JHB Operations Manual
24 June 2010
May I offer you a warm welcome to JHB Airlines
Why the name?
Well, it's a long story. Although we are now based in the UK, JHB started life back in 1995 as the Johannesburg Hub of Noble Air. In 1998 the hub became a separate VA under the name of Johannesburg Airlines and focussed on flights around the African continent. By 2001 it became obvious that the majority of pilots flying for the airline were based in the UK and the decision was taken to relocate to new bases at Liverpool and Ronaldsway. The JHB name was retained for nostalgia.
In May 2007 it was decided to change the format of JHB and move towards an online operation. In this respect we are aiming at pilots familiar with FS and who have reasonable flying skills but have yet to venture into the online world with active ATC and live traffic. JHB is aiming at pilots who wish to learn the skills to fly in this environment.
How JHB Airlines operates
The airline is primarily an online VA with pilots regularly flying on the IVAO multiplayer server - IVAO is ideal for newcomers to the online world as it is not too busy and has a very informal atmosphere. Our aim is to show pilots who are accustomed to flying on their own how to operate in an interactive world and where the default FS ATC and AI system being replaced with live aircraft flown by other pilots - and ATC being provided by online controllers.
This new world can be intimidating for new pilots at first but we expect this and provide the help and guidance a pilot needs to learn the real life procedures for flight in the UK. The training is informal and is tailored to the skills of each pilot - but we assume that most users have already developed the basic aircraft handling skills and we concentrate more on radio and navigational matters. Pilots should eventually reach a level at which they can fly IFR or VFR in the UK using procedures that are very close to real world flight procedures.
Hardware and software
For online flying there is only one additional item you require to communicate with other pilots and ATC - a headset with a mike boom. These are readily available these days and not very expensive. Once plugged into your soundcard they should allow you to transmit and receive voice with other users on the network.
The IVAO pilot software (called IVAp) can be found at http://www.ivao.aero/softdev/. Pilots should also download the TeamSpeak voice software - found in the Voice Client Menu. Once IVAp is installed the window becomes part of your FS display but can be hidden if not needed. The voice software operates independently and sits on your taskbar. It only takes a second to set up with your headset and you are in action.
Pilot promotions are based on hours flown. The current ranks and hours required are:
Global Rating -
Pilots who complete a round world flight will be awarded a G suffix to their Pilot ID and a gold star on their rank. The circumnavigation can be of any chosen route but total flight distance must exceed 20,000nm.
Although there are a number of JHB aircraft repaints available here you may use any aircraft that you have in your collection for your flights. A vast number of aircraft are available from the larger FS Internet sites (AVSIM or Flightsim.com) for all major FS products. The following points on should be noted:
Scenery for JHB Routes
No additional scenery is essential for JHB flights but users can download many of the enhanced scenery files from the usual FS download sites. Many UK pilots use the superb photographic scenery for VFR flights when flying within England and Wales and airports from UK2000, Horizon or the FSX freeware collection from Tony Meredith.
For pilots who do not have access to real world en route charts I would suggest that a flight planning program would be well worth obtaining. There are many of these now available on the Internet.
FS has its own built in planner but there are some products that are well worth looking at which do the job better.
FSNavigator is a planner for FS2004. FSNav collects its data from your BGL (scenery) files and so its database become unique to your scenery collection. You can use the FSNav map display function to plan your route from a few simple mouse clicks. FSNav can then interact with the autopilot of FS and automatically fly the planned route you have just created (not just directionally either - it also sets and flies the vertical profile too). In a sense FSNav is a GPS type of navigation system - it operates quite independently of the navaids in your scenery.
A similar product is FSCommander which, currently, is the only program suitable for FSX.
Currently under testing is a new flight planner for VFR operations only for use with FSX. Details can be found at Plan-G.
Flight assignments are no longer issued but pilots are welcome to start off with the flight packs listed on the Flight Pack page. Online flying is variable and the controller coverage usually determines the routes that pilots which to choose. This tends to conflict with fixed assignments and so the latter were dropped.
Reports and Messages
All flight reports should be sent to the Base Captain using the IVAO PIREP system. If this is down an email report should be submitted in the following format;
EGNS EGKK 1020 1155 01:35 Nice flight in SAAB340
is not too strict on flight reports except for flight time - this must
be shown in the format hh:mm - i.e. it MUST
include a : (colon) marker between hours and minutes. If this is not done
the flight time will not be detected by our compilation program.
Recording your Flight Times
Flight times should be recorded as in real life from the time you start taxying until you come to a halt at your destination (Brakes off to brakes on).
Do not rely on the clock in FS to record your flight times as it is extremely unreliable. It will adjust for time zones and (on long flights) will occasionally go completely wrong by jumping several zones at once. For later version of FS stick to GMT (UTC) time.
Please keep your own records of your flight times. Hard drive crashes are not uncommon and some HC's have had the misfortune to lose all their valuable pilot records.
John Woodside - Base Captain, JHB Airlines