TransGear Airways: Defunct

The end of TransGear Airways Wednesday January 25th, 2012 @ 22:53 UTC

It should be pretty obvious by now, but TransGear Airways is officially defunct. Thanks to everyone who participated, and especially our wonderful ATC volunteers. A special thanks goes out to Rob for creating TGA, and to Redneck and Lukosius for their work in keeping TGA alive.

Keep Flying Free!

Bob (yourgod)

TGA #22 and site updates! Thursday June 2nd, 2011 @ 21:33 UTC

TGA 22 is coming up on June 11th at 15:00 UTC. The schedule is not yet available to accept route registrations.

The last 3 events have been added to the previous events page. I'll try not to fall behind updating the site from now on.

Bob (yourgod)

TGA #21 and site status! Thursday May 12th, 2011 @ 17:14 UTC

TGA 21 is coming up on May 14th at 15:00 UTC. Be sure to register your route in the scheduling system!

I'll slowly get the old events caught back up on the previous events page over the next few weeks.

See you there!

Bob (yourgod)

TGA #19 open for registrations! Wednesday March 9th, 2011 @ 15:25 UTC

TransGear Airways Norway event is now open for registration!

Bob (yourgod)

Server Availability Wednesday March 2nd, 2011 @ 18:27 UTC

The site and all services will be down for a short period this coming weekend (March 5-6) while I migrate this server's drives to a temporary server. Performance may suffer after the move due to the temporary server being less robust than the current server.

I will be installing and configuring a new OS on the current server hardware. Once up and running with a minimal secure configuration I will transfer the primary services back to this server under the new OS. Not all services will be available immediately. There are many years worth of tweaks and features on this server that will have to be recreated from the ground up, and that will take some time. It will take at least a few weeks to have the current server with the new OS configured sufficiently to be placed back into production with minimal services.

Bob (yourgod)

TransGear #18 is open for registration Monday January 31st, 2011 @ 16:38 UTC

TransGear Airways event #18 is open for registration. This event will be a tour of southeast Australia.

See you all there!

Bob (yourgod)

Another successful TGA event! Thursday January 13th, 2011 @ 22:03 UTC

TransGear Airways event #17 is complete. You can access the screen shots and video on the Previous Events page.

See you at the next one!

Bob (yourgod)

TGA #16 Complete! Tuesday December 14th, 2010 @ 16:20 UTC

Thanks to everyone who participated in TGA16! Despite the continuing problems with fgcom, it appears to have been a modest success. I'll collect and post pics over the next several days. Keep an eye out for the January event.

Bob (yourgod)

TGA #16 Saturday December 11, 2010 Monday December 6th, 2010 @ 19:20 UTC

The December event is up and ready for you to register your routes! Hope to see you there!

TGA FSWeekend Event #1 is over! November 9th, 2010 @ 17:20 UTC

The FSWeekend event is behind us and while it appears they may not have had internet access at the event location, we at least had the events and they were a success despite various FGCOM issues. The event page has been added to the previous events page. You can also find the event videos, and pictures from the event as they are uploaded. Stay tuned for the December event announements!

Bob, (yourgod)

Server Maintenance November 5th, 2010 @ 15:40 UTC

I'll be taking down the server at some point after the events in November for maintenance. One of the SCSI drives is throwing errors and I want to get it out of the array and rebuild a new array with the remaining drives. Once restored from backup the server will be available again. I will post that notice on the FG forum. Just an FYI.

Bob, (yourgod)

TransGear Airways FSWeekend event Nov 6&7, 2010 at 13:00 UTC October 11th, 2010 @ 19:47 UTC

TGA is hosting 2 single hub events on November 6 and 7 at 13:00 UTC in support of Flight Simulator Weekend. FSWeekend is the world's largest Flight Sim event and is being held in the Netherlands. Gijs approached us about doing a TGA event on those days to showcase FlightGear being used to simulate ATC based flight ops at a busy airport.

Details of the event can be found on the FlightGear multiplayer forum at

You can register your route by clicking the Create a Route link on the left.

Bob, (yourgod)

TransGear Airways event #15 Oct 9, 2010 at 15:00 UTC October 1st, 2010 @ 14:15 UTC

TGA event #15 is now accepting routes! Please click on the “Create a Route” link to the left to register your own custom route! This event features Fairbanks, Alaska and Anchorage, Alaska as the hubs. Thanks to Lukosius for setting up the event!

Bob, (yourgod)

Another great event in the history books! September 15th, 2010 @ 16:27 UTC

Thanks to everyone who came out and supported TGA #14. It was a great success! I added it to the events page and I'm still collecting screen shots so keep checking back for updates. Planning for TGA #15 are underway on the FG forums. If you have any ideas for the event head over and let us know!

Bob, (yourgod)

TransGear Airways event #14 Saturday September 11, 2010 at 15:30 UTC. September 8th, 2010 @ 17:10 UTC

TGA #14 has been announced on the forum. Please head over and sign up for a route. This event will still follow the format of the previous event and route registration will be handled on the forum. There simply wasn't enough free time for Lukosius to put together the needed files for the new routing system this month.

The event thread can be accessed at

Bob, (yourgod)

TransGear Airways event #14 will be announced soon. September 1st, 2010 @ 12:55 UTC

Lukosius is hard at work planning the next event. Keep an eye both here and on the forum for the announcement. I updated the TGA13 page to list the ATC crew as well. I realized they got no credit at all for their service on the old version.

Bob, (yourgod)

Thanks for helping make a great TransGear Airways event #13! August 17th, 2010 @ 18:00 UTC

The event was a wonderful success and underscores the continued interest and viability of TGA! We had many registered pilots, and even more people just showing up to fill out the airspace. It appears most everyone had a great time. This event featured great scenery and a challenging approach into Zurich. Stay tuned for the announcement of the September event, and the launch of the new scheduling system!

Bob, (yourgod)

TransGear Airways event #13 August 14, 2010 at 15:00 UTC! August 10th, 2010 @ 22:00 UTC

Lukosius has put together an event to tide us over until the new system can debut. This should provide a nice change of scenery and challenge as the event features a hub to hub hop over the alps!

