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Operations Manual

Revision 6.2 wef April 11, 2020
SVAG9499 Nicholas Ng

Introduction
Before Applying
Basic Pilot Requirements
Minimum Equipment List
Additional Resources
Ops Center
Aircraft
Cost Indexes
Training Flights
Pilot Ranks
Infractions
Diversions
Flying Online
Rewards
Annex A – Operational Guidelines

Introduction

The Singapore Virtual Airlines Group was established to bring together flight simulation aviation enthusiasts who are passionate about commercial aviation, Singapore Airlines and its operations. Since our inception in 2007 we have grown to cover the entire real-world network served by the Singapore Airlines Group. We place a strong emphasis on realism and community with the goal of making flight simulation even more fun and meaningful for virtual pilots worldwide.

We are pleased to welcome you into our family, where everyone can enjoy and learn all about flying. We believe you want a greater purpose to your flight simulation pursuits and we are here to give you just that – a rich, fulfilling and realistic environment and making new friends along the way.

Welcome aboard and have a pleasant flight.

As our community grows, so have our channels of communication. We offer the following resources to interact with staff and other members of the Group;
The Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/singaporevirtualairlines
Discord lobbies: http://discordapp.com/invite/aZ4TaSj
Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/singaporevirtual
Telegram: https://t.me/joinchat/CTHhBVXwlH4jPhNjNm-DOA
NOTAMs: https://t.me/joinchat/AAAAAFYytGFpbxzxO-de8Q
Lounge: http://lounge.singaporevirtualairlines.org

The website http://singaporevirtualairlines.org and Lounge should be your first destination for administrative affairs. There you can find the latest news, staff contact information, flight information, pilot resources, downloads, leave application, bonus application and other event participation. Should you have any questions, you’re encouraged to seek advice through any of these channels and we will be more than glad to help you. For all other communication, Telegram and Discord are the fastest ways of reaching the staff and SVAG community. Is is also through these channels you will get the fastest response.

Before Applying

To begin your virtual flying career with us, there are 3 steps; read this document in its entirety as it contains important and useful information, take the Admission Test and submit your application from the website. The following are conditions that may disqualify an application:

1. Applying multiple times
2. No accompanying Admission Test result
3. Mismatching email addresses
4. Hasty and/or haphazard entries in submission
5. Incoherent content in self-introduction

We allow pilots from other virtual airlines to continue their virtual careers with us. Our carry-over policies are as follows:

1. Pilots from other non-SIA Group virtual airlines may carry over the equivalent of their current hours up to 200 Hours
2. Pilots from other SIA Group virtual airlines may carry over the equivalent of their current hours up to 300 Hours

SIA Group includes the following carriers:

a) Singapore Airlines, including its cargo division
b) Scoot
c) NokScoot
d) Tigerair Australia
e) SilkAir
f) Vistara
g) Virgin Australia

Carry-over is only valid for new pilots and is subject to verification. Hours information must be publicly available from the previous virtual airline.
VATSIM hours are not eligible for transfer.

Basic Pilot Requirements

As a pilot your primary obligation is of course to fly. However, we recognize this is a hobby and real world commitments sometimes prevent us from doing so. If such a situation arises, simply inform us either through the forums or direct messaging. You will be granted Leave of Absence until your return. New pilots cannot apply for Leave of Absence before they complete their training sorties, which must be within one calendar month of their admission to the Group.

Pilots who intend to take a break from flying for longer than one month can apply for LOA here. Due to abuse and extensive inactivity by some pilots, maximum LOA duration is now capped at 6 months. Extensions will be processed on a case-by-case basis. Pilots who have not applied for LOA will automatically be set to ‘inactive’ after 30 days of inactivity. Your account can only be re-activated by HR. You can request for reactivation here as well.

All pilots should strive to fly as professionally as possible. As we are in the business of flight simulation, we like to take our operations seriously. All effort should be taken to ensure that flights are carried out in a realistic, safe and cost-efficient manner. Just like you wouldn’t crash a real plane, please don’t crash ours.

