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Vol 9: Issue 4



“My first flight as an airline pilot” An insight of this amazing day.

New 2017 World Tours ! A preview for the readers.

Photo: John Murphy

I VAO NE E D S Y O U R S U P P O R T IVAO is, and will always be, free of charge for its members; however, to continue with our expansion plans we need your help with donations. Every small donation makes a huge dierence to our organisation and any amount you feel able to give is incredibly helpful and generous.

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Help us maintain IVAO as the number one online virtual aviation network.


International Virtual Aviation Organisation

Editorial It is with pleasure that we today release the Volume 9


Issue 4. As you can see, this edition is shorter than previous

IVAO Crowded Skies XIII 


Welcome to The Israeli division 


Membership Department Interview 


ones. We decided with the current team to reduce the page numbers because we believe that previous editions were too long to read in full.

Zurich Load Control Agent 


World Tour Department news 


The Magazine Survey 


The Board Of Governors 


My first flight as an airline pilot 


Britair Virtual 10 Years ! 


Welcome to The Hong Kong Division 


We hope you will enjoy this amazing issue !

“Virtual Sky” has always been supported by, and produced for, our members and we can only survive with your article contributions.

We look forward to receiving your amazing stories and thank you all for sharing !

We wish you all nice year’s end celebrations.

Best regards, Louis Verdeau

Virtual Sky is published by: The International Virtual Aviation Organisation - Email articles to the magazine team:

Contributors: Daniel Shulga, Julien Moreau, Luc Schweizer, Wilm-Hendrick Schulz, Eric Olson, Jérémie Clergue, Claude L., Jacky Wan

Editor-in-chief: Stanislas Chareyre Louis Verdeau Editorial Assistants: Henk Wolsink, Mohammed Almuqbel, Achilleas Moraitis

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IVAO Crowded Skies XIII

Dear Members, I am sure you already saw some of our broadcasts that were sent during the course of the Crowded Skies event, highlighting our excitement and our positive impressions of this event. We were initially focusing on just beating last year’s figure of 2604 connections, but we really did not expect to reach 3004! Which was a surprise to us, and we are sure, many others...again, congratulations to everyone involved! We also have to extend our gratitude to the HQ Events and divisional departments for the planning and coordination of this global event, as well as the DEVOPs department for ensuring such a stable network during this massive influx of simultaneous network connections. The Executive Council


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Welcome to The Israeli division by Daniel Shulga (IVAO Israel - Director)

As you may all know (or not) the Israeli

16,299,406 passengers passed through

airspace is one of the smallest airspaces

Ben Gurion gates, that is approximately

that exists in the world. Many people find

118,861 flights a year. What you may

Israel not an attractive place to take your

not know is that we have another four

plane and fly to, because we have only one

international airports: Eilat (LLET), Sde Dov

international airport (Ben Gurion – LLBG)

(LLSD), Ovda (LLOV) and Haifa (LLHA). In

with some standard procedures. I think

addition we have 15 airports and airstrips

they are wrong.

that host the sizable activity of general aviation in Israel. Putting all this together, with the activity of Israeli Air Force (IAF), making the Israeli airspace one of the densest and crowded airspaces. To overcome this challenge and not cause the military, international and general aviation flights interfere with each other, CVFR - Controlled Visual Flight Rules, are implemented in Israel. What is Controlled Visual Flight Rules? All domestic VFR flights are classified as C.V.F.R – “Controlled Visual Flight Rules”

The tiny Israeli airspace makes flying in

which means that in Israel you may fly

Israel very challenging, however in 2015

VFR along predefined routes only. All VFR

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aircrafts must establish and maintain radio contact with ATC as long as they are airborne and must have a transponder with mode C on board. You have various types of routes. Some of them only for military use, some are for civilian and military and some of them are military in the middle of the week and civilian on weekends. Most of the routes are bi-directional and have an assigned altitude for each direction. Altitude separation between inbound

and sightseeing flights.

and outbound traffic is typically 500 feet. Assigned altitudes are marked as yellow

Located at 1,240ft (378 m) below mean sea

filled rectangles with arrow pointing the

level, actually it is the lowest airport in the

assigned altitude direction.

world, adding to this the Israeli-Jordanian border in the east the high mountains

As you may have noticed I want you to

(450 meters above sea level) making it

taste some Israeli flight, I believe that this

challenging airport.

topic will increase this will. If you have not been convinced yet let me introduce you

Haifa Airport (LLHA): which is also known as

the challenging airports in Israel:

