question we are sure many have silently asked themselves. To quote the official job description: “The Executive Council is responsible for the global oversight and management of the IVAO Departments and Divisions. It is also the highest governing body for all Network matters such as suspensions, staff appointments and project management.” Sounds like a mouthful – in reality, it actually is! Day to day management of IVAO is a serious, time consuming and intensive task – hence the five Executive Council Members and Executive Assistants! No particular Executive Council Member handles specific tasks – the workload is shared amongst everyone with joint decisions taken on matters affecting IVAO. And this is probably the most important point to elaborate upon! As members of the Executive Council, no decision regarding serious matters is taken by any one person. Decisions are collective ones and a majority vote is required before a matter is acted upon. And since each of the Executive Council Members are from a huge diversity of cultures and nationalities, it becomes a favourable environment for unbiased decisions. Know that we have the interest of IVAO at heart – but more importantly, our actions are for the benefit of the members without whom we are nothing. Our mission encompasses a passionate and driven approach bound by the ethics set for ourselves. For the newer members, welcome to IVAO! We trust your experience and future with us will be enjoyable with many hours of satisfied flying. Our dedicated Division and HQ staff are here to ensure your experience is........

AS REAL AS IT GETS

Executive Council October 2015

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OCTOBER 2015


STAFF BACK TO… THE SCHOOL! France division developed since many years a training concept based on private lessons: one student with one teacher. From that idea, two major schools have been created: an ATC School, and more recently a Pilot School. Those schools offer a certain number of private lessons named modules with an approved IVAO Trainer for a defined time. At the end of these training courses, each trainee will learn the fundamental bases that are needed for the future exams. Currently, about fifteen trainers participate to this concept which helps daily all members belonging to the FR division in their own progression. More than 200 students have undergone those programs. Please find more information here (written in French!): http://atcs.ivao.fr/ and http:// www.ivao.fr/dep/pilot_school/ecole.html By the way, FR division is glad to organize a LAN Party in Paris, France by the end of October, in order to meet people and to enjoy an “as real as it gets” event. More information available here (written in French): http://fr.forum.ivao.aero/index. php?topic=267946.0

Adrien Antkowiak

THE SOUTH AFRICAN DIV The South African Division have two scheduled online evenings every week.

Monday

evenings VFR and Thursday evenings IFR. On Tuesday evenings, our local VA “South African Virtual Airforce” members gather somewhere in South AFrica for a get-together. The VFR evening is a casual occasion where the members gather at a pre selected small airfield and flies to another small airfield one and a half to two hours away. Members use the CC channel on TS to chat and announced their intentions. Newbies are invited and encouraged to attend these evenings in order to ask questions and get to know the system and the members. Thursday’s IFR online evening is structured where the pilots fly between the major Airports in Southern Africa with full ATC coverage (TWR, APP CTR). We have an average of 10 to 15 local pilots attending the evening with some international visitors also flying.

We

would like to encourage members from especially neighbouring countries such as Angola, Namibia, Botswana and Mosambique to join in these events. All pilots are welcome even those passing through on world tours. We are currently busy organising an RFE event for early 2016 as well as a multi Southern African Division fly in where we partner

France Assistant Director

with IVAO members residing in our neighbour

[208011]

countries. These events are very popular and well attend. i.e. Angola - South Africa, Reunion/Mauritius - South Africa etc.

Willem Clack

South African Director [195539]

OCTOBER 2015

Virtual Sky

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SPIRIT OF IVAO FLAG EXCHANGE PROJECT I’m member of IVAO since february 2008, I always flew in Argentina, but as you may know it’s a very big country where 40 million of people live, but my experience on IVAO taught me that besides the aeronautical development, learning, teaching and having fun with others is that all of that isn’t a barrier to have friends and share a passion for what you do. So I knew and made a lot of friend around the country, friend that I still have in these days. So that’s IVAO for me: Learning, having fun, and making friends. Let’s put that idea there for a few minutes and let’s go some time back on my life. Early on 2014 I started to plan a big trip to Europe, starting at Israel a very beautiful and full of cultures and history. But much lately on 2014 I was appointed as Argentina Director, I looked for a team, trained lot of staff members, but I had plans to do on my vacations! So I decided to no take vacations from IVAO because this is not a work, it’s a hobby and – most of the time haha - a pleasure for me. I thought that it was a good idea to shake hands with other divisions and go beyond the IVAN and TeamSpeak so a good Idea was to exchange flags as a symbol of friendship but not national flags, IVAO flags. I was at Tel Aviv, Israel and had a very good chat with my friend and Israel Director, Daniel Shulga, he gave me a present and a flag too, we shook hands, it was a very warm chat. Then I went to Prague, Czech Repub-

