Kickstarting Invitations and Group Flights
How to use VirtualFlight.Online to find friends to fly with.
As you may find yourself at a loose end this holiday season, I thought it might be a good moment to encourage some community spirit. As 2022 becomes 2023, what better time to reach out, make new friends, learn from each other, share knowledge, commiserate, laugh, and take advantage of the wonderful community that has coalesced around both the organised events, and the airline.
What better time to go flying together ?
This newsletter explains:
How to prepare for multi-player flight
How to invite each other to go flying
How to plan group events
We’ll look forward to seeing you online soon!
Preparing for multi-player flight
Flight Simulator has wonderful multi-player capabilities built-in - but not many people actively use them. Here’s a quick run-down of what you need to do in order to see each other within the simulator:
In the simulator settings, under general / data, make sure multiplayer data is switched on.
When setting up your flight in the world-map screen, visit “Flight Conditions” at the top right, and make sure Multiplayer at the top left is set to “All Players”.
Click on your name at the top right of the screen, and choose an appropriate server (for events we tend to use South East Asia purely because it’s quiet).
If you want to see labels on multi-player aircraft within the simulator, go to the settings screen within the simulator (press ESC), then general / traffic and switch on traffic nameplates.
Inviting others to fly with you
Our Discord server now has nearly 1,500 members. People from all walks of life, spread throughout every corner of the world. It stands to reason that when you sit down at your computer - wondering where your Flight Simulator might take you today - somebody somewhere will also be doing exactly the same thing.
To find each other, do the following:
Post a message to the #invitations channel in Discord
Include where you will be flying, what server you’ll be using, and how long you’ll be online for. Make sure you start your invitation with the word @everyone - it will alert everybody of your invite.
Hang out in the #chat voice channel
Busy yourself with preparing your simulator and aircraft while waiting for others to arrive. Give people plenty of time, or perhaps suggest they join you from a nearby airfield en-route if they appear mid-flight.
In order to arrange events for the community, you need to be a member of the Discord server. You can create events of any duration, anywhere in the world, at any start time - it's totally up to you.
The basic steps required to arrange an event are as follows:
Create the Event in Discord
Click the "Events" link at the top of the left margin in Discord - this will show you a list of upcoming events (if there are any), and a button to create a new event - click it. Important note - you will need multi factor authentication configured on your Discord account to create events.
The "Create Event" form takes you through a number of questions:
Where is your event? - choose "Voice Channel", then choose the "events" voice channel from the drop-down that appears.
What's your event about? - give your event a title, a date and time (local to you), a description, and a cover image. Notice that you can only have 1000 characters in the description - so see the section below about also creating a discussion in the #events forum. You can find nice cover images at pexels.com.
Create Event - finally, the form previews your event - click the "Create Event" button if you're happy with it. Note - if you do not have two-factor authentication configured on your Discord account, creating the event will fail.
Create a Thread in the #events Channel
When you created the event (above), you were only allowed 1000 characters to describe your event - you probably wanted a lot more, and might like to also upload images, or flight-plan files.To do so, create a thread in the events channel:
Create a topic in the Events channel - click on the "events" channel in the left margin of Discord, and start a new discussion. The new discussion needs a title and a first message - title it the same as your event, and fill in the first message with the full written details about your flight. Example event text is given below - feel free to copy and amend in Notepad before copying and pasting into your discussion as the first message.
Upload Files (optional) - within the new thread, add as many extra files as you wish - this could be images, flight plan files, or whatever else is useful to your event.
Market Your Event
Just because the event is there doesn't mean people will necessarily see it. Feel free to tell others both here and elsewhere about the flight.
Host Your Event
In good time before the start-time of your event, go and hang out in the voice chat channel you specified in the event notes, and welcome people as they arrive - from here on in, you're the host - it's your show.
Please keep the "family friendly" rule foremost in your mind throughout your event.
Example Text for an Event
Example title for an event:
Exploring the Los Navados Moutains
Example discussion title for an event:
2022-08-28 1900Z Exploring the Los Navados Moutains
Example text for an event:
On Sunday 28th August 2022 at 1900 UTC, we will host a group flight exploring the Los Nevados mountains in Colombia - departing from Satiago Vila, and finishing at El Eden. **When** Sunday 28th August 2022, 1900 UTC / 2000 BST **Flight Plan** There is no flightplan to download - just the notes below. Feel free to use navigation solutions at your disposal to make a plan, follow the notes, or follow the pack! - SKGI Santiago Vila - departure - SKIB Perales - touch and go - SKGK Pajonales Airport - touch and go - SKQU Mariquita - full stop - 5 minute break - SKMZ La Nubia - touch and go - SKPE Matecana - touch and go - SKGO Santa Ana - touch and go - SKAR El Eden - destination Approx. 169nm **Suggested Aircraft** Any aircraft capable of 120 knots or more in cruise to complete the flight in a timely manner (we try to keep flights under 2 hours). **Voice Communications** To talk to fellow pilots during the flight, visit the VirtualFlight.Online discord server: https://bit.ly/virtualflightonlinediscordserver If you've never used Discord before, find out more here: https://codex.virtualflight.online/community/discord **Multiplayer Network** If you want to see other aircraft within Microsoft Flight Simulator, make sure the following are configured: 1. You must have Multiplayer data switched on 2. You must select "All Players" in flight conditions 3. Choose the "SOUTH EAST ASIA" mutiplayer server If you would like to see other aircraft within LittleNavMap while en-route, check out the Transmitter app - available for free from: https://virtualflight.online/transmitter **Rules / Guidelines** - If joining the Discord server for voice communications during the flight, conversation must remain family friendly, respectful, and not stray into any subjects that might offend such as adult jokes, politics, religion, racism, or hate-speech. - Try to stay with the group! If the group is becoming stretched, loop back and join the rear of the group. - Try to stay online until everybody has landed at the final airfield.