See the event link on the left or the forum thread linked below for all the details!

Bob, (yourgod)

Planning is underway for the next event on August 14th. Saturday August 7th, 2010 @ 15:00 UTC

Lukosius is currently planning an interim event for this month. Details will be released as soon as he has the schedules completed.

The new scheduling system should be in place for the events starting with the September event.

The resurrection of TransGear Airways is currently under consideration. Wednesday, July 14th, 2010 @ 16:23 UTC

With the departure of Rob, the future of the TranGear events has become uncertain. I will continue to host this site indefinitely regardless of the final disposition of current talks related to the continuance of this event. There are many options on the table and all must be considered before we move forward. Expect, if TGA lives at all, for the next event to be held no earlier than September 2010.

You can follow the discussion on the forum at the following link:

Stay tuned for updates and thanks for the continued interest in TGA.


Hello, friends and fans...

It is with great regret that I must announce that I am cancelling TGA12 and future TransGear Airways events due to a lack of continued participant interest. I have had a fantastic time organizing these events for almost a year. Believe me, eleven great events is about ten more than I ever expected us to be able to hold, and I have nothing but fond memories of everything that has happened here. Thanks to all of the previous participants for making these events what they were -- exciting, fun, friendly, enjoyable learning experiences for all involved, myself included.

How long the website remains active will pretty much be up to Bob Faulkner ("yourgod") who has graciously provided hosting services free of charge for the ten months the website has existed. My special thanks go to him for that service.

I truly appreciate the friendships I have developed with those who have supported these events. While these gatherings may be no more, I hope that the bonds that have formed during this past year will endure. I invite any and all of you to keep in touch.

Sincerest thanks to all who read this,
-R. (MD-Terp)

Now Soliciting Pilots for TGA12!... Friday, July 2nd, 2010 @ 22:40 UTC

Hello friends!

I am safely back from a fantastic trip to Orlando, Florida with the family, and although I still have a million and a half things to catch up on, it's already past due time to start figuring out pilot assignments for this month's TransGear Airways event! I've already been working with the controller staff to start getting set up, but now that I'm back in the Captain's Chair at TransGear Central Command (lol!) I'm ready to start taking pilot assignment requests.

If you've never flown with us before, the requirements are pretty basic -- if you can take off and land, and do a reasonably decent job at holding altitudes, headings, and airspeeds, you have all the skills needed for the event. A working installation of FGCom is the only other requirement, but even if you're completely new to aviation communication you are more than welcome to join us and learn. There are lots of resources available here on the site to help you get going (including a nearly word-for-word phrasebook you can read from if you need to), but it's perfectly acceptable to "learn on the fly" as they say.

Route assignments are first-come, first-served -- consult the list on the event page to see what's available, and then post a response on the forum or e-mail me to reserve your route. You are encouraged to reserve the entire three-leg trip if your time commitment permits, but are welcome to take individual legs if you desire to participate for a shorter duration.

Much information is available here on the website -- but feel free, If you have any questions, to post them on the forum or e-mail me.

Happy flying!

-R. (MD-Terp)

TGA11 Was a Great Success!... Saturday, June 12th, 2010 @ 18:25 UTC

I know this might be a little premature since a lot of the flights are still in the air, but my preliminary impression is that TransGear 11 came off without any real hitches! I monitored KATL's channel for the earlier part, and though it sounded a bit hectic, it also seemed like redneck had things well in hand. The second wave in Indy was certainly much busier than the first, but I was pleased with the turnout, not only of the scheduled flights but of quite a few drop-in guests as well.

I myself captured over 50 screenshots (including MOST of the arrivals and departures out of Indianapolis), and although I'll be out for the rest of Saturday, I'll be around tomrrow to start collecting all the images together and making the "online scrapbook" for the event. I'll hope to have that up by next weekend, but we'll see -- from the sound of it, I'm going to have about 400 Jester screenshots alone to sift through, so it may take a little longer. :)

Thanks again to all of the participants, both scheduled and non-scheduled, and I hope to see you ALL manning a TransGear flight in July!

Shortly after that we'll be celebrating our 1-year anniversary, so look for something extra-special in August! *wink*

-R. (MD-Terp)

Last-Minute Reminders for TGA11! Friday, June 11th, 2010 @ 21:50 UTC

I'm a little earlier than usual with this message this time, because I'm expecting to be out late this evening, but I may be able to check in again once before bed tonight and then again in the morning... we'll see.

At any rate, there are still a multitude of slots available for this event for any that would like to attend. Again, newcomers, all you need to get started is the ability to fly an airliner with a reasonable level of skill, and a working and tested installation of FGCom. Don't be shy. Everything is a learning experience and we do our absolute best to help you achieve the knowledge and skills you need to fit in.

Anyone, newcomer or TGA veteran, who still wishes to participate, may do so by posting a message in the FlightGear Forum thread. I ask that any messages posted after this announcement be treated as first-come, first served, so please compare the list of available flights with any posts after this message before claiming a presumably empty slot.

Those that are new, here's the drill -- you'll want to start up FlightGear at least ten or fifteen minutes before your scheduled departure time, selecting your chosen aircraft and starting airport, and using your flight number as your callsign (i.e. "TGA1100"). Give yourself enough time to set fuel and passenger loads, get your route set up (if applicable -- or Atlas or the MP Map), and check your Multiplayer connectivity. In an ideal world, you'll do your preflight parked at a gate or on the tarmac, and push back and taxi for departure at the scheduled time -- but, close enough is close enough, and no one is keeping score.

Initial contact frequencies are 126.9 for Atlanta and 127.15 for Indianapolis. There's only one controller per hub this month, so don't panic if you don't get the usual handoff upon approach. You'll stay with one controller throughout your time at that airport. Make contact with Approach at about 80nm out -- Mac FGCom users, you'll need to do that via text initially, as your version of FGCom won't "grab" the base frequency until within 27nm. On either version, though, many of the pilots will chat on 122.75 which is set up as a global, unlimited-range chat frequency. That's a decent resource to use to ask questions, as well -- I'll try to monitor it the best I can. But once on the ATC frequencies, it's all business, please.