Minimum Equipment List

Before you can begin flying, you will need the following:

1. Microsoft Flight Simulator, Lockheed Martin Prepar3D or Laminar Research X-Plane
2. Variable axis input device such as controller, joystick, or yoke and rudder pedals
3. FSUIPC interface app for MSFS & P3D, XPUIPC for X-Plane
4. SVAG-specific SmartCARS pilot client
https://tfdidesign.com/smartcars/app.php?action=download&airlineid=1041&language=en-US

Please make sure you obtain the FSUIPC version appropriate for your version of MSFS.
P3D users may need to run the SimConnect installer at %P3Droot%\redist\Interface\FSX-SP2-XPACK\retail\lib\

Additional Resources

Flight simulation can be an intensive endeavor especially if you wish to attain higher levels of realism and fidelity. A large part of the experience is the software; your aircraft, scenery, weather and a myriad of other mods that build upon the base sim. While we can recommend on viable freeware alternatives, provide basic technical support, advise on commonly-faced issues with certain products and training for payware airliners, for product-specific issues you are still advised to approach the developers for the fastest and most accurate support.

In addition, the Management does not condone or support software piracy in any form.
Discussions, questions regarding pirated software will not be entertained and accounts with multiple instances of such discussion will be closed without notice.

As follows is a small list of useful utilities and freeware resources:

Weather: https://www.fsrealwx.net (requires registration and login, ignore 20-day notification)
Fuel and flight planning: https://www.simbrief.com (requires registration and login)
AIRAC: http://freenavdbgroup.com/?page_id=228
Posky archives: https://arealityofmyown.wordpess.com/2010/11/30/project-opensky-has-closed
Airbus: http://www.pafs.wf
FMC: https://sourceforge.net/projects/vasfmc
WSSS charts: http://bit.ly/wssscharts

Ops Center

SVAG uses SmartCARS as a primary means of flight tracking.
Your pilot account and records are accessible at http://ops.singaporevirtualairlines.org.

To start a flight, you will need to bid for it from the Ops Center. Once the bid has been passed and schedule assigned to you, you can start smartCARS and allow it to run in the background while you operate the flight.

In the occasional event SmartCARS is temporarily down for maintenance when you arrive, you can submit the completed PIREP through the Ops Center. Pilots who are unable to login to SmartCARS will be allowed to use data from alternative trackers such as ProjectFly or VATSIM. Please submit the PIREP through the Ops Center first before posting the failure and completion screenshots here at the Lounge. Allow for up to 48 hours for our staff to process it. Manual PIREP submission must be filed with a screenshot of a SmartCARS login or upload failure and the final status of your flight. Internet connectivity issues on the user’s end is not considered valid reason.

Under normal operations, only SmartCARS logs will be accepted. Alternative trackers are only valid in the event of SmartCARS service disruption.

Aircraft

Your aircraft is the most integral part of any flight simulation. Once you are familiar with or have outgrown the basic default aircraft, we recommend investing in at least one quality payware aircraft with highly realistic systems to enhance your flying experience. This should be one that you prefer, that you will fly very often, learn thoroughly and achieve complete mastery of its mechanics and systems. This is best done with what’s known as “study-level” planes such as those from PMDG and FSLabs. Basically, if you master one of these, you are likely capable of flying the real one as well.

If unsure, use any of the Group’s communication channels to discuss which option best suits you as there is a lot of incredible payware out there. We have partnered with Aerosoft for discounts on certain products, these will change from time to time.

Flights with problems arising from software technical issues will not be accepted. While the staff will try to advise on common issues and solutions, you are still advised to seek help from the developer’s forum or helpdesk. No support will be given to pilots who are suspected or have demonstrated to be using pirated software.

As this is a recurring issue with many pilots, we recommend changing or removing many of your sim’s default key assignments that are easily triggered or rarely used. Critical flight controls like the landing gear, spoilers and flaps should be combined with function keys.

The Group has in place a flexible aircraft usage policy. If you do not own an aircraft that a particular route calls for, you may substitute it with one of similar size and capacity. For more information on aircraft substitution, please refer to this thread.

Cost Indexes

For pilots who are flying with a flight computer (FMC/CDU) onboard, we strongly recommend using the following cost indexes and cruise speeds for the various aircraft types the Group operates. If unsure, seek advice from any of the staff.

Aircraft Family Cost Index Cruise Speed (Mach)
Airbus A319/320 30 0.78 to 0.79
Airbus A330 60 0.80 to 0.82
Airbus A350 70 0.85 to 0.89
Airbus A380 80 0.84 to 0.86
Boeing 737 30 0.78 to 0.79
Boeing 777-200 65 0.83 to 0.85
Boeing 777-300/300ER 70 0.83 to 0.85
Boeing 747 100 0.84 to 0.89
Boeing 787 65 0.85 to 0.90

‘LRC’ may be used on flights longer than 7 hours.

