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Update For Members - The Latest from Fly UK

UKV1121 - Chris Sutcliffe

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Dear Members,


Summertime is traditionally a busy time here at Fly UK and this year is no different! The staff team have once again been busy improving various aspects of the virtual airline, in answer to the feedback that we receive from you, our members. Due to unforeseen circumstances there is no Skyways for August, but we have done this update with a summary of the latest news and goings on at Fly UK!


- Training Academy Group Flight Events


Our Training Academy have the following group flights planned over the next five weeks:


Saturday 29th August - 06.00z - Rome (LIRF) to Athens (LGAV)

Saturday 5th September - 06.00z - Shanghai (ZSPD) to Kaitak (VHHX)

Saturday 12th September - 06.00z - Thessaloniki (LGTS) to Ljubljana (LJLJ)

Saturday 19th September - 06.00z - Umea (ESNU) to Copenhagen (EKCH)

Saturday 26th September - 06.00z - Valencia (LEVC) to Porto (LPPR)


- Other September Events


Sunday 6th September 09 - 13.00z - Fly UK FSD Server - Flying Club VFR Event - Treasure Hunt

Thursday 10th September - 18.00z - VATSIM - Manchester to Alicante

Tuesday 15th Spetember - 18.00z - IVAO - London Gatwick to Corfu


- Flying Club VFR Event - Treasure Hunt - Sunday 6th September 09 - 13.00z - Fly UK FSD Server


This VFR event has been put together by UKV1130 - George Shepherd. The aim of the event is to find scenery items that George has placed around central Scotland. You will need to fly a small single engine prop aircraft (for example Cessna 172). George will issue all members attending the event with a PDF containing directions and clues to help you find the scenery items. The event will start and finish at Cumbernauld.


The event is open to all Fly UK pilots using FS2004. No matter if you are completely new to VFR flying, or have little experience we urge all members to come online and try some VFR flying with us.


Please remember to confirm your attendance if you are planning on attending the event.




- Social Evening & Open Meeting - Sunday 30th August - 18.00z - Fly UK Teamspeak


The Fly UK Social Evening is an opportunity for staff to have their usual Sunday meeting, with members being able to listen in to the meeting. Once the meeting is complete, members will then have the chance to provide the staff team with ideas that they would like for Fly UK. The evening will then finish with a Group Flight on the Fly UK FSD Sever.




- Staff Team Changes


There have been a number of changes to the Fly UK staff team. Firstly, Chris Miley has been appointed as Vice CEO. Chris Marshall and Mark Shere-Massey have joined the team as Operations managers, with Wygene Chong joining the team as VATSIM online operations manager. Ross Queripel has joined the team as a Training Academy instructor. Lee Appleby now holds an advisory role rather than a full time staff position. Dave Whitson and Adam Hillier have returned to Fly UK as advisors. Tim Chambers has also returned to Fly UK and is responsible for Marketing.


Chris Jones and Ben Dobson have been temporarily removed from the staff team and placed on leave as they are busy with real world commitments. Phil Jones has also decided to leave the team due to real world commitments.


We are currently recruiting for a new Marketing manager and Fleet Repainters. Closing date for these positions is midnight on Saturday 29th August so we should be welcoming some more staff to the team soon after this date.


- Social Networking - Facebook, Twitter, Bebo & MySpace


Poke us, be our friends, follow us. We are pleased to announce that if you are a user of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or Bebo, you are now able to follow Fly UK straight from your profile; keeping you up to date with the latest news and developments from Fly UK!




- New TeamSpeak Information Page


We received a lot of feedback from members complaining that it was hard to find information regarding the Fly UK TeamSpeak server. We have created a new TeamSpeak information page which can be found under the resources menu of our website. We have also added a TeamSpeak logo in the 'Talk To Us' box on the website sidebar which links to the new page which gives information on what Teamspeak actually is, our server details, how to connect, a step by step PDF guide, and the acceptable use policy. Thanks to UKV1273 - Chris Spencer, the page even shows you who is currently connected to the TeamSpeak server and what room they are in! If you have TeamSpeak installed and are logged in to the Fly UK website as a member, you can automatically connect to the server by clicking the room you would like to join.