If you have a crash (either in the PC sense or the simulator sense) and need to re-start, please feel free to do so. Best recommendation is to pick an airport near where the problem occurred and try to resume your schedule from there. Or, you can pop in at your next leg's starting point and just wait for your scheduled departure time -- just try to choose a non-active runway if you can, and taxi off out of the way as soon as your sim is fully loaded.

I hope Jester's not the only one taking screenshots for me this time. I failed at that myself last month, but I'll try to grab some this time. Last month I was coaching a new controller through his "lines", but this month working alone I should be good to go and able to get some images of the arrivals and departures. I'll do my best. Please do the same. Try to preserve the timestamps if at all possible so I can sequence them all together afterwards.

Whether or not I do end up popping in one more time tonight, I'll definitely check in once more on the forum in the morning to sort out any last-second pilot additions and post weather briefings, but of course, weather conditions can change at any time, and the active runways will be determined at the time of your check-in with Approach by the controller staff at the airport. That means it's definitely recommended to have any necessary ILS frequencies handy, in case you don't end up with the approach you planned for! That's part of the challenge!

I'll talk to you all soon -- have a great flight, and a fun event!

-R. (MD-Terp)

All remaining IFR Route "Cheat-Sheets" completed... Wednesday, June 9th, 2010 @ 22:25 UTC

It only took me two months longer than I had originally hoped for (heh), but the IFR Route "Cheat-Sheets" for all 42 legs within TransGear Airways' twenty routes are now complete and posted at the bottom of the Charts and Resources page. There are still a handful I would like to complete for Atlas Virtual Airways flights; however, I will get to those in the very near future. For now, all of the current domestic AVA flights are covered except for KSLC-to-KIND; there are two new destinations in the US (KBNA and KDEN) I would like to post routes for ASAP.

Unfortunately it has come to my attention that several of the IFR routes I've posted are already out-of-date as of the latest release of NACO's Terminal Procedures Publication; in particular, several of the departure and arrival procedures for KATL have seen revisions since I created those routes. So I will be going through and updating the ones in need of it, hopefully before the July event; as for June, feel free to use the ones posted here even if you know they are out of date.

Remember that for TransGear events it is not required that you follow a realistic IFR route... these pre-made routes are there for those who wish to maintain some semblance of realism but don't have the time or energy to do all the research. As always, your navigation method is completely at your own discretion -- navigate a direct airport-to-airport path if you choose, or just point your plane in the right general direction using Atlas or the Multiplayer Map as a guide if you prefer.

As always, feel free to e-mail me or contact me on the FlightGear Forums with any questions or concerns.

UPDATE ON TGA11: There are still plenty of pilot slots remaining for this Saturday's event, so please check out the Event Page and/or the forum thread for a list of available routes and let me know which one you'd like to fly!

-R. (MD-Terp)

Added "FlightGear Configuration Tips" to Charts and Resources page... Tuesday, June 8th, 2010 @ 16:50 UTC

For the newer FlightGear users who have not seen or heard of this tip before, I have included a short tutorial on the Charts and Resources page for Configuration Tips. Most notably I have posted a recommendation to Disable All AI Traffic when flying TransGear Airways events. If you are new to FlightGear and don't yet know how to do this, visit the links shared here for a quick how-to.

E-mail me or contact me on the FlightGear Forums with any questions you may have, or additional tips you think I should share regarding making your FlightGear and TransGear events run more smoothly.

-R. (MD-Terp)

Now Soliciting Pilots for TGA11!... Tuesday, June 1st, 2010 @ 14:15 UTC

Hello FlightGear airliner enthusiasts...

Come one, come all to TransGear Airways' 11th monthly event on Saturday June 12th! If you are new to TransGear events, it's quite simple -- select a route from the table on the event page, choose an airliner in FlightGear from the Approved Equipment list, and simply let me know by responding in the forum or via e-mail which one you'd like to do (and it's permissible to do just one or two legs of a route instead of all three, if you aren't able to do the whole thing). Aside from the ability to take off and land, the only other mandatory requirement is the use of FGCom -- even if you don't know what to say, just get it installed and working and we'll help you with the rest.

I do ask if you are new to FGCom that you make sure you have it set up and working BEFORE the day of the event. It's gotten much easier to install and configure than it used to be, but it does still give the occasional hardware configuration a spot of difficulty, and the morning of the event is probably too late to seek advice on how to fix it. Please take a few moments to get those issues worked out between now and then.

Those who have done these events before will tell you -- it might all seem complicated and intimidating, but perfection is something we work *towards*, not where we start! If you can take off and land an airliner, and get FGCom working, the rest you can learn as you go. There are lots and lots of how-tos here on the TGA website, but we don't expect that newcomers pick it all up the first time.

Anyway -- new or not, the flights are now available on a first-come, first served basis. Let me know which route and equipment you'd like to use by responding right there in the forum thread, via PM on the forum, or by e-mailing me. I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing all of you in the skies!

-R. (MD-Terp)

Error in ATC-rmsjr Scope Code Fixed... Monday, May 31st, 2010 @ 4:10 UTC

TransGear Approved Controllers and anyone else who uses my version of the ATC radar scope, please be aware that there is a new (bugfix) version out as of today. Version 2010-05-31 corrects a problem with the altimeter reading on the display panel, which I discovered was pulling from the incorrect property -- one that was corrected for altitude and temperature. The new version displays the value directly as it comes from the METAR and is the value that should be announced over the channel at the appropriate times.

-R. (MD-Terp)

Communication Handbook completely revised... Wednesday, May 26th, 2010 @ 20:00 UTC

Hello TransGear fans...

