WorldWide

November 2019

By Pit Air

🎶Don't' Stop Me Now 🎶

A special flight:

Saying goodbye to a queen

New destination!

Explore the Reunion island

Vatsim ATC explaining:

Vatsim tips and tricks for new flight simmers

Pilot of the month:

Emil, A320 Captain

Extra! Pit Air and Nordic VA team-up: Everything you need to know!

Dear reader!

Hello and thank you for flying with us and reading "WorldWide" this November month. 

Since our start, in April 2019 we have grown and grown. On our way, we have introduced many new features and expansions to our airline including new state of the art aircraft like the 787. We have hired many talented and awesome pilots that make Pit Air the airline we are today. Thank you to all our pilots who fly for us! Thank you for reading and enjoy "WorldWide" -Peter, Co-Founder, and CEO of Pit Air Virtual

Visit minibitcomputers.com for more information and services

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Saying goodbye to a queen 

A special one-way flight to the California desert

By Peter Bakke (@pit_aviation @peterthevirtualpilot)

It’s a calm September evening at Oslo Gardermoen airport outside of Oslo, the capital of Norway. I’m going to pilot a special flight to Victorville in California, basically in the middle of the desert where there are no commercial flights. Why is it going there you may ask? Well due to its high operating cost and age and the introduction of the 777 and 787 Dreamliner, Pit Air is retiring their 747s one by one. Victorville is a so-called “airplane boneyard’s” or “airplane graveyard’s”. Boneyard facilities are generally located in deserts, such as those in the Southwestern United States since the dry conditions reduce corrosion and the hard ground does not need to be paved. Two 747-400s will be flown to Victorville to be either scrapped or sold. It’s very emotional for people who have worked on these planes that are getting retired especially for me who flew LN-SWF (The aircraft I'm flying to retirement) many times across oceans. The second aircraft that will be flown to retirement today is LN-NOB. I flew LN-NOB to and from San Fransisco only a week earlier. The pilot on LN-NOB will be my good friend and colleague, Anton Goddard. This flight won't carry any passengers, only me, my co-pilot and a reserve pilot to step in when one of us has their so-called “crew rest”. We started up the plane for the final time, programmed the Flightplan and pushed back. We taxied to runway 01L for our departure. -”PIT74WF for the final time 01L cleared for takeoff wind calm”. 

We rolled down the runway and rotated earlier than usual due to the little wight we carried. We had a calm departure and climbed to our cruising altitude. With no passengers on board, we had the whole aircraft to ourselves. It was a weird feeling, but a good one. We flew past Iceland, over Greenland, Northern Canada and down towards the US border. After my crew rest, I went back to the Cockpit and prepared for our descent into Victorville.  We contacted ATC at Los Angeles Center for our decent. It was nighttime in California, almost midnight. If we were to land during the day we would have seen some amazing scenery but that was sadly not the case this time. Descending down to 12000ft LN-SWF was closer than ever to her new home. We got instructed to preform our final descent down to 2000ft. With the runway in sight, we took the gear down and our flaps to 35. It was a special moment hearing the final “One thousand” callout from the GPWS. 

Peter

Peter's Pit Air carrier Status: Pit Air's chief pilot

Aircraft: 737 ,747, 787 and MD80

Base: Oslo, OSL (ENGM)

Flight Hours:

Most flown destination: 

Most flown aircraft: 

“500”, “400”, “300” “approaching minimums” “200” “minimuns”... I repeat “Continue” to mark that we continue our landing. “100”, “50”, “40”, “30”, “20” I start my so-called “flare” and bring the throttles back. “10”... and with a nice and soft landing, we are down in Victorville. LN-SWF’s final landing for Pit Air. I felt quite good about that landing afterward. We taxied to her final parking position and finished our final log for LN-SWF. After that, we took some pictures and shut her down one final time. It was a weird feeling turning that battery switch off on a plane you have flown many times. Pit Air will perform 4 more of these retirement flights in the upcoming months, until the final retirement flight on Pit Air’s one year anniversary. Thank you for joining me along this special journey. Stay tuned for next month's edition where I will write about the opposite of this… an inaugural flight! -Peter, Pit Air Chief Pilot