With Jeroen Huisers (NL-PRC/EC)

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OCTOBER 2015

Jack Plumb (GB-TAC) and Ben Leonard (GB-MC/TA1)

lic where Michal Vorel (CZ-DIR) and Veronika Drimalova (CZ-PRC) were waiting for me at the airport after migrations control. That was a very nice way to arrive to Prague, we chatted, took photos, and then gave me a present too. After Prague I went to Berlin, Germany where some staff members of DE division awaited me but I didn’t meet them... I don’t know what happened but I was very sad for me because some of them came specially to there to meet me! Thanks God I could meet Rene Wappenhans (DE-WM) at the hotel, I apologize about the inconvenient at train station (it was huge!) and I had other present signed by all staff members that couldn’t meet at the central train station Then I want to Venice and Rome, Italy where I couldn’t meet any staff members because when I was there, there wasn’t nobody (bad look happens a lot at that time haha). After there I flew to Amsterdam, Netherlands where Jeroen Huisiers (NL-EC/PRAC) meet me at Schipol, took me to a KLM –kind of- sliced plane, took some pics, and he introduced me to the best cookies I have ever eat. Still I can’t remember the name and of course I don’t find them in Argentina! From there I took a train to Belgium a very important place for IVAO, there was where IVAO borned and where is legally registered as a non-profit organization. I stayed there just for a few hours because I was taking the Eurostar direct to London where I was going to meet Jack Plumb (GB-SOC) and Ben Leonard (GB-


It felt very well with this so warm persons. Few days after I flew to Barcelona and started to speak spanish again after one month travelling –haha- I met there Dany Garcia (ES-EAC), we had a coffe on Plaza Real, talk about making some events between AR and ES divisions and gave me some advices about Barcelona’s night party ;) So there was the trip ends! I will never forget IVAO with these kind of things, IVAO introduced me a lof ot friends around the globe, very nice, very warm and very kind people. Michal Vorel (CZ-ADIR) and Veronika Drimalova (CZ-PRAC)

We didn’t know each other until then but the passion for what we love and what we do,

MC). We took a coffee on King’s Cross train

and that’s not a little thing, when IVAO is part

station, chat about some topic that should

of your life it’s a huge thing in common in-

not been traeted within IVAO in a peacefuly

deed.

and friendly way in order to strenght links between both divisions.

I learnt lot of things about this: IVAO is a very good place to learn and develop aero-

Right after London I took the Eurostar to

nautically and also to share a passion with

Paris. I met there a very good persons that

others around the globe. I think that some-

treated me very very well Matthias Panenbi-

times we try to simulate “as real as it gets” but

anco (LFRR-ACH) ,Maxime Poncelet (FR-EAC)

we forget that there are persons that should

and Christophe Delondre (IVAO-SD6). I told

be trated in a kind and respectful way. We

them that I wanted to eat french typical food and they

took

me

to a very good “crepes” place in Paris

- I meant

french fries about french food... just kidding ;) – we took

some

sid-

er, we chat a lot about IVAO, we have the dinner and took some Dany Garcia (ES-EAC)

photes. They invited me the food.

should never forget that we come here to have fun and make friends at the same way we simulate and learn, I think that’s the Sipirit of IVAO. So enjoy IVAO, have fun, make friend, be patient with the newbies, be kind and respectful with everybody, share your passion, tell everybody about IVAO and appreciate your staff work. Remember that where you go you have an IVAO friend there for you. Being an IVAO member is totally a privilege! So now more than ever keep up the Spirit!