Training Flights

All new pilots must complete a series of 6 SQT training flights from SQT1 to SQT6 to certify that they are proficient in handling their aircraft and fit to handle revenue flights. Pilots with excessive infractions must also be recertified with training flights. These are marked with the call sign SQT and must not be flown by regular pilots as they are non-scheduled, non-revenue routes. Additionally, SQTs can be flown on the VATSIM network but a valid callsign (ie. SIA) should be used instead of SQT as it is an internal designation and not internationally recognized. For example, SQT1 SIN-KUL may use the real world callsigns SIA116 or SIA118.

SQTs must be flown according to our Aircraft Substitution policy. Propeller, military, cargo or light aircraft are strictly disallowed

Pilot Ranks

As with any airline, you will progressively move up the ranks as you fly. However, unlike some VAs, you are not restricted by aircraft type or route length. Once you clear training flights you are free to fly to any destination in our primary and codeshare networks.

You will automatically be promoted to the next rank when you have reached the number of hours required. Additional pay rate are awarded for events and groupflights. Features leveraging on accumulated pay and flight hours and a points system are planned for a future update.

Infractions

Infractions are incidents which result in compromised safety, significant financial or reputational losses to the airline and/or damaged cargo and injured passengers. As part of this virtual airline, all pilots are to ensure that they take adequate measures to ensure realistic and safe transport. We advise following the Operational Guidelines and familiarizing yourself with hard limits such as aircraft attitude and touchdown rates.

Each pilot will be allowed 3 rejected PIREPS before he/she is subject to review and recertification. Repeat offenders will be dismissed from the airline. These policies are in place to improve our flight safety standards in view of astronomical maintenance and repair costs caused by several high-profile cases of careless or reckless flying. It is in the interest of everyone in the Group that flights are flown to the highest of standards.

PIREP processing is at the discretion of the Chief Pilot and the vast majority of submitted flights are accepted without issue. However, for flights that have incurred technical issues, please leave a remark before submission describing what happened in detail. First-occurrence leniency will only be granted on a case-by-case basis, especially if the remarks have outlined steps taken to prevent subsequent re-occurrence.

  • eg. Gear extended at 500kts FL380 because of accidental keystroke. Preventive action taken: re-assigned gear to CTRL+G instead of just G.

Rejected PIREPs will have an accompanying reason. If you would like to appeal this, please start a thread here to have it looked at by Management. In any case, the Chief Pilot reserves final judgment for each PIREP. Appeals can only be approved by VP (Ops).

Should you require assistance or advice before embarking on subsequent flights, please approach any of the staff or our community.

Diversions

Pilots may divert to an alternate airport should they face the following conditions

1. Severe Weather Conditions
2. Scenery malfunction or unavailable

A comment must be added to the PIREP describing as such. Multiple PIREPs which indicate diversions due to scenery issues will be reviewed on case by case basis. Diversion on the basis of inflight emergencies are not allowed. Suitable diversion airports for your routes can be found in the Diversion Airports Document.

Flying Online

The Group has a close partnership with the Virtual Air Traffic Simulation Network (VATSIM). This means that we regularly organize and receive invitations to events on the network. Such events take place at a predetermined date, time and location so that everyone, pilots and controllers alike can congregate for a few hours of highly realistic operations, with traffic volume sometimes matching or exceeding real-world levels.

As a virtual pilot, this will be the closest you can get to a real-world pilot’s experience. There will be other (real) people flying and there will be certified air traffic controllers guiding you around and about. You will communicate using real-world ICAO phonetics and phraseology and follow real world navigation procedures.

In order to connect to VATSIM you need one of the following:

1. XPilot– X-Plane http://xpilot.clowd.io/docs
2. VPilot – FSX/P3D https://vpilot.metacraft.com/

A decent microphone is strongly recommended for the full experience, although you may also communicate with air traffic control using text. Upcoming events that SVAG are involved in will be announced through our communication channels.

Rewards

Hot Route of the Month, Groupflights and regional events qualify for rewards.
Occasionally, some events will also offer payware prizes for the top pilot(s).