Explore La Réunion

The Réunion island is a small overseas region of France on the volcanic of Réunion in the Indian Ocean neighboring the island nations of Mauritius and Madagascar. It is a part of the Mascarene Archipelago. Réunion has 4 main cities, the capital Saint-Denis in the north, Saint-Pierre in the south, Saint-Benoît in the east of the island and Saint-Paul on the western side all of which situated on the coast of the island due to the mountainous terrain inland of the island. There are 2 airports on the island, Aéroport de la Réunion Roland Garros (Réunion-Roland Garros Airport) in the north neighboring Sant-Dennis which is the main international airport. The second, Aéroport de Saint-Pierre – Pierrefonds (Pierrefonds Airport) is the smaller of the 2 only having flights to Mauritius. As Réunion is governed by France, flights between Réunion and mainland France are classed as domestic flights. This also means that Réunion is in the EU Schengen area. Réunion has 2 shield volcanos. The extinct volcano Piton des Neiges (Meaning Snow Peak) last erupted 20,000 years ago. It is 10,070 feet tall or 3,070 meters and is a large tourist attraction for hikers taking around 6.5hrs to climb and 4hrs to descend from the down of Cilaos. The second volcano, Piton de la Fournaise, on the other hand, started erupting on the 18th of February 2019 and the eruption is still on-going. As such it is also a large tourist attraction because it is currently erupting. There are loads of craters along this volcano which are sealed lava exits from previous eruptions. Réunion Island looks like a tiny speck in the Indian Ocean on Google Maps but zooms in and you’ll find a spectacular island with towering mountains, breathtaking canyons, aquamarine lagoons, colorful towns and villages, and stunning waterfalls. An overseas French department, Reunion is a gorgeous mix of French, Asian and African influences. Situated in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar and the African mainland and southwest of Mauritius, it truly is an enchanting island; a mecca for adventurers and hikers or for those seeking an active holiday infused with lovely beaches, awe-inspiring scenery, and fascinating cultures. If you’re visiting for the first time, here are ten things to do in Reunion Island which I can highly recommend. I tried each and every one of them and the experiences I gained was unforgettable!

1. Gawk at the most incredible scenery

One of the best things to do in Reunion is to simply admire the scenery, which is absolutely spectacular. I suggest hiring a car and driving around the island. It’s a large island so you may want to pace yourself. Drive the Route du Volcan, the road to Le Maïdo or into the Cirque de Cilaos for some of the most astounding scenery. The coastal stretches offer charming views of colorful villages, lava cliffs, lagoons, and beaches whilst the interior is characterized by impressive mountains, canyons, forests (from pine forests to thick shrubs and sub-tropical tree ferns!) and grassy highlands.

2. Hike in the cirques

Reunion is famous for its three cirques (Mafate, Cilaos, and Salazie), three large calderas formed by the collapse of a shield volcano. Of the three, Mafate is inaccessible by roads, making it ideal for hikers wanting to enjoy the impressive nature in total solitude. There are several villages inside the Cirque de Mafate which are accessible only by trails (and helicopters). Reunion Mer et Montage organizes guided hikes (including the one I did: a 3-hour hike into the Cirque de Mafate and a helicopter flight back to the coast) and other adventure activities like mountain biking around the island. Whichever route you choose, you’ll be guaranteed mind-blowing vistas, gushing rivers and waterfalls and lush forests.

Airport guide for Pit Air Hub's

Made for you

Oslo Airport, Norway

(Pit Air Hub)

Oslo Airport is standing out in many ways. For pilots or passengers from other countries, the airport system can be hard to understand. Oslo has only one departure terminal for check-in, or it used to be. After the expansion finished in 2016 OSL had one new departure terminal for check-in that could be used. What they did was to connect the current and the new because they were next to each other. With the same design and connection, it doesn't matter where you get dropped off because everything is in one place. Hint, hint all other big airports in this world! OSL has one domestic pier, one international pier and one shared, separated by different levels. 

Stockholm Arlanda

(Pit Air Hub)

If you are coming from or departing to Oslo or other countries in Europe within Schengen you will be at Terminal 5 gates 1-10 or 11-24.

For Sweden, domestic flights will depart from Terminal 4, Gate 30-44 (most likely) 

International Long Haul flights or flights to the UK (Non Schengen) will depart from Terminal 5, Gate F26-F69

Pilot's Corner

Why are planes delayed? How do you program a flight plan? Why do planes land sideways sometimes? When it comes to flying the questions are many. The best people to answer your questions about the wonders of aviation and flight sim are Pit Air pilots and every month a new answer is released here. Do you have a question about aviation? Send it to pitair.askourpilots@gmail.com

Tips and tricks

 Given by Kacper Kosiorek, ATC at OSL APP on Vatsim

- Know basic voice communication or phraseology before you fly online!

- One thing that can help is to listen to real ATC conversations on YouTube or Liveatc.net.