In an ongoing effort to make TransGear Airways events friendlier for new participants, the Communication Handbook has gotten a complete re-write today. The new version is an improvement on several fronts: (a) it makes the expectations of new pilots more clear; (b) it's better organized, starting with a couple broad concepts, then introducing some vocabulary, then giving some examples of transmissions used in the events; (c) it also includes a "phrase-by-phrase guidebook" stepping through an entire flight, for those who prefer a specific "script" of sorts to work from until they are comfortable with the terminology and phraseology.

The Controllers' Handbook will be getting a corresponding re-write within the week; for now, the phrasebook mentioned above is a fairly comprehensive detailing of my expectations of the controller staff. An announcement to the current approved controllers will be made privately when the new revision is posted; for others interested in the prospect of becoming a TGA-approved controller or simply curious about how my staff are expected to do their job, feel free to check in on the above link, hopefully within the next few days.

I am interested in other ideas anyone may have that will render the events less intimidating for new participants. Thanks!

-R. (MD-Terp)

Thanks to all TGA10 participants! Monday, May 10th, 2010 @ 14:30 UTC

Hello again, TransGear pilots and friends, and thanks for yet another wonderful event!

At first count it appears that ten pilots and four controllers participated. Videos and screenshots are still being posted to the forum thread, but hopefully I'll be able to get those assembled sometime this coming week or weekend. Everything I've seen so far has been pretty amazing.

My only lament, and I think it's the one that's been echoed by a few others, is that we need to boost the number of participants. The move from the original format to this one was predicated on the fact that we were seeing steady and rapid growth in the number of pilots signing up, but it seems we "peaked" and have struggled a little to get back to that level. I'm not at all trying to knock those of you that have been coming. I think it's great that we can pretty much count on a well-populated event every month. However, this new format was specifically made to handle a higher capacity, so it seems a little "empty" without a handful more joining from month to month.

So, I need your help -- I need to come up with newer and better ways to pass the word about these events to other potential pilots. Those who like flying airliners in controlled airspace are our target demographic -- and you well know, we accept pilots of any skill level above "I can take off and land without crashing". If there's something more I can be doing to recruit new participants, please let me know!

In the meantime -- it's one of those months where we get a five-week break instead of four, before the next event -- so, take some time to think about recruiting, take a breather, and mark your calendars for June 12th! See you in the skies!

-R. (MD-Terp)

Last-Minute Reminders for TGA10! Saturday, May 8th, 2010 @ 3:50 UTC

As of this message, there are still ten full slots available, as well as three partial ones. If you'd like one, claim it by answering up in the forum -- however, please respect the order of first-come-first-serve.

Make sure you get FlightGear booted up well ahead of your assigned pushback time, so you can (a) check multiplayer connectivity, (b) get your route programmed, and (c) do your normal preflight setup (including, if applicable, setting fuel loads, radio frequencies, and whatever else you usually do to prepare for your flight). Please remember to use the callsigns as they are written on the event page. First-timers, just FYI, on FGCom we identify ourselves by our flight number (i.e. "TransGear Eleven Twenty"), just as you would if you were flying a commercial flight in the real world, instead of your usual forum or multiplayer callsigns.

Also, those of you new to FGCom -- the published frequencies for KATL and KIND work out to about 80nm from the airport (assuming you have the extended range version -- Mac users, you might still be stuck with 27nm I think). Initial contact frequencies are 126.9 in Atlanta and 127.15 in Indianapolis. However, 122.75 is programmed as a "range-unlimited" channel, that most of our pilots borrow as a "chat channel" during their inbound flight, so pop over there if you have questions or issues or just want someone to shoot the breeze with while you make your way inbound. I'll be working KIND approach, but I'll also try to monitor 122.75 for questions if anyone has them. To reach me in an emergency, e-mail me and DO NOT put "FlightGear" in the subject. I'll answer all e-mails right away to the best of my ability.

If you experience a glitch of some sort and have to restart, just take off from an airport near where your problem occurred, or worst case, just start up at your next destination airport (and then be prepared to vacate the runway immediately!), and wait for your next leg start time.

Don't forget to take some screenshots if you can, and even some video if you have the resources! Preserve the timestamps if you're able -- it helps me sort out all of the submissions for chronology after the event.

I'll check in on the forum at least one last time in the morning to post weather briefings, but as always, active runways are determined at the time of the approach by the controller staff.

Talk to you all in a few hours! Enjoy your flights, and happy landings!

-R. (MD-Terp)

Now Soliciting Pilots for TGA10! Monday, April 26th, 2010 @ 7:45 UTC

It's already that time... TransGear Airways 10 is just twelve days away! As the revised format got mostly good reviews, we're going to stick with it for the foreseeable future -- my impression is that the few concerns we did have will be answered if we can manage to better fill the available routes, so please help me pass the word and let everyone know that we're open to all FG/FGCom users!

Flights are, as always, available on a first-come-first-served basis. There are twenty routes available, each including three legs. Take an entire three-leg flight if you can, but, if you need to break up a route and take only one or two legs, please specify which leg(s) you can do. Just remember that you may NOT specify "KIND-KATL" or "KATL-KIND" (the second leg only, in other words) without telling me which flight (and therefore which times) you plan to do it. Otherwise, you can either call your slot by route and leg number(s), or by airports.

Don't forget to let me know which equipment you plan to use. There are a couple of additions to the Approved Equipment list -- take a peek at it for details.

Also, if you've never done this event before, don't let that stop you! Look over the Introduction page for an idea of what you need to know. Dispel any fear you have of "messing things up" -- newcomers are always welcome.

Check the TGA10 Event Page for a list of available flights, and then e-mail me or reply on the forum thread to reserve your flight! I look forward to hearing from you!

-R. (MD-Terp)

Atlas Virtual Airlines Commences Operation! Friday, April 16th, 2010 @ 14:15 UTC

To those of you who joined TransGear Airlines events in lieu of a well-organized, well-populated, fully functioning Virtual Airline in FlightGear, I direct your attention to our new "sister organization", Atlas Virtual Airlines! Under development for several months by some of FlightGear's most active and dedicated forum members, and operating for less than a week, Atlas already has two dozen members and has already logged several dozen flight hours. In my opinion it is the most well-planned and well-supported "true" Virtual Airline FlightGear has seen to date. Those of you who enjoy flying for TransGear's monthly events but are looking for a more regular Virtual Airline experience are definitely encouraged to check them out.

