The Bluegrass Airlines Newsletter

November 02, 2002





Air Mail Division News


The only thing I have for the newsletter is that I changed the heading and background on the Airmail pages to make them look better and I'm very pleased with the response from the pilots.

I am pleased with the participation of all the pilots concerned so far that are flying the airmail routes, especially our new pilot BGAM003 Leo Nascimento from South America. Whenever we make a new division and the pilots show a good response to it, it naturally makes us feel good to have created something that everyone likes.  Of course I had help with these projects and a big thank you to all that helped out particularly Capt.Bill Von Sennet and Capt.Brian Wilson.

    My thanks to all, you are appreciated very much.....................................Capt.Joe


Alaska Division News


In October Alaska Division pilots flew 79.75 hours and visitors flew 10.15 hours.   Word has it that Coleman Green is getting settled into his new East Coast Digs and will be taking over the helm of the Alaska Division sometime this month.  I give my thanks to all the pilots for their support while I have been filling in the last few months.    Capt. Bill



Australian Division News


Well it's been a month of real easy going downunder this month.    Not a great deal is happening as we are starting to spend a lot of our time on the beaches and soaking up the sun at BBQ's and booze parties - and of course we all know that flight regulations do not permit a pilot to leave the ground if he has consumed some of the good stuff in the previous 24hrs.    The answer is simple - party on!!


We are continuing to work on the forthcoming special event for next year and the process is already in train for scenery production - but this time with a twist.    Each item of scenery (we hope) will have a sound file associated with it to add to the realism.     Should be absolutely great when it's done and Ian Thatcher is to be commended for his enthusiasm, time and effort in producing these little gems.     More as it progresses towards beta testing.


The Great Aussie Air Race has been put back on the server.  For those that didn’t fly it at the time, you may find it an interesting read, and a source of some flights you may want to try.


Ed Burke has been making the most of his time online this month by recreating a special flight.     No wonder he has been absent from the BBQs.    Here are some of his comments:


As promised, some detail of the trip thus far. The Connie, Sydney to NY
(really crappy night conditions going in to JFK) and the Clipper to Buenos
Aires was pretty routine although I did divert to have a look at Angel
Falls after leaving Trinidad. A poor effort on the part of the FS team as
the falls are depicted as a wide, solid sheet of blue water falling some
500'+ instead of the reality being thousands of feet white water and mist.
Maybe in FS2004 ?

The first leg homewards was fascinating, about 670 miles to Quintero, the
military base, which is where P.G. Taylor made his landfall and departed
from for his homeward journey in 1951. There were head winds all the way
especially at any decent altitude so I was forced to stay about 500' to
1000' agl all the way across the flatlands of Argentina until, at Mendoza,
it was time to make the climb to get through the Paso de la Cumbre. This
requires at least 13000' and there is no way of getting through without
VMC. Thus far the sky had been 8/8ths blue and it was so until just
through the gap when things started to clag in a bit with a bit of
turbulance, but it stayed clear enough to press on. At this point I was
dead into a very strong headwind which reduced the ground speed to a good
sightseeing pace, barely 80 knots for a while!

Great scenery in that part of Chile, I might go back and have a wander
around some time, while the Andes is quite a challenge in a low performance

I'll give you the details of the Pacific crossing as it happens, but until
we can get a real wizard on the job there is no way I will be able to fly
in the conditions that Taylor encountered.

If you are interested check out "The Sky Beyond" by Sir Gordon Taylor,
published in Penguin paperback in 1966. Original was by Cassell Australia
in '63.

Some of the stuff is hair raising! A bloody good read.


Well that's enough excitement from Australia for now. so it's back to the Barbie Booze and Bottla weather until next month.


Cheers guys.


From the desk of the General Manager


Well the year is fast drawing to a close - only 8 weeks to Christmas and when you start to think back on what has happened during the past year there has been quite a lot.     The Catalina Jaunt stands out as one of the great achievements and, although it has officially finished, flights are still being recorded and new pilot registered.     The comments received from pilots is nothing short of "lets have more of this".


