It’s been an exciting month for us at UK Virtual! It was brilliant to finally get together in Manchester for the meet-up so thanks again to those who came along, and also thanks to those who couldn’t make it but tuned in for the presentation. It was a nice way to celebrate our 10th birthday together and lots of new and exciting announcements were made. For those who may have missed it, details of the presentation can be found here: https://blog.ukvirtual.co.uk/uk-virtual-meet-up-2021-what-you-missed/
Flight Operations – UNI154 Ryan
All tours will be released this evening after our Halloween Group flight. There are 24 tours, including member tours and airline group tours (linking in to the new alliance feature on the website). There should be something for everyone, and our supporters have been enjoying the new tours for a couple of weeks now!
At the same time, we are releasing a set of supporter GA tours. These will be available to our Silver and Gold supporters and will give access to previous GA tours at UK virtual with some from when we started in 2011! There is no end date for these tours, and with 53 available there will be plenty to keep you busy!
We have a new staff member joining the team. UNI1779 Oliver is joining as our new Flight Operations Assistant. He will be assisting myself and UNI1011 Chris with PIREPs and other flight operations work. He is currently the VFR events coordinator so is stepping up to help with extra roles to keep the VA running smoothly for our members and supporters. Welcome to the team Oli!
Technical Operations – UNI548 Tony
As promised in the last couple of newsletters, several new features have been added to the website recently. A new look airlines page is live, complete with alliances/groups which can be clicked on to see all airlines in that group.
We also forgot to mention at the meet up that each airline has a “last updated” on the information page. This enables you to see when the airline was last updated fully, and you will be able to see the big update as it happens.
The new simbrief integration tool is now available as well, saving you time when planning your flights. All flight details will be entered from the website, simply select your aircraft type and you will then see all required details from the OFP after submitting. There is also an option to prefile on VATSIM or IVAO after planning. Any suggestions for new features for this can be placed in the simbrief integration channel on discord.
The new tracker is now released (version 220.127.116.11). This introduces a few new features, such as obtaining the route direct from simbrief so no more copy/pasting required. There is also our brand new multi-hop feature for short VFR flights or circuits. This will allow the tracker to record all of your landing rates during the flight. Simply land, keep the engines going and depart again and the tracker will do the rest.
Finally we are aware of a few issues some members are experiencing with the new tracker. They are being worked on. Like all new things, a few teething issues are unavoidable, even after rigorous testing, so please bear with us.
General Operations – UNI517 Mike
It was really nice to see so many of our members in Manchester at the meet up. I think (hope) everyone enjoyed themselves as much as I did. A reminder that our next meet up is already scheduled to be 8th-10th May 2022 in London, so book that time off work nice and early!
A couple of small points about discord:
Whilst we allow streaming of non-flight sim games in our discord channel, please be mindful of the fact that this is a virtual airline. Please ensure any streaming is not to the detriment of anyone else in the channel wanting to chat about their flight etc, and we encourage you to stream your flight instead!
The support channel is there for anyone who needs assistance. There have been a couple of instances where the wrong information has been given out by members responding to these messages. Please can we ask that only staff members are allowed to answer queries so that the correct information can be given.
Flight Reports Manager – UNI1011 Chris
There has been an increase in the number of unrequired comments being placed on PIREPs over the last couple of months. Please remember that all PIREPs are manually processed and these comments do significantly increase the time it takes to sort the PIREPs. Therefore only relevant comments are to be added to PIREPs (reasons for diverts/stalls/overspeeds etc), which will make our lives a little easier.
With the new tracker in use now, the false stall indications are now getting less frequent (particularly from MSFS). Once the final couple of bugs are sorted, we will be going back to following the regulations closely with stalls. To remind you all:
Stalls: Not acceptable in jets or rotary aircraft.
Occasional stalls in propeller aircraft are allowed.
Therefore, a comment will be required to avoid a PIREP being rejected. Please check your PIREPs on submission (All detail you need is now shown in the tracker since the update), as it is the pilots responsibility to check and comment where necessary.
So next month we hope you enjoy the new tours we have been working on, and explore the new website features and updated airlines as they are updated. As we get closer to the Christmas period, all time for the staff team is limited so we very much appreciate your patience when waiting for help on support requests and help either on Discord via email.
All the best
The UK virtual Team