Atlas has chosen Indianapolis (KIND) as their United States hub with an eye for some sort of cooperative arrangement with TransGear events. While details remain to be worked out, the two organizations intend to work as a partnership, and TGA participants are strongly encouraged to be active Atlas members and vice-versa. A system in which credit towards Atlas flight hours can be gained through TransGear events may be possible. Additionally, sometime in the near future, further cooperative arrangements may be in place, including the development of a pilot training program through TGA for Atlas.

In short, this is a great development for the FlightGear community and for Virtual Airline fans in particular. Please give Atlas Virtual Airlines your full support!

-R. (MD-Terp)

Thanks to all TGA9 participants! Thursday, April 15th, 2010 @ 22:45 UTC

Let me please send a hearty thank you to all those who made TGA9 a great success, and an excellent start to the "new era" of TGA! My controller staff did an outstanding job, and I would especially like to thank them for being adaptable to a last-minute drop-out due to a national tragedy in Poland. In addition, my condolences and thoughts/prayers go to SP-CEZ who was unable to attend the event due to that incident.

I would also like to thank all of those who participated as pilots, of whom I am still trying to get an accurate count but I believe eleven or so of you attended. Obviously an airline is nothing without pilots, and you all were a joy to work with.

My overall impression of the new format seems to be a favorable one so far, although I am still collecting feedback for additional tweaks or other adjustments or additions to be made. There is currently a poll running on the FlightGear Forum where you can add your thoughts and feelings about the new schedule and layout, or else you should feel free to e-mail me anything you think of about your experiences that might be helpful towards improving future events.

I am still assembling FlightTracker links and screenshots for the LAST event (yes, I know, I'm a huge slacker lately!), but will get those as well as the same for this latest event posted ASAP. Please continue to check back.

-R. (MD-Terp)

Last-Minute Announcements for TGA9! Saturday, April 10th, 2010 @ 6:30 UTC

The flight assignments have been updated as of the time of this announcment. Anyone else that would like to take a flight, there are still nine full and three partial slots available, so please feel free to do so by answering up in the forum thread, but I ask that you respect first-come-first-serve based on the posting order in that thread.

Please sign on at or before your assigned time, allowing enough time to do any preflight or setup needed before you're due to start, and remember to use your TGA callsign (TGAxxxx where xxxx is your flight number -- i.e. I will be "TGA1120") or the ATC callsigns, all as posted on the TGA9 event page.

IMPORTANT NOTE: there are reported connectivity issues with It may be best to choose a different server. Please consult the server list on the FlightGear Wiki and choose the one most appropriate for your location.

Don't forget to check in on 122.75 before contacting Approach, as most of us will usually be shooting the breeze on that frequency as we make our way inbound. Also, I'll usually try to monitor that frequency for any questions that come up. Unless there's a last-second drop, I'll be flying rather than ATCing again this time -- so I should have a little lighter workload and will most likely be available for any questions or issues.

If you experience a glitch of some sort and have to restart, just take off from an airport near where your problem occurred, or worst case, just start up at your next destination airport (and then be prepared to vacate the runway immediately!), and wait for your next leg start time. Initial contact frequencies are 126.9 in Atlanta and 127.15 in Indianapolis.

Don't forget to take some screenshots for me! It's helpful if you can preserve the timestamps, or maybe provide a list of the times you took each one, so I can more easily get all the various submissions assembled in chronological order. I know I've been slacking hardcore on posting the screenshots from the last event... I'm sorry. I have off of work this week to get caught up on a lot of things, and updating the TGA site from both events (8 and 9) is definitely high on the agenda.

I'll check in on the forums at least once in the morning to post weather briefings, but as always, active runways are determined at the time of the approach by the controller staff.

Fly safe and enjoy the event!

-R. (MD-Terp)

Now Soliciting Pilots for TGA9! Saturday, March 27th, 2010 @ 5:20 UTC

We are just two weeks away from the first TransGear Airways event -- TGA9 -- under our new, experimental format! While I am still working on finalizing the Air Traffic Controller lineup, I want to make sure I allow as much time as possible for flight assignments as well, because the new format will likely be confusing to most. I think once you see how it works you'll understand it a bit better. However, here's an attempt to explain:

Like always, flights are first-come-first-served. There are twenty routes available, each including three legs. I encourage as many of you as possible to choose an entire route from start to finish; however, as each is approximately a five-hour stint including stops, I understand that some may not be able to commit this much time. So if you need to break up a route and take only one or two legs, I ask that you specify which leg(s) you can do. You can specify via route and leg numbers, or by departure, layover, and destination airports. For example:

The only thing you CANNOT do is specify ONLY "KIND-KATL" or "KATL-KIND", since ten routes each include these legs. If you're taking a leg 2 only, you MUST tell me which route number you are taking it for, and then make sure you adhere as closely as possible to the associated times.

A note about the flight numbers: pilots taking an entire three-leg, five-hour flight should just use "TGA" plus their route number. However, if there is a route that is being split and taken by more than one pilot, there is a small numbering convention I am employing to make sure there won't have to be two pilots logged on at the same time and place with the same flight number. This is explained in brief on the Event Schedule page, but if you are signing up for a partial route, just check the table on the Event Page, to see what flight number you've been assigned. Again, this is something that may seem complex at first but will become more evident once you see it in action.

Don't overlook the announcement directly below this one, if you plan to take any leg which starts or stops at KIND.

So it's that time... E-mail me or check the forum thread to reserve your flight. I'm looking forward to this event like I have no other before it! Let's put it to the test!