- vRAF Partnership


We are pleased to announce that following detailed talks with Virtual Royal Air Force, we have signed a one year contract with them which involves Fly UK supporting vRAF Operations by transporting various equipment and supplies around the world. The ad-hoc flights will be conducted in the Fly UK Boeing 747-400F, as this aircraft will allow Fly UK to carry a range of supplies and equipment that is requested by vRAF. As soon as we receive details of flights from vRAF, details will be posted on our website and forums. Fly UK members will be invited to come forward and apply to fly the flights.




- Traffic for IVAO UK Training Sessions


Our online flying partner IVAO UK would really appreciate the support of Fly UK members during their controller training sessions. We encourage all Fly UK members to fly to/from airports where training sessions are taking place to help increase traffic. Details of when and where controller training sessions take place can be found on the forums (http://world.forum.ivao.aero/index.php/board,606.0.html) and the IVAO UK website (http://www.ivao.co.uk).


- World Flight 2009


Fly UK are pleased to announce that we will be once again supporting the fund raising efforts of the World Flight Scotland, A300 sim team during this years World Flight which is due to take place from 1st - 8th November 2009.


The Fly UK staff team have already started to think about what we can do to raise money for this years event. Last year we successfully re-released our ORBIS logo jets, we want to try and think of something different this year. Please let us know if you have any ideas!


Fly UK members have been invited to become part of the team flying the A300 sim during World Flight 2009. If you are available between 1st - 8th Novemeber 2009 and fancy taking the controls of the A300 sim and flying some of the legs during this years world flight then please email Steve Masson with details of when you will be available. The A300 sim is located in Glasgow, Scotland. All we ask is that all pilots raise funds by means of sponsorship for our supported charity ORBIS. Ian Arbuckle and Scott Aitken visted the sim last year and flew some of the legs, this year it could be you!




- Real World Events - Manchester & Sherburn


In August, Fly UK arranged two real world events; an opportunity for Fly UK members from all over the country to meet up and put a face to a Pilot ID, or a face to a voice heard on TeamSpeak. The first event took place at the Astra Sim Expo Annual FS Show, at Sherburn Aeroclub in Yorkshire. Fly UK had a stand at the event, which was manned by Chris Miley, Ken Hall and Henry Hill. The event was attended by a large number of flight simulator enthusiasts, which included a number of other Fly UK members. The day was well received by all and we look forward to attending future events at Sherburn in the near future.


The second real world event for Fly UK this August, was at the Manchester Airport Hotel, next to runway 23R. The event is traditionally attended by a large number of Fly UK members and this year was no different! We met up at the Airport Hotel during the day watching the various aircraft departing and landing, whilst enjoying a drink with friends. The event then continued into the night, where a number of members stayed in Manchester and visited the various bars and clubs in the city centre. The night was a night to remember for all, as was the event, and is definitely going to be organised once again in the future, so keep peeled for further updates!


You can view the photo's taken during the Manchester Meet-Up in the following topic: http://www.flyuk.aero/en/forums/index.php?showtopic=7279


- Real World Event - B747 Sim Coventry - Saturday 24th October


Fly UK have organised another Real World Event, this time at the Boeing 747 Simulator in Coventry. The date of the event is Saturday 24th October, starting at 11am.


The simulator is "purpose built and models the Boeing 747-400 (Jumbo Jet) in superb detail and along with very realistic visual and sound systems provides our customers with a fully immersive “Virtual Flight” Experience".


For full details of the event, please check out the Press Release for the event here: http://www.flyuk.aero/en/forums/index.php?showtopic=7580


If you would be interested in visiting the sim, please let us know by replying to the forum topic here: http://www.flyuk.aero/en/forums/index.php?showtopic=7579


- Real World Event - Flight1 Open Day - Saturday 3rd October


We are pleased to announce that we will be having a meet up at the Flight1 event at Shoreham Aerodrome, on Saturday 3rd October. Entry is by advanced ticket only, but is free of charge and will definitely be a fantastic day out!


Flight1 have stated "This new event will bring together 'real' and 'virtual' pilots to learn from each other... regardless of experience.


For full details of the event, please visit the Flight1 Open Day website: http://www.flight1.com/openday/


If you plan to attend this event, please reply in the following forum topic and we can sort out a meet-up.




- Review of Fly UK - Plans & Ideas


Over the summer we have been reviewing each part of the virtual airline. We have tried to summarise our current 'to do' list below so you have an idea of what we are up to and what new features you can expect to see at Fly UK over the next few months.