U. Michaeli Airport is a small international airport located in Haifa, Israel. It is located

Mezada Airstrip (LLMZ): Named after

to the east of the city, close to Kishon

Israel Bar-Yehuda, is a small desert airfield

Port and Israel Shipyards and mainly

located in the southern Judean desert ,

serves civilian flights, with some military

west of the Dead Sea. Opened in 1963. The

usage. Most passenger flights utilizing

airfield is a public concession, mainly used

the airport are domestic operations to

as an alternate airport, and for charter

Eilat and Tel Aviv. The airport is named


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after Uri Michaeli, one of the pioneers of Jewish aviation and one of the founders of aviation in Israel. The airport has one short runway, 1,318 metres (4,324 ft) in length, and there are plans to extend it onto reclaimed land in the Gulf of Haifa. The non straight approach to runway 34 with high chimneys and dangerous fire spewed from them making the approach to the ATR’s and Saab 2000 one of the


most thrilled. Eilat Airport (LLET) - which is also also known as J. Hozman Airport, located in the city of Eilat which is the most southern city in Israel. Eilat airport mostly handles domestic flights, but there are a few international flight operating form this airport as well. Eilat airport has one runway available which is 03/21 (6,234ft or 1,900m long) and its elevation is 42ft above sea level.



25/26 MARCH 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM Kortrijk Xpo, Belgium

The airport has no taxiways, have only apron for 4 passenger’s airplanes and a runway. The approach to RWY 03 is via tight right circuit. The high mountains (1700ft) in the west and the Israeli-Jordanian border making the approach to the 757’s, A320’s


and ATR’s one of the most challenging as an inexperienced pilot will overturn the turn to the final. WITH THE SUPPORT OF

I hope that we have managed to impress and educate you a little bit. The Israeli division is welcoming you to fulfil the excitement with some flights in the


Israeli airspace - thank you for reading. International Virtual Aviation Organisation


Screenshot Contest Winners

September Non-edited Screenshot Juergen Kopelent - Pakistan (Mountain Nanga Parbat north-west side) As350 max altitude, max rpm, on the absolute turbine limit.

September Edited Screenshot Tobias Goevert - Delta 470, taxiing to the gate at Mรกlaga, after landing from New York JFK


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Membership Department Interview by Julien Moreau (Membership director)

What is your job as Membership Director ?

My job is with the MAD to manage the Membership department (at senior and divisional level). I manage the HQ membership advisors, create new tools, set up new procedures and write some staff instructions. I also keep an eye on the divisions and their needs. How much time do you CONCENTRATE ON your IVAO staff position ?

Depending on my availabilities but it take me from 2 to 4 hours per day. It’s really a fulltime job ! What is the Membership Department role ?

The Membership department role is to take care of everything related to our members: division change, email change, password problems, connection problems, HQ award attribution, divisional awards change if needed, and manage all the divisional MC/MAC/ MA. which email adress should we use to contact the membership department ?

If you want to change your name, email, birthdate, and/or country, you shall and



division (replace

MC/MAC. xx


Their the





of your


For the other case, you may contact «  », which is the official email of the IVAO HQ Membership Department. A ticket will be assigned to your email and you’ll get an answer as quickly as possible. Who is replying when we send an email to ?

Every membership advisor (IVAO-MAx) can reply. Each membership is assigned to a function : a continent, the award working group or the internal member database monitoring. How many email do you receive at ?

We receive in average between 100 and 200 emails each week, depending on the network activity (holidays for example). International Virtual Aviation Organisation


Zurich Load Control Agent by Luc Schweizer (Membership Advisor)

You may remember from the last issue

He is responsible for the loadplanning

of Virtual Sky, that I gave you an insight in

(distribution of loads inside the aircraft)

the day in the life of a Passenger Service

in a way that the aircrafts ZFW and TOW

Agent. Well, while writing that article

are inside the trim envelope, and he will

back in September, I was already doing

issue the loadsheet for the pilots once

training to become a Loadcontroller, and

the loading is finalized. Next to that, he

that will be the subject of today’s article:

can be responsible for the turnaround

„Loadcontrol, Loadcontroller, Loadsheet;

coordination (the so-called “Red Cap”), for

what is it all about?

the docking of the jetways, and for the

First of all, some definitions and wording:

relay of information between the cockpit

what is Loadcontrol? Loadcontrol is the

and the airline operations. The Red Cap is

department of the airport which is issuing

also providing weather information to the

Load Instruction Reports (LIR). A LIR is a

pilots if requested, and when needed he

document on which a loading supervisor

will also give the actual Operational Flight

(the guy who is leading a team of 2 to

Plan which the airline sent to the handling

6 Ramp Agents while supervising the


loading process) will find the distribution of the loads inside the aircraft holds or compartments. With this LIR, the loading supervisor together with his team will load the aircraft according to what we, Loadcontrollers, defined. This leads us to the question, what is a Loadcontroller? A Loadcontroller is someone who holds a IATA Weight and Balance certificate, and who has passed a Dangerous Goods test. 10

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Now that you know the main terms, we

the regulations of IATA.

continue with the duties or the main tasks of a Loadcontroller. You have to know that every airport/handling company has its own definition of the duties, but for my case they are the ones mentioned above. Let’s take an example, flight LX656 to Paris CDG operated with a containerized A320. A containerized aircraft is able to transport

Let’s summarize our flight: 3 baggage

its load in containers, and thus the

containers and 2 cargo containers, thus

compartments are divided into positions.

we will have our 5 positions occupied. Until

One position = 1 container. An A320 has

STD -55min I have the time to distribute

5 positions, and 1 “looseload” section in

the load in the system, and then issue

the tail which is called the “bulk” or “belly”.

the LIR. I need to make sure the trim is

For this flight, we have a total of 3 baggage

inside the envelope, that the weight of the

containers planned, one of them being

aircraft is not exceeding the MZFW, MTOW

the “priority baggage” container as it has

and MLDW, and that the priority container

the Business Class baggage inside. Thus it

is in front of the door so that it can be

has to be offloaded first at the destination.

offloaded first. Quite a lot of rules to follow,

1h15min before the STD (Scheduled Time

and it can sometimes become very tricky

of Departure), the cargo department

as some loads are incompatible, in which

provides us the cargo information that

case I need to decide which one I won’t

they would like to send with this flight. In

accept on the flight. Anyway, the LIR has

our example, we have 2 cargo containers

been issued and the loading supervisor

with one of them containing dangerous

started the loading of the aircraft at STD

goods. It’s getting complicated, isn’t it?

-30min. At this time not all the containers

Let me keep it simple. You have to know

are around the aircraft, as they are sent

that dangerous goods are all the goods

as soon as they are full. There is point

that have been classified as dangerous by

at which there is no more time to fill the

IATA, like Dry Ice. IATA defined regulations

container, as it is getting short in time

about the transportation of them, and

with the transport of them to the aircraft

the airline can even restrict more. For

followed by the loading. In this case, the

example, in an A320 you can have a

container is closed and delivered to the

maximum of 200kg of Dry Ice in the aft

aircraft. All the bags which are arriving

compartment according to the airline.

after that, will come as open load to the

Anyway, dangerous is quite a complicated

aircraft and loaded in the bulk. Latest at

subject, but each loadcontroller passed a

STD -10min, I get the LIR back from the

dangerous goods test as he is responsible

supervisor with the correct weights of the

for the correct loadplanning according to


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I now have to enter them in the system,

in order to avoid all this (for example the

check the trim again, and crosscheck all the

system won’t let me issue a loadsheet if

data: are the final fuel figures provided?

the plane is out of trim or overweight).

Do the weights correspond to the ones on the LIR? Are we exceeding MZFW, MTOW or MLDW? In the mean time I get the final passenger figures from the gate staff as they finished boarding. I then issue the loadsheet, and perform the last crosschecks (is the registration of the aircraft corresponding? do the weights still correspond to the ones on the LIR? Are the passenger figures correct?). All this somewhere in-between STD -10min and STD -5min. Once all that is done, I print the loadsheet and go up into the cockpit. The pilots have to be informed about the dangerous goods, the final passenger figures, and all other special information. The captain then signs the loadsheet, I go back on the jetway. The crew closes the door; I then remove the jetway from the plane. We are now STD -3min, the aircraft is ready to pushback. Quite a lot to do in this short period of time, and the things aren’t running as smooth all the time. The loadcontroller or Red Cap is a

In each case, it is a very interesting job,

key person for the departure of an aircraft:

with a great variety as you are in contact

if he fails, the safety of the plane, crew and

with the crews, the airline operations and

passengers might be compromised. What

the ramp agents.

if the aircraft is out of trim? He could use

I hope I could show you something you

more runway as planned during takeoff,

maybe didn’t know much about, or

perform a tailstrike or even worse: crash.

didn’t know about at all. It is something

That’s why it is important to perform the

complicated, it maybe isn’t easy to

crosscheck each time, and to take the time

understand, and that’s why you can contact

to do them. Of course there are safety

me anytime if you want more information

margins and protections in the system

or a further explanation.


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World Tour Department news by Wilm-Hendrik Schulz (World Tour Assitant Director)

The year 2016 is almost over and we from IVAO World Tour Department want to say Thanks you! That you all enjoyed our tours and ideas we had. The acceptance of our tours made us proud and we are happy to announce, that during the year more than 180.000 legs were flown and most time accepted. Find bellow some statistics !

User Statisic 7000








SOD 2017


Moto GP

Pilot Skills






VFR Australia & NZ 230

in progress





387 in progress

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Long Haul

VFR Asia

VFR Africa

















World Tours 2016 60000







SOD 2017


Moto GP

Pilot Skills


Long Haul

VFR Asia

VFR Africa



VFR Australia & NZ 17952























Leg Statistic 6237 3%

Rejected Approved

176048 97%


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Now it is as well time for some comedy! Our yearly “best user comments” … During our validation, we found some nice user comments we want to share with you. Here a small collection of them…

“Sorry, had a Problem with my Computer so I couldn’t disconnect between the first and the second leg. Hope it’s not a Problem. Greetings”

“I have little dog, he peed by me on carpet, have to take carpet to wash and was on ILS...I flew away and have sightseeing nice country...sorry.. “

“I got myself locked out of my house when I was about to land, as my car’s alarm stated to sound. It tooked me quite a while to have access to my spare keys and to my surprise flight was still going, so turned back to apt and landed. That’s why 4 hours.“

User: „mouse crashed during decent“ Validator: “Sorry about this mouse”

2017 will start in two weeks and we are ready with the new tours. With the same procedure, then every year we will start in 2017. On 1st of January 2017 the following tours will be available: -

IFR World Tour 2017


Long Haul World Tour 2017


VFR World Tour (North America)

To complete the list, we will add the known Formula 1 World Tour 2017 to the system and make it available, as far as the new season will begin. 2017 has as well some surprises available for you, we cannot announce today, but there will be some more “special” tours than you can see above… The whole World Tour Department whish you and your family a Merry Chrisman and a Happy new year!

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World Tour Advisors Interview Double-interview of Jedrzej Przybylski (World Tour Advisor) and Hugo Hernandez (World Tour Advisor) realised separatly.

What is your role as World Tour Advisor (WTA)?

HH : My principal job is to validate all of the tour legs that pilots file, and help in the design of the new World Tours. I also fly on the tours as my real job and family permits to set and example to others. JP : Most people thought that WTA work is only leg validation. Fortunately, our work is not limited only to one action. In a few words‌We are responsible for creating, validating World Tours and any help or member support. To sum up I think that this work gives a lot of satisfaction. Do you participate to the tour creation ?

HH : Yes, I give recommendations on what airports are to be included in the new tours and also the procedures on them. JP : My answer is “yes�. Right now, together with my colleague I am preparing the next VFR and Formula1 World Tour. How much time do you concentrate ON it each day/week ?

JP : Actually, its depends on pilots interest in World Tour, season, time etc. I never counted how much time I spend each day. One day I concentrate an hour, and another 15 min. How many legs to you validate per day/week ?

HH : On a daily average i validate around 35 legs, but that figure changes by the day, especially on tours that have legs that open on certain date (F1, MotoGP, Cargo, etc) and if there are holidays (people fly more). ON average, how much time do you take to validate a leg ?

JP : Again, there is no rule. Sometimes it takes one minute, because everything is ok, next time it will take five minutes, because e.g. there is mistake in the pirep. How Do you analyze a leg report ?

HH : There are factors and rules that come in play when you analyze a leg report, first the date, the takeoff & landing times have to be correct, then you must ensure that both the WT general & tour specific rules are met, like the 6 min rule, that you use the correct aircraft category, correct flying rule, the 250kt bellow 10000ft speed limit, that the pilots use 1x sim rate, the use of real weather, correct departure, arrival and alternate airports on the Flight Plan, disconnection for more than 20 min and the list 16

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goes on. Its a meticulous review, I go through a comprehensive but analytical step by step check of all the sections of the ivao tracker and the pirep. If there are problems that I alone can´t resolve when validating I always get help from other Wta´s and at the higher level when the final decision is needed by both the WT Dir and Adir . JP : Currently we use a very modern, user-friendly system, which simplify our work. We are checking the basic parameters of the flight, the correctness of the flight plan and all other aspects which are specified in the rules of each tour.