Once again Bluegrass has come to the attention of people from all over the world and there is genuine appreciation for the efforts of the organisers and the accuracy of detail which is about the highest compliment the organisers can receive.     Well done guys.


In addition to this the Berlin Airlift is receiving some very valuable and warranted attention and will be the focus for many pilots in the forthcoming months when it "goes live" and is flown online - in real time - by pilots from all over the world.      A lot of work has gone into making sure that everything is "just right" and this will undoubtedly be a roaring success.


As details of the arrangements are known they will no doubt be circulated to everyone.    If you would like to participate I am sure the organisers would accept you with open arms.


Like I said earlier, Christmas is almost upon us and if you would like to send you loveable GM a U-Beaut Christmas present my wish list includes a P4 2ghz processor and motherboard with 1gb RD RAM.   All donations greatfully accepted.    :-)


Cheers guys until next month





Northern Division News


Nothing much happening here.  Capt. Bob could use some activity, why not fly a flight up in the Northern Div. this month?. 


I flew a C-54 from KLEX-Louisville-Cincinnati-Indianapolis-Ft Wayne-South Bend this month.   It seemed to me that I could have driven my car from Lexington-South Bend faster in real time. The flight presented me with several challenges, and helped me to hone my piloting skills.  I used ATC with AI aircraft maxed out (using Tom Gibsons classic AI’s)  A couple of TWA Connie jockeys caused me grief at Fort Wayne.  One took too long to get off the active so I had to go around.  The second approach a connie ignored the fact that I was “1” and he was “2” and landed ahead of me causing me to be ordered around again.   I showed him.  I did a tight circuit and landed, and when I found myself behind him on the taxiway, I went around on the grass and beat him to the gate!  (p.s.  don’t mention this to the Bluegrass Safety dept) Capt. Bill



Southern Division News


Welcome to new pilots bgas022 Mark Tabacheck, bgas023 Rob O’Neil and bgas024 Juan Garza


In October, the Southern Division pilots flew 208.43 hours and visitors (not counting the Catalina Jaunt) flew 20.4 hours.

(Actually the visitors were from TAA Virtual (Trans Australian Airlines) and were flying the Berlin Airlift online on IVAO.


New Feature


Since I discovered Golden Wings for FS98 I have been excited at the chance to re-create airline history and fly the TAT Route (scenery by Del Hopkins) from Port Columbus, OH to Waynoka, OK and from Clovis, NM to Glendale, CA (LA)


A Ford Tri-Motor for FS2002 is now available.  You can get it at  Search for pierino ford

The designer is Pierino Primavesi and he has done a fine job.   I copied the TWA skin from the Float Version to the Land Version.  Capt Joe is working on a TAT repaint.


The new feature is called “Flying the TAT Route  Check it out.  We have scenery for FS2002 (thanks to Del Hopkins for supplying the macro’s)  and for FS98 go to “The Old Hangar” and get Golden Wings and then The TAT Route from Del’s Place.   Our FS2002 scenery appears to work in FS2000 as well.  So far Port Columbus, St Louis, Albuquerque and Glendale have been made to look like 1930.  The other fields all exist in FS2002, and more airports will be given the 1930’s treatment soon.


The Catalina Jaunt


The last I checked there were 33 pilots registered and so far they have flown 814.08 hours!

Ten pilots have completed the journey, and another five pilots are at least as far as Trinidad.

Twentytwo Pilots have made it as far as San Juan, of which fifteen have continued on as far as Trinidad.  Of those fifteen, ten have completed The Catalina Jaunt all the way to Buenos Aires.  The web-page will stay up as a source of flight possibilities.  Capt. Brian will also update the roster as long as flight reports keep coming in.