- Know how to fly your airplane (FMC, Autopilot, overhead panel etc)

- Watch for example "aviation pro" or other flight sim professionals on YouTube. 

- Remember that you can always disconnect!

-Have a pen and paper next to you to write down instructions.

-Always have charts for the airport you are flying from and to.

- Have fun!

Stay tuned for the next issue where we will discuss ATC phraseology. 

A Boeing 747 is made up of six million parts. ...

 Pilot of the month

Pit Air has a good fleet and awesome destinations. I also love that you can get a schedule! 

 

—  Emil, A320 family Pilot for Pit Air

I started flying in XPlane about a year ago. I mainly flew Boeing planes like the 737, 767 and 777. These days I only fly Airbus planes like the: A319,320,330,350. I have about 1300 hours in XPlane right now and I have flown about 500 flights or more. I joined Pit Air and I'm loving it Pit Air has a good fleet and awesome destinations. I also love that you can get a schedule! I have flown and about 65 hours for Pit Air. 

How many flight hours do you have?

I have about 1300 hours in XPlane-11 I have flown 65 hours for Pit Air.

How long have you been flying for Pit Air? 

I have been flying for Pit Air for a bit over 2 months

What's the worst landing you have made?

The worst landing I have made is -480 fpm at Malmö

What's your favorite destination in the Pit Air network?

My favorite Pit Air destination has to be Vágar!

What's the worst thing that has happened on route?

I have never had a problem when flying Pit Air, but the worst thing that happens quite often is cumulonimbus. But of course, heavy turbulences are not fun!

How do you study each aircraft type?

We read the manuals that come with them and watch online tutorials.

Emil

Emil's Pit Air carrier

Status: Pit Air pilot

(Captain Grade)

Aircraft: A320 family

Base: Stockholm, ARN (ESSA)

Flight Hours: 7+

Most flown destination: Oslo and Tallin

Most flown aircraft: A320

Meet the fleet

737-800 NG

A320/A319

MD82/88

787-9 

E175

777-300ER

747-400

757-200

ROUTE MAP

Oslo

Stockholm ARN
Srockholm BMA
Helsinki
Tallinn
Riga
Copenhagen
Malmö
Bergen
Stavanger
Trondheim
Bodø
Tromsø
Kiruna (Seasonal)
Östersund (Seasonal)
Gothenburg
Visby (Seasonal)
Amsterdam
Manchester
Brussles
Frankfurt
Zurich
Geneva (Seasonal)
Rovaniemi (Seasonal)
Sarajevo
Lisbon
Malaga
Alicante
Corfu
(Seasonal)
Skiathos (Seasonal)
Athens
Vagar

Bergen

Destination of the month: Things to do in Bergen

Once the largest city in the Nordic countries, and the capital of Norway throughout some of the country’s most influential periods, Bergen is today the second-largest city in the country. A past seat of the Hanseatic League, Bergen still plays an important economic and cultural role as the picturesque city in between the seven mountains and breathtaking fjords.

Bryggen

By far the most iconic sight to greet any visitor to Bergen is the colourful facade of Bryggen, the old Hanseatic wharf first established in the 14th century. It has been, and still is, a place of both cultural and economic significance. The picturesque wooden structures, rebuilt following a fire in 1702, later became recognised as a vital part of Bergen’s cultural heritage, and also the world’s, as a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

Fløibanen and FløyenWith Bergen known in Norway as the city of the seven mountains, it is only natural that you would want to visit one of them. By far the most easily accessible is Fløyen, which is close to the city centre. It’s connected to the town by a funicular, Fløibanen, that will take you to the top in less than eight minutes. Once at the top, you are free to enjoy spectacular views of Bergen and the surrounding landscape. Take Fløibanen back down, enjoy a leisurely walk down the mountainside, or go on a hike further into the mountains.

Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

Pit Air & Nordic VA team-up: Everything you need to know 

Pit Air Virtual and Nordic VA is teaming up to control the whole Nordic region for the benefit of our pilots and you. The team-up will allow for codeshare to many destinations all over the world. You can as a passenger now book for example Oslo-Baku via Helsinki having either half or your whole trip operated by Nordic VA or Pit Air. The team-up will also allow Pilots to share hours and an easy transition to fly for both airlines. Weare very excited about this team-up, and we will work hard to make us the best virtual airlines in the world! Find Nordic VA here: https://nordicva.wixsite.com/home

WorldWide

By Pit Air

November 2019

Thank you for reading the first issue of WorldWide! 

Pilot of the month

New destination: Johannesburg

Delivery flight, a story from one of our pilots

And much more!

Next months issue: