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A Beginners Guide to your First Group Flight

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  • A Beginners Guide to your First Group Flight

    A Beginners Guide to hosting your first group flight

    So you have been here a few weeks/months/years, participated in some of the fantastic group event flights. Youíve shared the laughs the highs and lows and now itís your turn.

    This is a short guide on how to get the most out of your event. Use this guide as a basis and feel free to change it as you need, but this is a great place to start.

    Planning

    Just like the real world planning is the key, and there are a few steps involved. It also helps you out on the day by helping to minimize a lot of avoidable questions and time wasting. After all, you want to be in the air not sitting on the ground bickering right?

    1. Theme
    2. Timing
    3. Flight planning
    4. Requirements
    5. Publish

    Theme

    Ask yourself, what do I want to get out of this flight? What is your goal? The theme could be anything you like (thatís really the point) but also keep in mind your audience. You might want to see the Wonders of the World or explore Alaskan wilderness or take some time out relaxing on a beach in Hawaii. The key is to have a clear goal in mind.

    For example, I would like to fly and see the biggest national tourist attractions in England. My next step is what are they? Do some research and find out. So off we go to Bing and see that list includes Westminster Abby, Big Ben, the London Eye and Tower Bridge. Excellent! We now have a list of places we would like to fly past.

    Timing

    This one can be quite challenging. Our community here at MSFlights.net is a very active community so there are lots of flights planned and going on. In fact just about every day has something going on! So check out the calendar and see when there is a free slot. If there is nothing in the event calendar then you should generally be right, as a courtesy though LOOK AT PAST DATES! There are some group flights which are very regular or the Chief pilot may not have added the next one in yet. Come into the TeamSpeak and talk to the community or send a PM to the organiser and check to see if they donít have anything planned.

    Flight Planning

    Now this reminds me a bit of the Boy Scouts motto, Be Prepared! So far we have where we want to go and a time slot we can put the event on. Now when you drive to the next town you donít just go, you look at the route, plan where you want to stop and have the destination and the journey in mind.

    So create a Flight Plan! There are some great free tools available including Plan G and Skyvector where you can put your start airport, add you waypoints and your final destination. So you have a look, point and click and add your waypoints in. Make sure you take note of the runway directions and lengths, you will need these later on. Personally I highly recommend Plan G as it can export your flight plan directly into a format FSX can read.

    A little tip, the journey and the destination form almost as big a part as your main theme. So donít just plan something from the nearest airport, see the main attraction then back again. Think about what else is nearby and what else you can do. In our scenario we are seeing Londonís biggest tourist attractions, which incidentally are all along the Thames. So how about we start at Southend, fly up river past all the fun things, keep going past London City waive to Her Majesty at Windsor Castle before landing with the RAF boys at RAF Northolt? It means you get a bit more life and a bit more fun in your flight!

    Now comes a little thing called quality control. Fly the damn thing! Itís no good if you have the plan and all you see is Big Ben being a little smudge in the distance!

    While youíre flying it, have a think about the following:
    a. What weather and time of day would make this a fun experience?
    b. What altitude should I fly for safety and for the experience?
    c. What aircraft would I want to do this in?

    Thinking about these things makes the next step in planning a whole lot easier!

    Requirements

    So youíre itching to go. Youíve tested the flight plan, we can see all the landmarks you want to show us. What could possibly go wrong? So much!

    A pea soup fog in London will kill the chance of seeing those monuments stone dead. Equally trying to do it at night is probably not going to go so well either. Flying at 5000ft means you are back to just smudges below you again. And doing it in a Lear jet, well itís going to be gone before you know itís there.

    So this is where your test flight came in handy. Letís break that down:

    a. Weather Ė if you have a specific time of day and weather you require in the flight make sure you send a polite request to the Admins (specifically Robert Dunn 2 or Mulderpilot19) to see if it is possible.
    b. Altitude Ė 1000ft would be nice, safe and still offer great views
    c. Aircraft type Ė you want something nice and slow, so no jets or turboprops this can be a flight for piston engines and Sports light Aircraft. I know there are a lot of add-ons out there but not everyone has them. Consider what would also be suitable from the stock library.

    Excellent so now we have planned a theme for the flight, checked a suitable time slot is available, done our Flight plan and checked the requirements for the flight. Now itís time to publish it.

    Publish

    From the home page click the Add Event button and post away. I would suggest that you lead with an intro for the flight (a little bit about what and why, trivia here is always good), followed by outline of the route plan including airport codes then link the PLN file or Skyvector link for people to download. So on that, everyone has access to some sort of free cloud storage these days. Whether it be a free account on something like Mediafire or your SkyDrive or Google Docs. Drop it in there and link it. Believe me on the day you will be grateful!

    So our example flight around Londonís landmarks could look a little something like this:


    Sights on the River!


    The city that was the heart of an empire now welcomes travellers from around the world to delve into its history and culture! A majestic old city that always finds ways to keep itself modern while always paying homage to the past.

    This flight will take in some of this history, new and old as we fly up the River Thames and through London. We will be taking in some majestic sights of some grand old (and new) buildings!