Alan K. Link Director – Argentina [262919]

OCTOBER 2015

Virtual Sky

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THE BEST OF IVAO: THE USERS! WHY DO YOU LOVE IVAO? Because IVAO turns a passion into reality. Josu Blanco Ortiz [448233]

Because people from all over the world practise their passion together. Joel Philipp [440807]

At the begining was a game. The present is a hobby. The future is a job which seems a game on your free time. Alberto Prudencio

Training Advisor - Spain Assistant Madrid FIR Chief [292090]

IVAO has given me the opportunity of meeting people from all nationalities and making friends from around the world... ;) John Sousa

Membership Coordinator - United States Boston ARTCC Chief [107108]

IVAO gave me the opportunity to learn about aviation and how to fly an airplane and their procedures. Also I have met a lot of interesting guys. Robert Pepio [404098]

IVAO is a passion. Is an opportunity to meet people sharing the same “love” with you and a beginning for a career in aviation. Antony Manalis

Training Coordinator - Greece [281761]

IVAO gave me the chance to taste aviation in a way that would otherwise be impossible for me. I made many new friends from every corner of the world and got to know and appreciate new cultures. Jessy Stas

Director - Belgium Special Operations Coordinator - Belgium [189141]

“As real as it gets” that’s why i love IVAO , it gave me the opportunity to replicate real life and also meet new people with whom we share the same passion. Ilyes Sayad [446214]

Because all my real life issues “fly away”, whilst I enjoy sharing my hobby with people all around the world. Cristian Tabuyo [403769]

10 Virtual

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OCTOBER 2015


MONTHLY INQUIRY Because IVAO makes possible to chat with professional of aeronautical world. Also, because If I arrived with piloting knowledges, IVAO allowed me to grow up my knowledges in piloting and ATC. Thanks to IVAO for that ;) Guillaume Bourienne [420946]

I always remember IVAO is someone’s future. Ruben Chamon

ATC Operations Advisor [253614]

IVAO let you make friends arround the globe sharing your passion! Alan K. Link

Director - Argentina Public Relations Coordinator - Argentina [262919]

IVAO hasn’t got borders between countries. David Herrera Lopez

Training Advisor - Spain Barcelona FIR Chief Advisor [341225]

Since joining IVAO 2+ years ago, I have found members are respected here, not looked down at, like they are beneath the staff. Steven Bartlett

Membership Advisor Assistant Director - United States Jacksonville ARTCC Chief [428118]

IVAO is my second job in aviation, love the environment, all the peoples and most important i meet a lot of friends around the world through IVAO. Fred Jan Alfonzo

Assistant Director - Indonesia Event Assistant Coordinator - Indonesia [381571]

IVAO has given me the chance to meet new people and enjoy an aviation passion with other aviation enthusiasts! :) Ashley Redfearn

Oakland ARTCC Chief [457807]

I love IVAO since I see it as a “living inter-personal-bridge” between the beginning - and real-life aviation professionals. It enables us all to connect and share our Passion for Flight with each-other globally (and for free!) Thanks IVAO staff! Ronald Vermeij [145185]

OCTOBER 2015

Virtual Sky 11


THE BEST OF IVAO: THE USERS!

David Herrera Lopez 341225

12 Virtual

Skies

OCTOBER 2015


SCREENSHOT CONTEST - EDITED PICTURE

OCTOBER 2015

Virtual Skies 13


THE BEST OF IVAO: THE USERS!

Francesco Brambilla Pisoni 350908

14 Virtual

Skies

OCTOBER 2015


SCREENSHOT CONTEST - NON-EDIT PICTURE

Justin Heun 421140

OCTOBER 2015

Virtual Skies 15


MOVIE REVIEW

16 Virtual

Sky

OCTOBER 2015


NEXT EVENTS

OCTOBER 2015 Sunday -

Monday -

Tuesday -

Wednesday -

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

01

02

03

[RU] Russian Online Day [SA] The Annual Hajj Event 2015

[DZ] Algerian Online Day [NC] New Caledonia Online Day

[ES+DE] Barcelona Hamburg Air Bridge [AE] Dubai RFE 2015 [DZ] IVAO ALGERIA SPEAK ENGLISH [CL] Airbridge SCARSCSE [EG] Egypt Online Day [CL] Chile Online Day

04

05

06

07

08

09

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

[BE] Live Demonstration Belgocontrol Open Company Day [ES] Barcelona RFO [GR] ATHENS RFE

[IT+MA+SA+GR] Amilcare Memorial Event [BE] Live Demonstration Belgocontrol Family Days