What are the reasons for submitted legs being automatically rejected ?

JP : I never reject the leg automatically. If I see some mistakes, firstly I try to contact the pilot and find out situation from the other side. In order to avoid this kind of situation I encourage all pilots to follow the rules. In conclusion, our work is time consuming, but very satisfying. We always try to help pilots, in order to avoid confusion. I encourage all pilots to fly and enjoy World Tours. Remember that we are here for you, so if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.

Enjoy the Bahamas from a Cessna 172 - Real life aviation pictures forum post - Vincent Brazillio

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Screenshot Contest Winners

September Edited Screenshot Adam Patus - Departing from ENNK

October Non-Edited Screenshot Javier FernĂĄndez BuendĂ­a - Over Brienz Lake, arriving Meriringen


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The Magazine Survey by Stanislas CHAREYRE (Magazine Team Advisor)

Dear readers, I’m very glad to announce the creation of a new regular article in the Virtual Sky Magazine. In each edition from now you will find a survey on a topic related to IVAO. The survey will be published and open to vote on the Virtual Sky forum board : http://forum.ivao. aero/index.php?board=570.0 For this first edition I manage, the survey was open to vote from the 21st November to the 12th December. I hope you enjoy it, feel free to send us your survey’s ideas to

What was your favorite 2016 World Tour ? Votes: 88

12% 7% 14% 15%

26% 26%

IFR World Tour 2016 Pilot Skills World Tour 2016 Moto GP Tour 2016 Cargo World Tour 2016 Long Haul World Tour 2016 Vintage World Tour

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The Board Of Governors by Eric Olson (NPO President)

In April of 2007, IVAO VZW was formed as

as required legal filings and ensuring

a non-profit organization in Belgium by

that the network is in compliance with

19 members who wished to provide IVAO

statutes such as personal data protection.

with legal identity and protection. Along

Finally, all matters for the NPO which aren’t

with the formation of the NPO, the Board

specifically set aside to the NPO are left to

of Governors was elected to represent the

the direction of the Board of Governors

NPO directly on matters that affect the

such as any modifications to the rules

organization both on the inside and on

and regulations of the network and any

the outside. While the Board of Governors

updating to the by-laws of the organization.

does not handle matters regarding day-

Presently, the Board of Governors is

to-day management of the network,

working closely with the development

they still play an important role in our

team regarding the release of IvAc

organization and direct the organization







preparing and






next other

Firstly, the Executive Council is appointed

projects and agreements which should

by the Board of Governors to oversee


the operation of the network. individuals









These carrying

out the strategic direction and IVAO’s vision through providing directions to the rest of the staff and ensuring that the rules and regulations are followed. Secondly, all legal affairs are carried out by the Board of Governors including ensuring compliance with directives set forth by the courts. This could include things such 20

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My first flight as an airline pilot by Jémémie Clergue

It is early, too early, but sometimes, the

PNF in the 30 min we have! The captain

clock is keeping us waiting !! Finally, it

does the tasks assignment, I look at the

rings, it is 3:30 AM, I’m in my hotel room. I

first sector in detail, and in the meantime

don’t feel tired despite of the short night,

the experienced copilot looks at the 3

too much adrenaline to sleep! I have a

other sectors! We review the weather, the

shower, and I put on for the first time this

winds, the NOTAM, the traffic forecast,

well folded uniform that was waiting me

and the final fuel load. The captain kindly

on a chair since the evening before. Quick

asks me my opinion regarding the fuel, but

breakfast, and go to the airport and arrive

with my lack of experience, I of course join

as the first in the crew room. I’m definitely

his opinion! Indeed, the tasks assignment

really, really early... but it was voluntary, I

is a success because we finish our flight

know I will take more time to prepare for

dossier when the copilot finish to analyse

the flights than an experienced pilot. I print

the three others!

the flight dossiers of the day: a first back and forth to Basel, then another to Naples,

I’m going to order the fuel, then we

coming back to Geneva this afternoon.

meet the cabin crew for the briefing. Not tall basically, I feel very short in this

The 4 flight packages are printed, I throw

environment where everybody knows

myself in the “big airports” NOTAM

everybody and what he has to do. Me,

reading. In light of the thickness, I wasn’t

my face is red, sweat on my pullover, and

displeased to be there early! My captain

totally lost! Finally, we go to the plane...

