December 5, 2002
Alaska Division News
There was an earthquake on Nov. 3rd that closed the Northway Alaska airfield. It was due to reopen with a 3,500’ gravel runway on 11-30-02. Northway is used as a port of entry for flights from Whitehorse YT.
A few pilots flew pipeline inspection flights after the earthquake to simulate what was happening in real time. I haven’t heard any reports of any problems.
Capt. Coleman is now in his new digs on the East Coast and will be resuming the helm of the Alaska Div soon.
Very little has happened in the Australian Division during November - spring is here and the beaches and gardens are obviously very attractive places to be at the moment. Ian Thatcher has kindly volunteered to make a whole series of sceneries for the Air Mail Division which will enable pilots to follow the old air mail routes within Australia. Many of the required airports don't exist in FlightSim so it is a huge task but one that will be well worthwhile when it is finished.
Along with the bush camps that Ian is producing for a special event next year (these files will have background sounds attached to them) and other improvements he is doing to Australian scenery, Ian is a very busy man and his efforts are very much appreciated.
Christmas is almost upon us once again (where has the year gone?) and it is appropriate at this time for we in Australia to wish each and every one of you all the very best for the festive season and we look forward to seeing you all visit us in the new year.
Rumour has it that Santa will be in the left hand seat of a DC-3 this year so keep your eyes peeled guys.
Capt. Bob reports that his pilots are having a good time flying the Northern Div. schedules.
The TAT Route scenery is finished. Thanks to Del Hopkins for being so kind as to put this project on his “top priority” list.
“Flying the TAT Route” which was the November Feature of the month will continue as the December Feature also.
Don’t delete the TAT scenery when you’ve completed the flights as it will be used in a future feature when we advance the clock from 1929 to 1935 and fly the route again using the 1935 TWA schedule and DC-2’s (See my note under “From the C.E.O”)
Check out the PanAm Clipper flights page. I came across an actual schedule for American Export Airlines (1945) and in the course of asking permission from the collector to post it on the site he sent me some images of postcards of the VS-44 flying boat that flew the LaGuardia-Botwood-Foynes route. Click here for a direct link to the page (the new items are near the top right after the NY-Foynes flight plan/schedule)
The Jaunt has been officially over for quite a while, but it is still getting some activity. In November pilots flew a total of 40.41 hours on the Jaunt. The total hours flown on the Catalina Jaunt now stands at 854.49
I don’t know what happened to the VATSIM plan to fly the airlift in November. Could be that they couldn’t find enough controllers. A group from Australia has been flying it on IVAO. There must be something going on as evidenced by the webstats (see the CEO’s notes at the bottom).
The Turbo Division doesn’t have any pilots that call it home, but there is plenty of activity from visiting pilots.
The past twelve months has seen quite a few changes within Bluegrass and all very much for the better. We have seen the opening of new divisions and the Texas/Mexico Hub. We have had a reorganisation of our staffing levels and we have implemented procedures to streamline our operations and make it easier for you, our members.
On top of all that we have seen the special events such as the recent Catalina Jaunt which have drawn a lot of interest in us and our activities from pilots world-wide. Even now we are still receiving applications from pilots who wish to do the Catalina Jaunt - 3 months after it finished. Interest has also increased in the Great Aussie Air Race since it was re-posted to the site.
Guys, stand up and take a bow. Your efforts and encouragement have made Bluegrass what it is and will continue to be the inspiration for us all to make Bluegrass an even better Va. I know that will be hard (we're pretty good as it is) but it is our goal.
With the festive season drawing close, it is time for us to reflect on our families, our achievements and our hopes for the future. It is time to place our orders with the big fat fella in the funny red suit (P8 25GHz computer, 10gb RAM, 30" flat screen monitor, etc etc) and hope that he can deliver. :-))
I take this opportunity of wishing you all the very very best of good wishes for the coming festive season and an abundance of good fortune in the year ahead.
From the C.E.O.
One of our pilots reported a flight of 14.6 hours in November. The pilot flew it in real time, which led to some dis-harmony among family members wanting to use the computer. While there are varying opinions on the subject, I think flying at 4X would be allowable for a long over-water flight such as this. (Honolulu-Oakland, CA). I would fly at 1x until established in level cruise then switch to 4x. When ready to descend I would switch back to 1x. I don’t see any difference between that and going into another room to watch TV or whatever while your flying at 1x.
There is also a modification to the fs2002.cfg file that allows you to multi-task without FS 2002 going into “pause” mode.
There is a line:
PAUSE_ON_LOST_FOCUS=1 which if you change the one to a zero will let your flight continue while your spouse, or offspring checks their e-mail etc. Open fs2002.cfg in notepad and do a “find” focus to locate that line.
The year 2003 has been declared “Celebrate the Century of Powered Flight” Wilbur and Orville Wright flew at Kitty Hawk, NC on December 17, 1903.
In recognition of the past 100 years of achievements, Bluegrass will be concentrating on historical flights next year.
We have started with the TAT Ford Tri-Motor which allowed travel from coast to coast in 2 nights and 2 days. They used the railroad for night time travel and the aircraft for daylight.
Next will be the quantum leap that was made in just 5 years
when TWA flew DC-2’s from New York to Los Angles in as little as 17 hours and 6
Future plans may include some regional carrier routes in the same time period using the Lockheed Electra 10A which was a popular airliner at that time. The next quantum leap came with the introduction of the Boeing Stratocruiser (the first pressurized airliner).
The turbo division has a repaint of the world’s first jetliner the DeHavalind Comet. Capt. Joe has plans for more historic aircraft soon.
Our web-site had another busy month. www.bluegrassairlines.com had 3940 visits (I don’t report hits as each visitor could be looking at 20 or more pages, so in my opinion hits are meaningless.
www.billvons.com had 2,617 visits of which the majority were to the Berlin Airlift web-site
Please visit the pilots forum and add your two cents worth (maybe even start a new topic!)
The Main Roster has been updated with all the pilots hours and totals for each division.
The Screenshots Page has change to a thumbnail format sorted with the most recent pictures on top.
A new link on the main page is to a neat site I just found. www.timetableimages.com
Thanks to all of you for being part of Bluegrass Airlines. Your participation and comments over the past year have had a big impact and helped us to focus on whats important to you.
That’s all for this month, I wish you all a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year,
P.S. We are always looking for anyone with some talents in the areas of Web-Site design, Aircraft Design, GMAX, CGI scripts, etc. etc.