[IVAO SOD] Desert Strike [BR] Amazônico Online Day

[CL] Hope to San Jose

[SI] Slovenia Online Evening [AT] Austrian Division Onlineday [GR] Hellas online day

[SI] Slovenia Online Evening [GR] Hellas online day [AT] Austrian Division Onlineday

[SI] Slovenia Online Evening [GR] Hellas online day [AT] Austrian Division Onlineday

[AT+HQ] Airport Festival Innsbruck [SI] Slovenia Online Evening [AT] Austrian Division Onlineday [GR] Hellas online day

[ES] Spanish Online Day [RO] Romania Online Evening [HU] Online evening [DE] German Onlineday [BE+CH] Meet the AFIS! [CZ] Czech Online Tuesday [NL] Netherlands Online Evening [FR] French Online Day [ES] Spanish Online Day [RO] Romania Online Evening [HU] Online evening [DE] German Onlineday [NL] Netherlands Online Evening [CZ] Czech Online Tuesday [FR] French Online Day [ES] Spanish Online Day [CL] Internacional ATC day [RO] Romania Online Evening [DE] German Onlineday [HU] Online evening [NL] Netherlands Online Evening [FR] French Online Day [ES] Spanish Online Day [RO] Romania Online Evening [HU] Online evening [DE] German Onlineday [CZ] Czech Online Tuesday [NL] Netherlands Online Evening [FR] French Online Day

[RU] Russian Online Day

[RU] Russian Online Day

[RU] Russian Online Day

[RU] Russian Online Day

OCTOBER 2015

[DZ] Algerian Online Day ARE you ready ? [NC] New Caledonia Online Day

[DZ] Algerian Online Day [NC] New Caledonia Online Day

[DZ] Algerian Online Day [NC] New Caledonia Online Day

[DZ] Algerian Online Day [NC] New Caledonia Online Day

[RU] Formula 1: Sochi GP [DZ] IVAO ALGERIA SPEAK ENGLISH [EG] Egypt Online Day [CL] Chile Online Day [BR] Dia das Crianças, Fly-in

[DZ] IVAO ALGERIA SPEAK ENGLISH [EG] Egypt Online Day [CL] Chile Online Day

[DZ] IVAO ALGERIA SPEAK ENGLISH [EG] Egypt Online Day [CL] Chile Online Day [BR] São Paulo VFR Day + Dia do Aviador

[CL] Chile Online Day [DZ] IVAO ALGERIA SPEAK ENGLISH [EG] Egypt Online Day

Virtual Sky 17


Photo of the month


Photo of the month: Cessna VFR over Greece

George Stavroulakis


DESMISTIFYING SPECIAL OPS

“VIPER01 flight, wind 210 at 4 knots, cleared for takeoff, Leeuwarden1 departure, contact Rapcon 132.025”. That’s how I started my Special Operations (SO) event called Frisian Flag. The IVAO counterpart of the real life aerial military training exercise. On my way to EHD1 through 8, a military training area now reserved solely for military traffic, me and my wingmen complete our final checks as we progress into hostile controlled territory. “MAGIC01, VIPER01 request picture”. The AWACS tells me we’re flying right in the middle of at least 3 hostile aircraft and 4 bogeys, which are most likely hostile too. We’ve also got a friendly twoship in a Combat Air Patrol nearby. We’re going to have to make it across safely, however we’re facing 7 aircraft whose mission it is to stop us. “VIPER01 snap bullseye 320, 15, 20.000”. I’ve just told AWACS that we’re planning to engage the two aircraft at a heading of 320, 15nm at 20.000ft measured from the bullseye. As we begin a sharp 9G turn to get behind them, I tell my wingman I will engage the first aircraft. “VIPER01, engaged, offensive 12 o’clock, 5 miles, angels 20”. My wingman acknowledges and tells me he’ll get engage the other fighter. We’re behind both of them. They try to shake us with a quite a few maneuvrers and high speed turns, but they fail. After having spent a minute on their tails (we don’t use weaponry because this is a training exercise), the two aircraft are considered ‘shot down’. We then face another problem:

20 Virtual

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OCTOBER 2015

the other hostiles have caught on to us. Thankfully we have the friendly twoship nearby, whom we quickly ask for help. In the end we make it across with the help of the friendlies, but not without suffering some ‘losses’ ourselves. It was a great training. Now it’s time to reverse roles… A short anecdote to give you an idea what it’s like to fly an SO event. The challenges we face, the teamwork we rely on, the extremes we take our aircraft to. All of us together enjoy it very much in a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere. SO events are all about respect, discipline, challenges and completing the mission. With teamwork being the key element. That’s what makes these SO events so special. Whether it’s police missions, search and rescue, military transport, fighter missions etc. We don’t fly from A to B on the autopilot. We have a mission to complete, which requires us to handle our aircraft well, but most importantly: I’m not alone. I’ve got tenths of likeminded pilots around me whom I need to coordinate with to complete the mission. The fact that I don’t fly my hours alone, the comradery trying to complete a shared goal, the fun we have together and the challenges we have to solve together, really make it worth my while. Add to that different knowledge levels, language barriers, the more experienced pilots teaching the lesser experienced and you’ve got a really fun, exciting, challenging, friendly, bonding couple of hours in a great IVAO spirit!

Fabian de Jong

Special Operations Assistant Director Special Operations Coordinator – The Netherlands Training Advisor – The Netherlands [406776]


GENERAL AVIATION FLYING OVER CZECH REPUBLIC

I am member of IVAO since March 2010, when my friends from high school get to know with this community. Because it is not that easy to become a real pilot or air traffic controller in my country and fulfill my dream by doing so, I consider IVAO community a good chance to get closer to the dream. The think I like about IVAO is that we are community which connects people who share the common love of aviation. Like in every community also there are people who have different point of view on this hobby and so there might be some difficulties in understanding to each other. But there is a minority of these individual. Nevertheless I must say I think our division is due to some social events (for example: Camping weekend, LKAA FIR 30HRS Online, or meetings on real air shows like: CIAF, NATO Days, Convention at LKPR) not for from calling itself a family. Despite big age differencies, we keep friendly atmosphere among us. The relation of IVAO and real aviation is characterized by motto: As Real As It Gets. I think the IVAO is a good way to get into the world of aviation, because of its rules and prescriptions used in real aviation life and of course because of the people who are working for IVAO and want to pass their experience to others. People who are real captains or first officers working for foreign airlines all around the world, air traffic controllers of ACC, APP, TWR in Czech

republic or ground handling workers they all can be found among us. Regarding about women: I think the number of women on IVAO is rising. In our division there is around 15 registered women. I think men like women share this hobby with them thus they pamper us. I would like to add I really recommend IVAO to anyone who wants to join a great community, meet new people and try something new and interesting.

Veronika Drimalova

Czech Division Public Relations Assistant Coordinator [334085]

IVAO NUMBERS

(until October 1st)

Most active divisions (logged time) BRAZIL

Active members: 2.954 Total logged time: 5.068.645 hours, 7 min

GERMANY

Active members: 2.550 Total logged time: 4.601.177 hours, 57 min

SPAIN

Active members: 2.145 Total logged time: 4.436.960 hours, 31 min

Active members Pilots: 24.307

Students: 20.660 PP: 2.205 SPP: 757 CP: 613 Higher: 72

OCTOBER 2015

ATC: 15.215

Students: 13.044 ADC: 1.263 APC: 504 ACC or above: 365 Higher: 39

Most flown aircrafts

(Statistics from 7.962.011 completed flights. Pilots are allowed to disconnect for 30 minutes, callsign changes are detected. Date started collecting: 25/11/2009)

Civilian

Boeing B738: 1.329.024 flights (16,69%) Airbus A320: 851.947 flights (10,70%) Boeing B737: 502.192 flights (6,31%)

Military

Lookheed C-130 “Hercules�: 34.578 flights (0,43%)

Virtual Sky 21


VA HANGAR

HOW TO CREATE AND MAINTAIN A VA? That’s a good question for a lot of people who are want to create an virtual airline (VA).As founder and current CEO of Transavia Virtual I am able to help you with these questions. Many people think to start a VA is an easy task however you have many things to thinks of such as. Do you want to create a fictional VA or perhaps an VA based on a real airline, what kind of people you would like to attract, what are the goals to achieve? Well many questions. In 2009 we started our VA, indeed “We”, it’s hard to do in on your own so we started with some people with the right interests. Our VA is based on the low-cost carries Transavia therefor we had many things we had to take in our head to respect the rules and guidelines we had from the real airline. We started in May from that year with a webmaster, graphic designer, a person with the knowledge of aviation like load sheets and flight plans and also one kind of director. We had many meetings in a matter of time like 2/3 in a week and 7 months later we opened our own VA with our unique logging system. From that moment in 2010 we only grow and we knew it was a success! However you must be careful that you don’t becoming a victim of your own success. Therefor everybody in the staff has its own task,