arrives early too, as well as a second copilot on the jumpseat during the entire

The A319 is just in front of the crew room,

day to help me, monitor me, and do the

and it is GIGANTIC! I had this impression

walk arounds because it was anticipated I

during the base training, but I tell myself

won’t have the time to do them when I’m

there should be a bug for it take off,

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especially with me as pilot...but I should

The calculations are done, I give the

see the thing before the end of the day...

computer to the captain in order for him to

entirely strange sensation: I climb stairs

check my entries and under his direction, I

to enter in my plane...there is really

enter the numbers (ZFW / ZFWCG / Speeds

something...Sunrise in the background,

/ Flex …) in the FMGC. I hear a noise behind

not a cloud in the sky, a wonderful colour

us, the passengers are boarding! I thought

gradient, the picture is incredible.

to have time, and suddenly, I realize we have to speed up! The captain’s briefings the’s precise, speed, efficient.

plane, and for the first time, I turn left in

Nothing is left to chance, I love it. I request

entering, trying to hide my smile and my

the clearance via DCL, helped by the

face completely stressed. According to the

second F/O back from his outdoor walk,

captain tasks assignment, I will be PNF

in fact, there was no ACARS in the flight

for the first flight, but I will do the landing

simulators. The clearance is obtained and

in Hamburg. I take the computer for the

confirmed, I request push back and start

calculations, when the second first officer

up. Here we go! We push back, we start

is doing the walk-around. We’re early,

up, the actions come one after another.

everything is ok! Many people enter and

Nothing to forget for the time being, the

exit the aircraft: first officer, dispatcher,

transition simulator-real world is going

fueler...I’m a bit lost and I receive the load-

well. We arrive at the end of the runway,

sheet from the dispatcher. It is exactly the

and let’s go!!! The donuts are lined up

same as in the simulator, I find again a

to 50%...the sound of the enormous

known environment, it is ok...but it is hot!

motors is going to be heard, then felt,





this time it’s really vibrating. We’re there, it accelerates...the captain adds thrust, clic clic, and announce “MAN FLEX SRS RWY”! I’m concentrated on my calls, the engines arrive to their announced power, I say “THRUST SET”, and come back to my parameters...everything is going very fluently, I announce gradually “100 KTS”, “V1”, “ROTATE”, and it rocks! It really really rocks! This machine is flying, and on top of that, climbs like a space rocket! Time is not for contemplation, but calls time...”POSITIVE CLIMB, GEAR UP”... everything is really fast, the reduction moment, “THUST CLIMB”, then “CLIMB”, and I think to the PACKS (we took of PACKS 22

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OFF), and it’s going a little more calm...we

following events are clear, we begin the

accelerate, retract the flaps, turn off the

descent to Hamburg. The sun shines, I’m

passenger seat belt sign, and cross FL100!

very very warm.

The cruise is going fine, odd mixing of

We switch from one frequency to another,

lecture course in a cockpit on FL390 and

the accent of each ATC makes me laugh,

informal and sympathetic discussion. We

and we arrive on the approach frequency

have the luxury of a breakfast “on top”...

who gives us vectoring to the runway 23

little relaxation’s hard to

base leg. The captain says, if you’re ready,

believe it, I’m here!

we can switch now! I know where I am, I’m clear on the stages which follow, were flaps 1, I accept his proposition, and he symbolically pushes on AP2. I instantly became PF, so, I’m really piloting the aircraft. The glitches in the matrix are more and more regulars, but, let’s continue. The next ATC clearance is obvious, we have a heading, and we are clear to the ILS runway 23. I turn, arm the ILS, turn on the second AP, and announce the FMA calls. We are now under the cloud layer, and I have the runway in sight. I request the landing configuration very early, and we are ready, so, I request “LANDING CHECK LIST”! Around 1500 fts AGL, the captain suggested to fly in manually, to have a feeling as he says! Big breathing, and I push on the little red button that announce the beginning of a very intense sauna session