-R. (MD-Terp)

KIND Building Collection Available... Friday, March 26th, 2010 @ 22:35 UTC

In anticipation of using KIND as the northern hub for the new TransGear format, I have been working over the past couple of weeks to dress up the grounds there and populate them with some of the main buildings and structures found at the airport. While I have only just begun, there is a download package available now on the Charts and Resources page with the initial effort. The tower, old and new terminals, and FedEx complex are included in the first version. Future versions will be forthcoming soon, but may not be available until after the April TGA event, so please feel free to grab this first collection and install it now!

-R. (MD-Terp)

New Format Timetable Revision... Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 @ 23:45 UTC

The new format timetable has seen a revision already. The new alignment should provide for more steady business in and out of the two hubs, including a mild break in between the two "waves" to allow for a potential controller shift-change; and, it should also allow for a bit better of a distribution in the available flight times for pilots. It's possible this timetable will still see some tweaking in the future, but most likely, any further revisions will come after recieving feedback from the April event.

-R. (MD-Terp)

TransGear Airways Unveils New Event Format...! Saturday, March 13th, 2010 @ 19:00 UTC

Starting in April for the TransGear 9 Event, TransGear Airways will be flying under a new format and schedule. For the time being, it will be a provisional schedule. Whether it becomes the format we adopt for future events, or whether we return to the original concept for May and beyond, will depend on the relative success of the new design and your feedback after the April event.

After TGA7 was so successful in attracting such a large group of participants, and it became time once again to think about expanding, I began looking at opening up a third hub in Europe to accommodate eight more pilots and two more controllers. However, it occurred to me that splitting the event into three separate and distinct groups, each having no interaction with the other two, did nothing to further enhance the event. If you were flying in the East, you had up to seven other pilots and two controllers to interact with, regardless of whether there were no other hubs operating, or two, or ten.

I began considering ideas for integrating all of the pilots and controllers into a single region. I revisited an idea proposed by SP-CEZ in which a region would have two hubs, and flights would consist of multiple legs that visited both before returning home or moving on. I liked that idea a lot and was planning to use that model for the impending European hub. But then it dawned on me -- why not make the whole, massive event run that way?

The result is what you now see on the Event Schedule page -- a massive, multi-hubbed, regional airline serving twenty-two airports in the Eastern United States with twenty routes, each consisting of three legs interspersed with two fifteen-minute layovers, and each running through both Atlanta, Georgia (KATL) and Indianapolis, Indiana (KIND). Shorter and longer legs have been paired up to ensure that all complete routes are as similar in length as possible.

The benefits of this new design are:

One possible drawback is that every route is now five hours in duration. The entire event now lasts from approximately 1400 UTC to approximately 1900 UTC. To mitigate this potential shortfall, for those who cannot participate in a five-hour, three-leg stretch all at once, I will permit each route to be broken up into individual flights in any combination desired. This should answer the demand for both a quick flight or for a "day's work," depending on each pilot's desire and availability.

Another asset that we lose by merging into one giant network is the distinction between the "casual" and "procedural" divisions. You'll notice that the entire website has gotten a rewrite to reflect this change. Pilots are free to choose any navigation method they prefer; but one thing I have done to allow newcomers the chance to follow IFR routes like the veterans is that I done some of the research and prep work already and posted pre-built routes on the Charts and Resources page. This, at least, will take some of the advanced route planning out of the hands of brand-new pilots who may not know all of the intracacies involved. Beginners are still welcome to fly a direct path, and veterans are permitted to modify or adjust the pre-packaged routes or create their own from scratch if they choose.

All told, I am proud to present this new format and hope that all of you will enjoy it as much as I anticipate. As always, I welcome your feedback via e-mail or on the FlightGear Forums. And, I look forward to flying with you soon.

-R. (MD-Terp)

Thanks to all TGA8 participants! Saturday, March 13th, 2010 @ 13:55 UTC

Thank you to all of our pilots and controllers for attending our eighth event! I was very grateful to be able to fly a leg this time rather than act as a controller. I enjoy the variety of being able to do either, and despite some connectivity issues with FGCom and MPMap and the usual handful of technical glitches, I had a great flight and I hope the majority of the rest of you had an enjoyable event as well.

As always, please post on the forum or forward to me any videos or screenshots you took during the event, with timestamps if at all possible, and I'll post them on the event page during the coming week.

Including a few last-minute adds, the preliminary count is that we had 17 participants this time plus a few spectators -- another wonderful, outstanding turnout! You guys rock! Please continue to pass the word about these events to other FlightGear users you encounter who enjoy flying airliners and working in controlled airspace. Next month's new provisional format should make the gathering even more fun!

-R. (MD-Terp)

Last-Minute Announcements for TGA8... Saturday, March 13th, 2010 @ 00:55 UTC

The flight assignments are updated as of the time of this announcement. Anyone else that would like to take a flight, please feel free to do so, but respect first-come-first-serve based on the posting order in the forum thread. Please remember to use your TGA callsign (TGAxxx where xxx is your flight number -- i.e. I will be "TGA259") and be signed on about 5-10 minutes or more before your scheduled pushback time, to give you time to enter your flight routing information or whatever other pre-flight prep you need to do.

Don't forget to check in on 122.75 before contacting Approach, as most of us will usually be shooting the breeze on that frequency as we make our way inbound. Also, I'll usually monitor that frequency for any questions that come up. I'll be flying rather than ATCing this time so I should have a little lighter workload and will most likely be available for any questions or issues.

If you experience a glitch of some sort and have to restart, just take off from an airport near where your problem occurred, or worst case, just start up on an inactive runway at the hub airport and wait for your outbound leg start time. Inactive runways are usually 4/22 at KBWI and 14/32 at KSLC.

Initial contact frequencies are 124.3 in the west and 119.7 in the east. If you have any literature listing the east approach frequency as 119.0, it is outdated.

Don't forget to take some screenshots for me! It's helpful if you can preserve the timestamps, or maybe provide a list of the times you took each one, so I can more easily get all the various submissions assembled in chronological order.

I'll check in on the forums at least once in the morning to post weather briefings, but as always, active runways are determined at the time of the approach by the controller staff.

Fly safe and enjoy the event!