    Join me on my first group flight!

    Plan: EGMC -> Follow the river -> EGWU
    We will be assembling at Southend EGMC at 2000 ET (0100GMT) before taking off at 2015ET. We will follow the river before making our way north after the capital.

    Aircraft: Suggested is Sports Light Aircraft and pistons. Anything that can cruise comfortably at 100kts. The Stock Cessna 172 would be suitable. No Jets please!

    Cruising altitude: We will be keeping it nice and steady at around 1000ft MSL

    There is a flight plan ready for you, please download ->HERE<-

    Looking forward to seeing you all there!

    Safe Skies

    Novawing24



    And there you have it youíve created your first event! But itís not over yet, to be more accurate it hasnít started!!

    The Big Day (or night)

    All righty then. Weíve got our event up and time is ticking down itís almost time for the show to go on. If youíve followed the above then you are on the right track. Jump on to TS and (politely) ask one of the Admins to update the Group flight room name to the details of your flight. This definitely makes you feel a bit special! Head on down to the room and enjoy as everyone else joins you as well.

    The Flight Plan

    Now here is the first thing. Despite everyone seeing the post and heading along there probably will be people who havenít read your post properly or havenít bothered to download the flight plan you so painstakingly produced. Be prepared to field a lot of questions. My suggestion would be to respond with ďPlease refer to the event postĒ but Iím a little cynical.

    Aircraft choice

    Moving right along you will then have people asking if they can bring this Airbus or that Tomcat or maybe even a space shuttle. Again it is important that you are polite but firm with reminding them that whatever they fly must fit in the theme of the flight. Remember this is your show, just donít be an ass about it.

    Timing

    Stick to the timeline! I canít really say it any clearer. Be on time, the people who have joined you expect things to happen when they were told (hey just like in real life right?) so stick with it. And itís only fair especially on others who might be hosting their group flights later that night!

    Navigational needs

    Remember how I said near the start, take note of the runways and lengths? You will need this so you can aid other pilots in judging the best aircraft to use and to help yourself guide everyone in on the most appropriate runway. The wind data may not be the same as what you did your test flight with so just be aware!
    After that itís really about having fun and enjoying our simulation community. Donít forget there is usually a lot of questions as people join late, refer them to the event post, but also be on hand to offer suggestions on where they can join the group. For our example we fly right past London City airport, so someone could always spawn there and then join us.


    Filming


    This is just as a side note for those who film flights or stream them on twitch. If you are thinking of doing this, seriously consider recruiting a flight lead. Run through the flight plan with them (even better fly it together so you both know whatís meant to happen) then although you host you get them to fly lead aircraft. This will leave you free to zoom about a bit and get the shots you want. Also it is strongly suggested that you talk to those in the flight and let them know it is going to be filmed. Some people prefer their Gamer tags not to show up.

    Well folks I hope this little guide has given you some inspiration to go off and create your first event!

    Good luck and safe skies to all!

    Novawing24
    Per Ardua Ad Astra

    Check out my videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/Novawing24
    Join me on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/Novawing24
    Follow me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/novawing24
    Introducing the Official Novawing24 website! http://www.novawing24.com
    My Onedrive! http://tinyurl.com/novawing24-onedrive

  • #2
    ahhh my eyes! the blue is a little in your face but over all good guide.

    Comment


    • #3
      Nice job with the guide Novawing, hopefully it will encourage more people to host more group flights!
      Sincerely-
      HMHS BRITTANIC

      Comment


      • #4
        This is a great thread and thank you for making it. Can we sticky this? I really like tutorials like this and hope to see more.
        Justin Johnson
        XJJohnsonX
        XJJohnsonX@MSFlights.net

        Any questions about the VA send me a message.

        http://www.msflights.net/pilots/phpv...es/MSF0045.png


        Operating System: Windows 8.1 64-bit ✈ CPU: AMD FX-8120 ✈ RAM: 8.00GB Single-Channel DDR3 @ 716MHz ✈ Motherboard: MSI 970A-G46 ✈ Graphics: 2048MB Gigabyte AMD Radeon R9 200 Series ✈ Storage: 465GB SAMSUNG; 74GB Western Digital; 232GB Western Digital ✈ Audio: AMD High Definition Audio ✈ Antivirus: Avast! Internet Security

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        • #5
          Brilliant, Novawing! Thank you for putting this information into our forum. I have stickied and moved it to the Flight plans and events forum.
          Greetings from Dale
          Sound 4-U! - A Tulsa based sound company that provides sound reinforcement and mobile recording services.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks everyone, just doing my bit to help everyone out!

            Cheers
            Novawing24
            Per Ardua Ad Astra

            Check out my videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/Novawing24
            Join me on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/Novawing24
            Follow me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/novawing24
            Introducing the Official Novawing24 website! http://www.novawing24.com
            My Onedrive! http://tinyurl.com/novawing24-onedrive

            Comment


            • #7
              I'd like to suggest the password for group flight channel always be "mycrashdetectionisoff".

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