The second F/O helps me to fill the paper

of a never known intensity, it is extremely

work with the company flight plan, the

hot! I try to follow the flight director as

fuels check, the delay codes, etc. There is a

precisely as possible, never passed over

series of “direct” clearances, and I see the

the glide, trying to stay in the middle! The

TOD (Top Of Descent) symbol approaching

radio altimeter announces FIVE HUNDRED,

on the ND (Navigation Display), but still

the captain answers “ESTABLISHED”, and

100 NM before it...which say that’s the

I say “CHECKED”. We are now on visual,

approach briefing time! Therefore, the

I try to remember the steps that are

captain brief our approach, I will become

following. FIFTY, I look far ahead, THIRTY,

PF latest when established on the ILS. The

thrust idle, I start to flare, TWENTY, I flare,

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and BRRRRRRRRR, we are on the ground, approximatively on the middle. “GROUND SPOILERS, REVERSE GREEN, DECELERATE” announces my captain. Indeed, it brakes hard! I vacate the runway, I push on the ground spoilers, signal for my captain to do his scan. I taxi to the terminal, and the captain takes control back for the last turn. The engines are stopping, we are arrived! I landed for the time an A319 with passengers on board. Feeling to be in a so

The return flight is going well, I’m PF on

much wanted place, but uncomfortable

this one. The take off is wonderful, we turn

up to the point to be in a dream as if it was

to the south (Italian logic), and evidently,

not real.

about-turn to pass over the Vesuvius Mont, then over the plain and the Alps the Swiss

The passengers unload, and a cabin

military are active, we have to go over

crew tells us a passenger wish to say to

Zurich to land in Basel. I’m dead, whacked,

me hello. The captain, surprised, gives

and still very hot! The short night begins

willingly his agreement, and I see an old

to be felt. The captain shut the engines,

colleague from the bank (my former job)

seat belt signs OFF, and the passengers

who wanted to be there for my first flight!

exit the aircraft. A cabin crew arrives in

I’m really touched, but pleased to have the

the cockpit, and tell me a passenger let

surprise once on the ground.

me a letter. It is a little card signed by my

The rest of the day, do one after the

entire family, dreams come true. I still take

other, I am PF for the trip back to Basel,

some seconds to realize that if this card

the captain does the flight to Naples. The

is aboard this plane, it’s not with it little

Alps crossing is incredible, for them who

legs, somebody helped it! I go to check the

know, we flew above Furka, an incredible

cabin, and I see my mother, who did the

view of Interlaken, the Eiger, Andematt,

last flight with us!

the Cervin, the Mont Blanc, and the Tessin after: it’s wonderful! I take my first pictures

I leave my mother on the brink of the

from upside!

plane, I will meet her just after, for the dinner, in the Basel, the old city. I try to

When I see the Naples approach and the

forget anything in the cockpit, and we go

ILS high slope with the runway climbing, I’m

to the crew room. The feedback is good.

happy to be PNF! Again, the temperature

Appointment tomorrow morning, 4 new

under my pullover still not decreasing!

flights scheduled (including an interesting VOR DME approach in Nantes) with the same captain.


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Britair Virtual 10 Years ! by Claude L. (Britair Virtual President)

BritAir Virtual staff and pilots were very

performed more than 17.000 registered

proud to celebrate its 10th birthday.

flights, and we’ve covered almost 7 million

Created in November 2006, based on an

nautical miles. During those ten years of

original idea of Valentin B. BritAir Virtual

operation, we brought pilots to highest

is the virtual manifestation of the “real”

ratings, making them highly reliable

airline BritAir, a former regional subsidiary

virtual pilots. During those ten years

of Air France.

of operation, we participated in most ATC exams of the French division, many

Based in Morlaix, France, and operating

events, and other activities. During those

all over France and nearby European

ten years of operation, we enjoyed virtual

destinations, we tend to stick to our

as well as “IRL” meetings, like all of “IVAO

model as much as possible. We provide

France” LAN parties and the “Paris Le

highly accurate flight information and

Bourget” meetings. And you know what?


We definitely won’t stop that soon!

Today, we offer high diversity to our pilots,

We would like to thank all people who

with a regular flights’ schedule, daily group

made this milestone possible, especially

flights, a brand new “missions” department,

current and former pilots as well as IVAO’s

and all sorts of online entertainment,

French division that supported us.

exclusively on IVAO’s network. You can follow our activities on our During our ten years of operation, we

Facebook page (available in French) or on

have hired more than 140 pilots, we’ve

our website.

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Welcome to The Hong Kong Division by Jack Wan (IVAO Hong-Kong - Director)

Airbus simulator.

