Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of the most commonly asked questions about Atlas Virtual Airlines. 

 

Question: What is a Virtual Airline?
Answer: A Virtual Airline (VA) is an airline that exists solely in cyberspace, and therefore doesn't sell real airline tickets. Instead it gives purpose and added realism to activities held in a flight simulator. Pilots who fly for a VA do so between certain set airports, with one of the airplanes that are part of the VA's fleet, and at certain scheduled times – just like in a real world airline.  A VA is also a meeting place of virtual aviation enthusiasts, and provides flight training to its pilots.

 

Question: Which simulators and multiplayer networks are supported by Atlas Virtual Airlines?
Answer:  AVA is one of the very few virtual airlines that actively supports all three major flight simulators:  Microsoft  FSX, X-plane and Flightgear. 

You can fly on the flightgear multiplayer servers, on VATSIM or on IVAO as long as you submit evidence of your flight by means of an ACARS system or a tracker URL.

 

Question: Which airplanes can I use to fly with AVA?
Answer: On the fleet page you find a list of all the "approved equipment", and in the forum you find a list with links where to download the aircraft.

For scheduled flights you must use the aircraft listed in the schedule, or one of its substitutes. 

If you want to fly a certain route but with a different aircraft, you may file a charter.

We currently do not restrict airplanes to rank.

 

Question: Which airports can I  fly to/from with AVA?
Answer: You can fly between any of the airports on our destination list (see here) but we don't allow flights to or from airports that are not on this list. If your favourite airport is not there, please contact us - we are always open for suggestions!

 

Question: Which networks can I fly on?
Answer: You can fly on VATSIM, on IVAO or on the Flightgear multiplayer network, depending on your simulator.

For Flightgear, you can use the Flightgear multiplayer network and its associated tracker. For a more real-life experience you can download and install Squawkgear, which will connect flightgear to VATSIM. I'm not aware of a possibility to use Flightgear on IVAO.

For X-plane and Microsoft Flight simulator, you can use either VATSIM or IVAO. It's not possible to use X-plane or MSFS on the flightgear network.

At AVA we don't care which of the above combinations you use, as long as you provide a tracker link to prove you actually did the flight OR you use an acars client.

 

Question: What if I don't want to fly on any multiplayer networks?
Answer: If you want to fly "offline" you should use an ACARS client to prove your flight. 

For MSFS you can choose between Xacars, FSacars, FS flightkeeper and kACARS You can find setup guides for Xacars and kACARS on our forum
For x-plane you can also use Xacars
For Flightgear we currently don't support any acars systems.

 

Question: What if I can't (or don't want to) install an ACARS client?
Answer: In this case you have to file your pilot reports manually, and you need to provide a tracker URL for VATSIM, IVAO or Flightgear MP, so we can verify your flight.

Question: Is there a minimum amount of hours that I have to fly?
Answer: No, you may fly as often as you want.
HOWEVER: we expect pilots to file an authentic pilot report within 10 days of signing up. If you sign up and don't fly within 10 days, we reserve the right to remove your account.

 

Question: What is the policy regarding scheduled flights and delays?
Answer: Pilots who fly our scheduled flights on time will be rewarded with an extra 25% pilot pay when they adhere to the following rules.

- The maximum delay for arrival is 30 minutes on flights with a scheduled duration of up to 4 hours, and 1 hour on longer flights. If you arrive too late we will accept the pirep, but you will receive no bonus.

- Your departure may not take place after the scheduled arrival time. Hence, you can start a 4-hour flight even 3:55 hours late, but no bonus will be given. If you cannot find a suitable scheduled flight, we suggest you fly a charter.

Keep in mind that all times are UTC! Atlas management will compare times in your tracker URL with the scheduled time. Time-zone confusion is no excuse for flying late.

 

Question: What exactly means departure time: the time I depart from gate or the time of take-off?
Answer: The time of departure is the time your block-time starts. Block-time in real life is when the blocks around the landing gears are removed so the aircraft can begin taxi/pushback. In a simulator, block-time begins when pushing back. 

Question: What if I can't find a suitable flight in the schedule?
Answer: You always have the option to fly a charter flight. Head to the charter warehouse and choose your aircraft, cargo and destination. For more info click here

Question: OK, I signed up, now how do I fly for Euopean Virtual Airlines?
Answer: For more details on how to set up your simulator and file pilot reports, see the How to fly with AVA page, and the community forums.

Question: Can I start my scheduled flight early?
Answer: You can start 15 minutes before the scheduled flight time. Just like real pilots, you only get paid for "block time", meaning the time between pushback and arrival at the gate. Preparation time is on your own account, although you may use the 15 minutes for that. 

Question: I can't remember how much fuel I used. How do I file a pirep?
Answer: We understand that sometimes people forget things, so if you forgot then simply file the pirep with the amount of fuel specified in the pilot briefing.  Before your next take-off, write down the amount of fuel you started with.  The best thing to do, unless you are a flightgear user, is to install an Acars client. It takes all the hassle out of filing a pirep.

