Monthly Archives: March 2016

FSX Ridge Soaring at El Mirador South Africa

This video, which is split into two parts to facilitate uploading to my YouTube channel, features a recent  UK Virtual Gliding Association  (UKVGA) multiplayer event on the VATSIM multiplayer servers.  I chose to fly the Aerosoft ASK21 model glider in this event.

Part 1:

Part 2:

This particular event is one of the UKVGA Association Group Launch (AGL) online events, which are conducted twice weekly on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings (UK time). Although the UKVGA conducts AGL multiplayer events on VATSIM, there are rarely any  voice or text communications with VATSIM controllers other than the submission of a textual VFR  flight plan.  The reason for this is that we fly these online events in uncontrolled airspace or airspace that does not require communication with the VATSIM controllers. However, we do use TeamSpeak to communicate with our own Launch Point Controller (LPC) and with each other.

When I set out to record this video, it was with the intention of showing what it was it is like to participate in a typical UKVGA multiplayer event.  I thought that a recent ridge soaring event based at El Mirador in South Africa had good potential to provide some close fast flying with other club members.  In fact there is no such thing as a typical multiplayer event. Each multiplayer event is a unique experience and new adventure. So it should be no surprise, I suppose,  that this one did not pan out quite the way I had intended for the video that I wanted to make.  Firstly the default FSX scenery at this location was rather ordinary.  Secondly my wish to show a bunch of gliders flying in close proximity along a ridge was frustrated by the fact that by some miracle I managed to launch and start the task near the front of the pack and then I did not get overtaken by the remainder of the pack as I usually do. Moreover, I was unable to get close enough to the only glider launching and starting ahead of me to see more than the label text in the distance until after I crossed the task finish line.  Of course I could have slowed down or turned back to intercept the gliders behind me but that is not my nature.  Once on a task,  I tend to get fixated on doing my best to fly the task as efficiently and effectively as possible.  Although the recorded result did not show exactly what I had hoped for, I decided to publish the captured video anyway.

The El Mirador task featured in this video was a UKVGA “Club Class” task.  The UKVGA AGL events on Tuesday evenings (UK time), usually feature a “Club Class” task.  These tasks are usually designed to be in the range of easy to medium  difficulty.  Moreover, the more experienced virtual glider pilots are encouraged to fly glider models with a British Gliding Association (BGA) handicap less than 97, whereas the less experienced pilots may chose any glider that they feel comfortable with.  The main intentions of the UKVGA “Club Class” events are to foster a closer flying experience and provide a more cooperative learning environment for members, particularly newer members that may be frustrated by being left far behind in the faster and more difficult UKVGA open class events on Thursday evenings (UK time).

UKVGA AGL events are largely social multiplayer events and as such they tend to be conducted in a relatively informal and relaxed way.  Thus the communication chatter on TeamSpeak often includes discussions and comments that are not related to the task.  So, at the risk of creating the false impression that we do not communicate much with each other,  I have edited the TeamSpeak recorded sound track to exclude communications that in my opinion are not relevant to the task narrative and thus are not appropriate to publish for non-members.

In this video you will hear me discussing the Vne speed reductions that I was using for the ASK21 in the FSX simulator to compensate for altitude effect on indicated airspeed.  My rough estimates for these reductions are only intended for my own personal use in the FSX simulator and should not be used for any other real-world purpose. They are based on my previous experience with over-speed warnings and failures in FSX, which may not be accurately modelled by real-world standards.