There was talk of us building a new Fly UK website over the summer. Just to clarify this, we have now decided that we will not be building a brand new website yet, for now we are going to develop our current website. Our long term plan is to build a new Fly UK website using the content management system (CMS) currently being developed by Logical Design, the web design and development business run by Chris S, Tom T and Lee A.


- New Operations


Our operations team have just completed the scheduling for our new operations. There will be an annoucement in the next few days which will include full details of the new Fly UK Operations.


- FSAcars to Export Flights


We have been talking about introducing software to export flights at Fly UK for a long time now. We are pleased to announce it is finally happening. We have decided to use FSAcars. We currently have the system exporting flights to our database, so development is progressing well and we are now entering the testing phase. Once the staff team have tested the system, we will be inviting some members to come forward and test it. Once we are confident everything is ready to go we will introduce the software to all members. The long term plan is for FSAcars to replace the website pirep system. In the future we also hope to develop our own custom software client to replace FSAcars. We are aiming to introduce FSAcars to members in early September.


- New Airport Ops Info Pages


We currently have ops info PDF's for each of our bases. You told us that you find the information in these documents very useful, but you don't like having to load the PDF's each time you need them, you find them hard to find and it would be good if we had them for more airports. So, we are going to move the ops info pages to be on the website rather than in PDF format. You will still be able to print them. We are going to add a more prominent link under the Operations menu and we are going to have an ops info page for every airport we operate to, rather than just our bases. We plan to have the new ops info pages online in early September.


- New Realistic Manifests


Chris Sutcliffe and Chris Miley are currently working on improving the Fly UK flight manifests. The aim of improving the manifests will be to make them more realistic and resemble those of a real flight manifest. The manifests are planned to include detailed flight information, detailed weather information and even ground handling agency information! More updates regarding the new manifests will be released soon.


- New Training Resource Centre


When we asked some members what you thought of the website, one of the major things you told us that you did not like were the drop down menus, mainly on the downloads and resources centre. So, we have decided to scrap drop down boxes all together! We are introducing a new TA resource centre which will follow a similar layout to the pilot handbook. All our training resources will be located in one place, you will no longer have to bother with drop down boxes or waiting for PDF's to load and open. All our training resources are being re written and updated. Most content in the new TA resource centre will be written by Adam Hillier (currently training for his ATPL) and Tim Chambers (currently a trainee ATC with NATS). The new TA resource centre should be online during the first week of September.


- Fleet Update


There has not been much fleet development over the last few months. We are very sorry for this. The reason is because our fleet repainters are on leave. We are doing our best to recruit new fleet repainters. We have a repaint to do list with everything on that you have been requesting. Top of the list are repaints for default FSX aircraft. We know that more and more people are making the switch to FSX and finding the converted FS2004 models have problems and more significantly, they don't have virtual cockpits. We know its frustrating and can assure you that FSX repaints are our number one priority in the fleet department. We have had a few applications for the currently advertised fleet repainter position, so hopefully, fingers crossed we will some new repaints very soon.


- Other Projects


Other projects on our to do list include an updated homepage, Fly UK texture pack for Aerosoft ARS, a new IVAO/VATSIM flight tracker, updated info on history/milestones page, new careers tour, new corporate video, new entry quiz, route maps, improved flight searches, tool to auto book flights based on user preferences (assigned flights system), improved crew page and improved flight manifests.


- Your Opinion Matters To Us


Fly UK is growing in members all the time. We started off a very small virtual airline quite some time ago now, April 2004. Each and every member is important to us. We do care what you think, everything the staff team do is for you, our members. We want to hear what you think, we want to hear your ideas. Please do not think that because we are a fairly large virtual airline, we won't listen to you. Even though we try, we can't please everyone, we can't fly from everyone's local airport or fly everyone's favourite aircraft, but we will always listen to you and take your comments onboard and ideas into consideration.


You can find out more about every member of the staff team on the 'Our People' page under the 'Corporate' menu. You can email us, send us a website message or add us to your MSN/Windows Live Messenger/Skype contact list. You can regularly find staff on the TeamSpeak server.


Happy Flying!




Chris Sutcliffe - CEO



Chris Miley - Vice CEO


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