22 Virtual

Sky

OCTOBER 2015

think of members services, events, flightoperations etc. To serve the community we are supporting all the flight simulators you think of and also every network so not only our IVAO. At this moment of writing we are pushing against 700 members. It seems nice those numbers but appearances are deceptive, really sounds strange but members coordinating is very important because from those members not everybody is active and to prevent loss of profile pages we are removing inactive members with an average of 3 times in a year. To give you an idea most time we are removing around 200 members, really not nice but you have to do it to prevent a sprawl. Looking behind and thinking what important in the process of maintaining an VA is time. Almost every day you are busy with all kinds of task and this also applies also for my whole staff team. And are you in process of starting an VA, please take your time and look for the right people and make choices and targets! And if you are thinking of a VA based on a real airline, just make contact with them and make a plan. We visit the real airline every 2 years to show them our plans for the future and that’s really nice, also the enthusiasm from both sides.

Raymond van der Ploeg CEO Transavia Virtual [TRA] www.transavia-virtual.com [187304]


SOG AIRBASE MY CAREER ON SPECIAL OPS When I started flying virtually on IVAO I didn’t have any preference regarding the type of flight, my main concern was to fly. I would normally fly GA or short haul jets but after some time flying this type of aircraft, I decided to try military aviation. The military was always a subject that interested me and once I discovered that there was a Special Operations section on IVAO I decided to give it a try. Since most of my flights had a duration about 1 or 2 hours, fighters were my choice and what better than fly the fastest aircraft ever built? My first SO flight was made on the SR71 Blackbird in the Russian Supersonic Tour back in April 2010. That tour was really rewarding and I recall finding one of the nicest controllers over the Russian airspace! I remember correcting him about my gender as it is common to be called Sir on IVAO due the low number of female members and the linguistic differences. He was really surprised that I was female flying SO and we chatted a bit. From that moment on, I tried different SO aircrafts and did several SO tours around the World. It was a matter of time until all my flights were military. One day flying the F22 on Eastern Europe, I received a private message from a Portuguese member, Luis Nogueira, unknown to me at that time, inquiring if I was interested to participate in a Special Operations group. That sounded interesting for someone that had already some hours under the belt and was keen to understand more about the military operations. In that year I joined the Special Air Force (SOF), current 509th WildTigers (WTG), and after some instruction and training, I decided

to participate on my first SO event as SOF pilot. I cannot remember the mission but it was interesting enough to make me participate again in this type of events! Today, after 47 events and more than 5 years of flying military, I can say that it has been a delightful experience where I met wonderful people that spend their time sharing their knowledge about military operations, either real or virtual. It is not an easy task to represent the real life military operations in the virtual World, not only due the classified information but also due the training necessary to operate effectively on a mission. This kind of operation demand a vast knowledge not only about the aircraft we are flying but also about the military airspace, maneuvers and the interaction with other traffic. This experience has enriched me in several ways and I must refer that it almost changed my life. At certain point I decided that my interest on SO was enough to become a real life military pilot. Although fit for that position, I wasn’t able to join, being in the last few years related to aeronautics in a different manner. I believe that IVAO is a place where we can grow by interacting with the others and when looking to my achievements I always recall that maybe if someone wouldn’t have sent me a private message asking why I was flying SO or if I wanted to join a group, things could be different. It’s never too late to try something new and see what the future will bring. Maybe in the future we will see more virtual female pilots joining me on SO events? Who knows!

Laura Martins

Real life Aeronautical Engineering MSc Student and Researcher (UBI) [214052]

OCTOBER 2015

Virtual Sky 23


Virtual Sky

OCTOBER 2015

Virtual Sky - 15th issue  

IVAO Virtual Sky magazine - 15th issue - OCT2015 -- 1st by Fernando Hippólyto [BR]

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