-R. (MD-Terp)

Now Soliciting Pilots for TGA8! Monday, March 1st, 2010 @ 16:10 UTC

Hi again, everyone...

Already, TGA8 is bearing down on us, and it's time to start staking your claim on what may be the last TransGear event under the "original" format! Yes, I have something extra-special in the works for the April event -- and if it works as well as I feel like it will, it should become the new format ("TransGear 2.0", if you will) for our events thereafter. I'm still ironing out the details on that, and will probably wait to unveil them until after we get March behind us.

However, in the meantime, TGA8 flights will be conducted in the same manner as the last three events, and are up for grabs as we speak. So as usual, please let me know on the forum post or via e-mail if you'd like to reserve one of the open flights. Make sure to check the approved equipment list and let me know which aircraft you plan to use for the event.

Our ATC crew has already been established and will consist of jomo and wookierabbit in the East, and SP-CEZ and redneck in the West. Initial contact frequencies are 119.7 for Potomac Approach (Baltimore) and 124.3 for Salt Lake Approach. FGCom use is mandatory; SID and STAR use is optional in the East and mandatory in the West. Please feel free to ask any questions you might have using the same links I've posted just above.

Last month, twelve of the sixteen pilot slots were claimed in the first four days after they were opened; so please don't wait if you are considering joining us! Newcomers are always welcome -- check the introduction page for a run-down of the essentials.

I look forward to hearing from you and flying with you on March the 13th!

-R. (MD-Terp)

A Bunch of TGA and Website Updates... Friday, February 26th, 2010 @ 23:50 UTC

Well it took me almost two full weeks, but I finally finished collecting the flight tracks, videos, and screenshots for the TransGear 7 debrief page. Please enjoy what I feel to be quite a fun collection of data and memories from a fantastic event!

In the meantime, it's very nearly time to start sorting out pilot assignments for the March gathering already! Whew! Time just never slows down, does it? I'll post the official announcement and forum thread soon; I will be working on determining the air traffic control assignments first, and will advise on that ASAP.

Speaking of air traffic control, I'd like to welcome redneck to the TGA Controller staff. He has attended every single event in one capacity or another, and was instrumental in the development of the USA West ("Procedural") hub, as his education on flight routing and planning proved invaluable to my efforts in developing that project. Thanks, and welcome, redneck!

Also by way of adding to the TGA approved list, I have included Gary "Buckaroo" Neely's MD-81 project as an officially approved aircraft for TGA events. It's still under development but is more than functional enough in its present form, and based on Gary's other work, I can guarantee this will be one of the best airliners in FlightGear in the near future. In fact it is presently my own airliner of choice within the simulator.

Last, but not least, I'd like to officially announce that April's event format will be a radical departure from the flight schedule we've been using so far. I have something new and exciting in the works. I'm not ready to announce details just yet, but my gut tells me it will be a grand improvement to an already successful event, and should make everything even more fun for all involved. We'll try it for April, and if it works out, we'll adopt it as our new permanent format; if we don't end up liking it as much, we can return to the current setup for May and beyond. I'll let you all know when I have something more concrete to unveil!

Anyway, check back in the next few days and start getting ready to claim your preferred assignments for March 13th!

-R. (MD-Terp)

Record-Breaking TGA7 Complete! Saturday, February 13th, 2010 @ 19:10 UTC

I'm still collecting all of the data (and with a busy Saturday afternoon ahead of me, it may be a few days before I have everything together), but at first glance I counted seventeen (EDIT: EIGHTEEN! Wow!) officially scheduled participants (four controllers and 13 pilots)(make that 14), shattering our previous record held by TGA4 with 12!

With a few minor issues (which you can see discussed on the forum thread), the East hub went extremely well, and all reports I've gotten from the West have been similar. The only thing I want to address briefly is the individual that thought it was funny to disrupt the event by playing rock music over the Baltimore Tower channel. To whomever you are, I'm not sure why upsetting us is so funny to you or why you were so compelled, but I know we would all much prefer you participate in a constructive, cooperative way -- you're more than welcome to do so! (At least we know your FGCom works!)

But aside from that minor issue and the usual handful of technical glitches, every indication was that it was a wildly successful event by any and all measures, and I truly and deeply appreciate all the hard work and preparation that pilots and controllers alike put into it.

Like I said on 122.75 afterwards -- you all really and truly made my day. It couldn't have come at a better time for me.

The full debrief page will be up hopefully by the end of the week. (EDIT: I have all of the Flight Tracker links I could find embedded in the schedule chart. Quite a few didn't track this time, as it seems mpserver05 and possibly others were not reporting to the tracker most of the latter part of this week. However, look it over, and if you know your flight was indeed tracked and I don't seem to have it linked there, contact me and let me know what the link is, and I'll add it in. Thanks!)

-R. (MD-Terp)

Last-Minute Announcements for TGA7... Saturday, February 13th, 2010 @ 0:30 UTC

As of right now, 250 (KOAK-KSLC-KOAK), 242 (KABQ-KSLC-KABQ), and 154 (KORD-KBWI-KORD) are the only slots left for this event. While I expect that I will check in on the forum thread at least one more time between now and then (to post weather briefings and such), if you want to lay claim to one of these last three flights, please go ahead and speak up right there in the thread. Please honor first-come-first-served if there are more than one of you looking to claim a spot.

If you can't commit to the time and would just like to pop in, you're more than welcome to do so as long as you remain clear of the active runways and/or cooperate with ATC regarding the use of the airspace. At KBWI, 4 and 22 are safe spots to spawn, and 15L/33R are usually not used much if at all either. At KSLC, 14 and 32 are probably your best bets. (Not that we can stop you from doing what you want, but I'm saying, we ask that you be courteous and not disturb the event.) Even if you aren't participating in the event, it's preferred if you can use FGCom while operating in the airspace, as mixing typed and verbal instructions is tough for the controllers.

