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Major VATSIM Event - Fly it a different way!

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This Saturday VATSIM will hold it's annual Cross the Pond-Westbound event.  If you've not familiar with this event, each year hundreds of virtual pilots depart from 4 to 6 predesignated, full staffed airports in Europe and about 8 to 12 hours later they land at 4 to 6 predesignated, fully staffed airports in the U.S.  They have ATC coverage the entire way, including over the Atlantic ocean.  Just so you're aware, this is also a Cross the Pond Eastbound event each year.


Now, I'm just not one to sit in front of my computer for 8 to 12 hours on a single flight as the main point in my flying is not the cruise phase, but the taxi, takeoff, arrival, approach and landing.  But I certainly don't knock others for doing this, and there are certainly a LOT of people who enjoy it.


Screenshot - 10_22_2016 , 10_47_12 AM.png


About 12 years ago I had a thought.  I loved large events because this is the time when one experiences the level of traffic that real world pilots contend with most every day.  The live ATC at all levels, hundreds of human controlled aircraft flying the proper routing, and both hearing and participating in it!  So here was my idea....


Why not depart from one of the event's departure airports and fly to another event departure airport?  A much shorter flight, and I enjoyed that level of ATC and aircraft twice!  Then, if I'm available in 8 to 12 hours I'll fly again but this time in between the event's arrival airports!


But it gets even better.  After flying the event in this manner 12 or so years ago, I added shared cockpit to the mix and it just made things even better - in fact it was off the charts realistic, fun and even exciting at times - and I experienced it all in real time and from exactly the same perspective (same aircraft) with a good friend.  The year after that we had 6 fully crewed shared cockpit aircraft fly the event together the same way! 


Now I know that not everyone flies shared cockpit the same way, and given that my group has been doing it for 14 years and has over 14,000 hours flying this way we may do some things that lead to our enjoying this type of flying so much.  But I just thought I'd share the overall concept with you guys, in case you'd like to try flying this great event another way.


As always, my very best wishes to you all for happy flights!



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