Community Training

You may share the same view that training is the most effective way for aviators to

Way Forward

acquire the required knowledge in this

To enable exchanging experience and

dynamic, advancing and rapidly growing

knowledge among the local aviation

aviation industry. With the assistance

community, the division as a long-term

of flight simulator software and IVAO

goal, would set up with appropriate training

network, we are capable of providing

resources and fixed based simulators to

community training more effectively for

further widen the training spectrum in

students exploring into the industry.

such a way that flight simulators can be


affordable and widely promoted for basic





Standing Committee on Aviation Resource

training and entry users.

and Education Development (SCARED) in 2009, the team would focus on planning

The community flight simulator project

and providing training courses for local

provides technical support to local parties

students and third party members.

for training.

Aviation Certificate Programme

New Air Traffic Management Web

One of the beneficial programmes is the

Applications commissioned

Dragonair Aviation Certificate Programme

When you think of the operations of the

(DACP), where candidates attend a two

air traffic controllers in the IVAO, the

day course for understanding the Airbus

first thing that may come to your mind

cockpit and basic flight control. They have

is probably the air traffic controllers

a few hours of hands-on experience with

focusing on the radar screens with the

the Microsoft Flight Simulator, before

radar client IvAc and directing flights to

entering their selection process in a real

the appropriate place precisely. You may


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Lectures introducing the airbus A320 panel for candidates

Candidates perform tasks following the Flight Director

A landing in a A320 simulator

The community ight simulator project provide technical support to local parties for training

Our instructors visited the real simulators before giving training to the candidates

not be aware that many other resources exist to provide high quality services and

Gate Management

necessary support to facilitate a smooth

The new Gate Assignment System is

flight. They are also integral to the safe

responsible for our pre-departure and

and efficient air transport system in Hong

arrival flights, providing an exclusive gate

Kong. With the commissioning of the new

according to the aircraft type and the

systems, we may take this opportunity to

desired apron. Every IVAO pilot is able to

take a closer look at their new features.

request a gate before the departure and a Hong Kong controller can receive and

Squawk Code Assignment

manage gate information through the

The Squawk Code Assignment System

integrated portal with the appropriate

was introduced in 2014 to provide a cloud

Squawk Code Assignment System. It

based portal for air traffic controllers to

greatly facilitates the Real Flight Events

access remotely, the enhanced system is

and the peak seasons of the Hong Kong

compliant with the code allocation of the


International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Doc 9673 Asia and Pacific Regions.


Nearby FIR codes have been installed to

The division also installed a sophisticated

increase the capacity of arrival flights. In

Text-to-Speech System which is equipped

a total 740 codes serving 3 airports and

with a realistic human voice synthesizer

transiting flights, the system could handle

and pre-loaded voice commands. This

the maximum capacity of traffic as well as

advanced system offers high quality

the real world environment.

voice services and helps enhance the

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functionality of any text-only controllers.

contrast and the compact mode can also be easily toggled for reading at night and




smaller screen devices.

Enhanced Controllers Portal

Before the implementation of a cloud

Looking Forward

based portal, air traffic controllers needed

Apart from enhancing the efficiency in

to manually create their own handy

managing controllers information, the

sheets with many types of information like

Hong Kong Division is working closely with

terminal procedures, runway operations,

the Development Operations Department

metric levels to flight levels etc. They

(DEVOPS) on the IvAc2 project. The new

required updating periodically and it was

controller client can further enhance the

also inconvenient to align every controllers

information circulation and the controller

with the latest procedures.







simulation network development, as well The ATC Dashboard was introduced and

as to cope with the increasing demand

enhanced with real time ATIS, weather

of users experience. The map displays

radar and AJAX tables. The information

and aircraft labels have been completed

with the active runway highlighted will

and Hong Kong Division is one of the FIR

instantaneously display on the screen

conducting beta tests on the live network.

without refreshing the page. Controllers

Test results are satisfactory in general.

can sort the tables and display only

The web applications will be integrated

essential elements to make a clear

with the new controller client when it is

presentation. The dark mode with high

commissioned in the near future.

The Squawk Code Assignment Portal during event

Coverage of the Gate Assignment System of the three airports

The ATC Dashboard, cloud based portal for controllers


Interface of the Text-to-Speech System

Beta Tests over IvAc 2 with Hong Kong FIR

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Screenshot Contest Winners

October Edited Screenshot Mehdi Hamza - Tunisair A320 (TS-IMW), above the Mediterranean Sea...

November Edited Screenshot Albino Santos - At Toronto/City Centre

International Virtual Aviation Organisation



“Where the virtual world meets the real world“

Virtual Sky - Volume 9 Edition 4  
Virtual Sky - Volume 9 Edition 4