Question: I have bid on a flight, but I have changed my mind, or external circumstances prevent me from flying it. What do I do?
Answer: Go to your pilot center, click on bids, and then click on cancel bid.  

Question: is it mandatory to use real airport charts when flying for AVA?
Answer: On the flightgear multiplayer network it certainly isn't, although it adds realism to your flying experience. On Vatsim and IVAO you probably need them when you arrive or depart under ATC guidance – some ATCs are very strict.

Question: What if the Flightgear multiplayer environment is offline?
Answer: It happens sometimes that the FlightGear multiplayer servers are not tracked. In that case, please write "tracker offline" in the comment. We do encourage pilots to double-check whether tracker is online and, if not, to switch to VATSIM where possible.

Question: I just completed an AVA flight, but the AVA website is down and I can't file a pirep. What do I do?
Answer: You can always file it later. Just write down the fuel consumption, time taken, and the airports you flew from/to.  When the site is back online you can file the pirep(s).

Question: What if my flight simulator or computer crashes?
Answer: if you can resume the flight within reasonable time (ca 15minutes) and within reasonable distance of your last known position, there is no problem: just post all relevant tracker URL's on your pirep. If your actual airplane crashes due to lack of fuel, flying into obstacles, pilot error etc, we will reject the pirep. 

Question: do you allow simulator time speed-up?
Answer: No, because it is not realistic. If you have one hour to fly, then pick a one-hour flight, don't try to make it across the atlantic.

Question: do you allow simulator pause?
Answer: Within reasonable limits (ie a few minutes) you may pause your simulator when using an ACARS system.

Please note, that when flying on VATSIM or IVAO, the management of these networks strictly prohibit pausing your simulator!

Question: If I signed up under one hub, can I fly flights to/from another hub?
Answer: Yes. The hub you signed up for should be considered your primary operating hub, however, you are allowed to fly flights starting or ending at either hub. If you find yourself flying more flights from the other hub, please contact us  so you can be switched to that hub.

Question: How long before a flight can I bid on it?
Answer: You can only bid on flights that can be flown at the current time. The add bid link becomes active 15 minutes before block time and expires 15 minutes before end of block time. When you bid a flight we expect you to start flying within 2 hours.

Question: The hours shown on the pilot's page use decimal numbers, but they don't add up correctly to my total flight time. What does this mean?
Answer: The hours shown on the Pilots page (everyone's total hours) are shown in decimal form, but are not actually decimal numbers. For example, if a pilot's total hours show 38.5, he/she has not flown 38 hours and 30 minutes, but has actually flown 38 hours and 50 minutes. The number after the decimal is the number of minutes, not a fraction of an hour. This is due to the way the software represents the time format.

Question: What Rank can I achieve?
Answer: Our ranking system is based on a real life commercial pilots system; the more hours you fly, the greater the possibility of promotion. For every rank there are certain challenges to overcome, please see the "career" page for more information

Question: What are the examinations for?
Answer: AVA has been conceived on the desire to produce a semi-realistic environment for those simulator pilots who wish to enhance their experience. Examinations can be purchased with your pilot pay. When you pass an exam you get an award, which counts towards your career progress. See the EXAM Center for more details when you have an account.

HINT: When being challenged by the exams, search engines can be very friendly and helpful. Our exams are "open-book," we don't expect you'll know the answers without some help. 

What is the difference between a reward and award?
An award is a one-time bonus for doing something special or difficult. We have awards for landing at difficult airports, passing an exam, flying on vatsim, uploading images to the picture gallery or contributing something to the airline. You can get an award just once: eg the award for being the first to fly a schedule will be awarded just one time, even if you are the first one to fly another schedule. But don't worry, we have dozens of awards and some are real easy to get!

A reward is an amount of points you get after every flight, depending on how well you did. For example you get rewards for filing a valid pirep, for a soft landing and other things. You get these points for every landing, contrary to an award which you get just once. 

What is a "landing rate" ?
This is the vertical speed of your aircraft as it impacts the ground. Hang on... touches down on the runway, we hope :)

The landing rate is an important indicator on how well you landed, and will earn you reward points if you do well enough. 
- For landings better than -400fpm you get 1 point for every feet. So, a landing rate of -200 will get you 200 points. Capiche?
- Landings between -400fpm and -600fpm are considered average and yield no points. 
- When you land at more than -600fpm a landing gear inspection is needed, and you are rewarded negative points! Anything less than -1000fpm is considered a crash with considerable damage to the plane. A landing at -1000fpm will have 400 points taken off your account.

To record a landing rate, you need to be connected to our system with an appropriate ACARS client.

Question: How can I make suggestions or submit comments regarding Atlas Virtual Airlines?
Answer: The forum is the best place to discuss anything you feel could enhance your experience. If not, you can always fill in the contact form.

 

 

We look forward to having you as a part of the Atlas Virtual Airlines Team! If you have any questions not covered here, please feel free to post them in the forum or use the contact link on the website.


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