First and foremost, we wish to thank you for joining Saint Paul Airlines. There are a lot of virtual airlines out there for you to pick from and we're honored that you chose to fly with us! We try hard to make this a place where you can increase your knowledge about flight simming, find camaraderie, and most of all...HAVE FUN!
If you are just starting out with virtual airlines, there are a couple things you'll need to know to get off on the right foot. First, you'll need to get a handle on the plane you are flying. That's what the "New Pilot's Course" (Flights TN8900 A through E) is for. This gives you a chance to get the feel of the BE-350, and the web pages explaining the flights are designed to give you enough detail to get through it successfully. If you look ahead to the more advanced check rides, you'll see that not as much detail is included. If you run into trouble while flying any of these training flights and find you’re getting frustrated, well, that's what I'm here for. Drop me an e-mail and I'll do my best to get you flying straight and level again.
Both the "New Pilot's Course" and "Procedure Flights" are eligible for double credit hours the first time that you fly them. You are allowed to repeat these flights as often as you like, but the double credit can be earned only once for each flight. When you fly these for the first time, file a pilot report (PIREP) with the amount of time doubled. Also place a note in the comments section stating that this is for double credit. Anytime you repeat the flight after that, please put an additional number after the flight number, signifying what repetition this flight is for you. Example: TN8900C3 for the third time you fly TN8900C.
As you fly a particular flight, there are two things you will want to record. One is the amount of time you spend on the flight. You can do this by noting the time you start and finish, or you can use the logbook feature of Flight Simulator. The other is the amount of fuel you consumed. You'll need to record the amount of fuel you have when you begin. (If you took off with full fuel, you could reset that at the end of the flight to find out what it was.) Also note that we record our fuel in POUNDS and not GALLONS. I find it easiest to simply record the time I departed and how many pounds of fuel I had on a post-it note near my PC. At the end of the flight I check the time and fuel again and just do the math. The time is reported in tenths of an hour. So an hour and a half is reported as 1.5 hours. Fuel can be rounded to the nearest pound. The departure and arrival times are listed as local on the PIREP form, so the amount of time you fly may not look right if you compare them to the totals.
So start yourself off with the "New Pilot's Course". Once you complete that, you'll be ready for the CFO Check ride. I hope to see you around the training department for a refresher course now and again. Maybe come back and do a Procedure Flight once in awhile? Also make sure you find your way into the Pilot's Pub. That's a great place to get to know some of your compatriots. It's also where you can find out about online flights and chats.
Again, thank you for choosing S.P.A. I look forward to seeing you "up there".
There are some very basic training videos I made of a short flight terminating in an ILS approach listed on the SPA MAIN page using a Cessna 172 for those of you who may be new to flight simulation.
Jerry Allen – Training guy