We will verify flights on the network before bonuses are awarded. Please be patient as verification and sending out bonuses is a manual process. As long as a flight report has been submitted it will be processed. Your event flight should also be tracked by SmartCARS. Other than Hot Route of the Month (HRM), all events should be flown on the VATSIM network. Where necessary, extra charter schedules will be set up so that everyone can fly.

HRMs do not need to be verified as SmartCARS already track them. Your hours will be manually calculated at the end of the month and credited to your account. Each month’s HRM can be found on the website, as will the previous month’s top pilot.

Annex A – Operational Guidelines

General
Pitch
Pitch must not exceed +20/-20 degrees at all times.

Speeding
Exceeding 250kts between 1500 to 10,000 ft is allowed but entering aircraft overspeed of over 5 seconds will count as an infraction. The PIREP will be rejected unless a valid reason is provided in the comments. This can only happen a maximum of once every 6 months.

Stall
Maximum of 2 seconds is tolerated. Regardless, allowing such condition to occur and the potential resulting crash will be considered a serious infraction. This can only happen a maximum of once every 6 months.

Fuel Quantity
Mid-air refueling or any other fueling after engine start is forbidden. Please ensure you load the aircraft with an appropriate amount of trip and reserve fuel during preflight.

Slew
Slew is only allowed for the GSX pushback system. Usage is only allowed on the ground and in the context of repositioning the aircraft within an airport. Non-GSX slewing must be done before starting the tracker.

Simulation Rate
Only simulation rate of 1x is allowed. Any other use of time acceleration is prohibited.

Emergencies
Aircraft technical issues or emergencies either random or manually activated are strictly disallowed.


Pre-Departure
Engines “Off”
Fuel Cutoff Switches are OFF.

Flaps
Flaps and slats are in the up and retracted position.

Ample pre-departure time
Provide yourself with enough time to perform all pre-flight checks.


Taxi-Out
Ground Speed
Ground speed should not exceed 30kts at any point. In line with real world ops, all engines must be powered up during taxi-out.

Flaps
Flaps or slats are extended to the appropriate takeoff configuration. Pilots who takeoff with less than the following safe configurations will void the flight immediately.

Aircraft

Minimum Flaps

Boeing 737-800/ MAX 8

Flaps 5

Boeing 787

Flaps 5

Boeing 747

Flaps 20

Boeing 777-200/-300/-300ER

Flaps 5

Airbus A319/A320

Flaps 1 + F

Airbus A330

Flaps 1 + F

Airbus A350

Flaps 1 + F

Airbus A380

Flaps 1 + F

Fokker 100

Flaps 8

ATR 72-600

Flaps 15

Rejected Takeoffs
A maximum of two rejected takeoffs are allowed. A remark should be added to the PIREP in the event of RTO(s) explaining why.


Initial Climb (passing 1500ft)
Landing Gear
Landing gear in the raised and in the locked/disengaged position.


Cruise
Your PIREP should be filed with flight level in full 5 numerical digits only (ie. 35000). If there is step-climb involved, file your initial cruise altitude. Pausing is allowed at any point during the flight, but ensure you are disconnected from VATSIM.


Descend and Approach
Pitch
Under a safe and controlled descent, pitch down should not exceed -20 degrees.

Flaps
Flaps and slats extended to the appropriate landing configuration according to aircraft’s placarded speed limits. These speed limits can also be found in the plane’s Flight Crew Manual.

Landing Gear
Landing gear is deployed once established on final. Gear must not be extended above 250kts.

Touchdown Rate
The landing rate on every touchdown should not exceed -550fpm. Exceeding this, go-around must be initiated. Bounced touchdown rate is not observed.

Go-Around
Up to 2 go-arounds are permitted for each flight following which diversions are allowed only under severe weather.


Arrival
Ground Speed
Ground speed should not exceed 30kts except for high-speed turn offs.
In all jets, only a maximum of 1 engine may be shutdown during taxi.

Flaps
Flaps, slats and spoilers should be retracted during taxi-in and before engine shutdown.

Upon arrival into the bay, ensure flaps, slats and spoilers are retracted and engines shut down before the submission of your PIREP. Check your PIREP before submission; flight logs cannot be edited or changed after submission.

If you have any questions regarding flight or fuel planning, please approach any of the staff who will be happy to guide you. It’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them.

In the event of a major technical issue with the simulator or committing a serious error that jeopardizes your flight, you are advised to cancel the flight as all submitted flights form part of your permanent record.

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