News from the Texas / Mexico Hub


Haven’t got any news from Capt. Tom yet, but two of the new Southern Div. pilots requested to be assigned to the Texas-Mexico Hub, so something must be going on there.  Capt. Bill


Turbo Division News


Due to popular request: Seems some of our pilots can’t live without the smell of kerosene J,  Capt. Joe is resurrecting the Turbo Division.   The last I checked there wasn’t much there, but it will be developing quickly.   Capt Joe will be putting a BGA skin for the Comet in the turbo hangar within a few days.  Capt. Bill


From the C.E.O.


Have you checked out the Screen Shots?  Better yet why not contribute once in a while?  I am often asked for instructions on how to take screen shots, so here is my quick and dirty tutorial:


  1. Usually I use the spot view and zoom out a bit so that I can frame the aircraft in the midst of some spectacular scenery.  Lighting is important too.  Usually you want the sun to be shining at the plane (although some beautiful shots show a sunset or sunrise).
  2. To snap the picture press the Print Screen Key (next to F12)  (this puts one picture in the Copy/Paste Buffer)
  3. Click Start…Programs…..Accessories……Paint  to run Paint
  4. Click Edit ….Paste to put your picture in paint.  
  5. Using the Text Box and a contrasting color, Enter a description you want the viewer to see.  (use a larger font 14 or more as you will reduce the picture size in an upcoming step)
  6. Save the picture using a short name (if you are bgam001 and the picture is of a Stearman something like m1stearmn would be appropriate)  Remember what folder you saved it in.
  7. Run irfanview (a free download from
  8. Open the picture.  Reduce the size  I usually use 680 x 480
  9. Save the picture as a jpg file  (I use 50% quality)   These steps reduce the file size.
  10. Email the picture to  make the subject line  Screen Shot (that way it goes into a special folder)

Please don’t send me a .bmp file  I don’t want to tie up my computer reading a large file if I should happen to                                 check my email while at work.

My plan is to leave the screen shots on the web-site about a month, with new ones being added to the top of the page.


Web Site Statistics for October


3,927 Visitors  2,048 came in through the front door (at least that how many times “In the Mood” was played.)

The hot spots for visitors were the Hangar 997 hits,  Capt. Rays NK2K scenery download 480 hits.   The Catalina Jaunt had 588 hits.   A “hit” and a “visitor” are not the same thing.  Each visitor can generate many hits.  A hit is a page or image being loaded.  In October we had 70,554 hits.  I prefer to use the visitor count as it is more meaningful.  For two months in a row we are averaging 126 visitors a day!


Last month I discussed where our visitors live, this month I’d like to give credit to those who helped them find us. is always at the top of the list,  It is currently the best search engine.  (this can change, but they seem dedicated to staying #1)  This is turning into an upaid ad, but heres what I especially like.

  1. They cache the sites they visit.  So if you click on a link that has vanished and get an error, you can go back to google and click on the cache link and see the page as it appeared before it vanished.  This one feature is responsible for the C.A.M. air mail route page.   The site that I received permission to copy that page went off-line before I could get it, but google had it cached!
  2. They have a news link where you can see the latest top stories from many different sources.
  3. For sites in another language they often have a “translate” link.


The Golden Eagles Scenery page 245 hits (These are directed at the NK2K scenery download)  We also got some hits from the Golden Eagles Forum (links place in messages)


Tom Gibson’s California Classics 72 hits

Tony Smith’s MSFS Gateway  53 hits to the Berlin Airlift site and 25 hits to the main site.   32 hits.


Thanks to those who link to us.  We have reciprocated and hope we generate some traffic for you.




Check out the Master Roster for a list of all of our pilots and the hours they have flown.  The total for Bluegrass Airlines pilots in October was 566.37 hours.


Don’t forget to visit the Bluegrass Pilots Forum



Lastly, Tom Steadman accused me of “leading by example”.   What I did was to fly a flight in every division of Bluegrass this month.  We all have our favorite flights, but I would encourage all of you to branch out and try a flight in the different divisions.  Aside from opening up your flightsimming world to new experiences, it will be an encouragement to the creators of the flights to see that someone is using them.



Take care,


Capt’n  Bill


Links to back issues  October News     September News      August News