My usual last-minute reminders... please be logged on at least a few minutes before your scheduled departure time (WHICH IS IN UTC TERMS!!!), to allow for a check of MP connectivity, operational FGCom and mic, and whatever flight planning you require. Don't forget to use the callsign corresponding to your chosen flight ("TGA{xxx}" where {xxx} is the flight number you chose), both as your MP callsign and verbally over FGCom. If you experience any problems which cut your flight short, just restart from a nearby airport and rejoin your flight as closely as you can; or, just start up at KBWI on 4 or 22, or at KSLC on 14 or 32, and join us for the outbound leg. Also, feel free to come up on 122.75 while you're enroute and before you need to switch over to contact Approach -- that's a range-unrestricted chat channel within most FGCom builds, and most of our pilots will chat back and forth on it while outside the TCA. Also, I try to monitor that frequency even if I'm ATCing somewhere else, so I can answer any last minute questions that come up.

Aside from 122.75, if you have any last-minute issues or questions, you can probably post them on the forum, as I generally monitor it right up until it's time for me to log on for my flight or ATC role. As a last resort you can e-mail me: if you DON'T put "FlightGear" in the subject line, it will be sent straight to my phone so I can receive and answer it right away. (E-mails with FlightGear in the subject are diverted to a low-priority folder which doesn't get sent to my phone.)

OH! And, don't forget to take some nice screenshots for me, and maybe some video!

Good luck, fly safe, and have fun!...

-R. (MD-Terp)

URGENT: East Approach/Departure Frequency Change! Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 @ 7:55 UTC

It seems that the modifcations that were made to extend the range and usability of FGCom have exposed a small issue with its frequency database, which was previously hidden to us. For that reason, Potomac Approach and Departure will now be operating on 119.7 instead of the previously used 119.0. USA East pilots, please be prepared to make your initial contact on 119.7 before being handed off to 119.4; similarly, upon lifting off, you will be handed back to 119.7 for Departure.

In case you care for the explanation -- in the Baltimore region, Potomac Approach handles several different airports; among them, Baltimore/Washington International, Washington Reagan National, Washington Dulles International, Martin State Airport, Frederick Municipal, College Park, and others. In FGCom's frequency database, those channels which are utilized for more than one are listed for each. One such channel is 119.0, which is listed as the approach channel for both KBWI and KMTN. We never knew this, because as it so happens, the ICAO for the airport we use is first alphabetically. FGCom used to hit on the first matching frequency it found; now, because of the increased range, it completes a search and latches onto the closest station.

Now in reality, there isn't a separate station handling KBWI and KMTN on 119.0; it's a single facilty that handles both on the same frequency. However, FGCom handles the two entries as two separate stations. Arrivals coming from the North and East on 119.0 would attach to the KMTN entry while the rest of us would be closer to KBWI and therefore latched onto its entry.

119.7 is only listed, at least in this region, for KBWI -- and therefore is a safe alternative which should be tunable from all directions.

-R. (MD-Terp)

West Hub Flight Times Adjusted... Tuesday, February 9th, 2010 @ 18:40 UTC

Due to my inital underestimation of the flight times in the USA West hub, having not sufficiently accounted for the additional time taking a non-direct path would add over and above a point-to-point flight nor for the additional airspeed restrictions imposed by many of the SIDs and STARs flown there, I have adjusted the flight schedule to better accommodate these realistic flight routes and procedures. Every flight was extended by at least five minutes and up to thirty minutes, depending on the route, using data obtained from actual test-flights using published flightplans. Those of you who are anticipating flying a USA West route, please consult the revised timetable on the TGA7 Event Page, and contact me on the forum post or via e-mail to let me know if you need to switch assignments as a result. If I don't hear from you, I will assume you are available to fly the route on the new, revised timetable.

My sincerest apologies for the time extensions; and my sincerest thanks for your continued participation and support of these events!

Also -- oddly, nothing has changed in the week since my last announcement. The East hub is still booked, and the West still has four slots open, so please let me know if you're interested in flying. Beginners are still welcome and we will make appropriate accomodations to ensure you can fly with us safely.

-R. (MD-Terp)

UPDATE: Pilot Slots for TGA7 Going Fast! Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 @ 22:25 UTC

In just four days, the East hub has already become completely booked!

Four slots remain for the West hub, so if you are looking to participate in this event, all is not lost. If, however, you are a beginner and wish to participate, let me know on the forum post or via e-mail and I will see if there is a pilot enrolled for an East hub flight who would be willing to switch up to one in the West. Otherwise, first-time participants are more than welcome to fly West hub flights, as long as they are able to follow STARs and SIDs. It's a lot to ask for someone who is new to the flight simulator environment, but if you have some familiarity with real-world flight operations (even on a hobbyist level), it's not out of the question.

Anyway, be in touch if you still want to participate, and even if you aren't able to take one of the West hub slots, we'll work something out. I would love to have you as part of this potentially record-breaking event!

-R. (MD-Terp)

Now Soliciting Pilots for TGA7! Friday, January 29th, 2010 @ 23:05 UTC

Hello pilots... TransGear 7 is just over two weeks away. I'm very excited about this one because, as it stands now (of course, this is subject to change), we should be able to run both hubs with two air traffic controllers! In the West, initial contact will be with SP-CEZ as Salt Lake Approach on 124.3, who will hand off to Farmboy manning Salt Lake Tower on 118.3. In the East, Potomac Approach will be conducted by Jomo on 119.0, and he will transfer you to wookierabbit holding down Baltimore Tower on 119.4. Of course, all of that is subject to change, but I am making myself available as a backup in case anyone isn't able to make it at the last minute; I'm confident we will have a fully-staffed ATC crew for this event! Who knows; I might even get to fly a leg myself for only the second time in seven events!

Anyway, check out the list of available flights on the TGA7 event page. Also, please remember that FGCom use is mandatory, that all times listed are UTC, that first-timers are welcome to join us as long as they look over the guidelines here on this site (the intro, membership guidelines, and pilots and communications pages are a good start), and that published flight routes (SIDs/STARs) are mandatory for West routes (2xx) but optional for the East (1xx).

Assignments are first-come, first served -- so please let me know on the forum post or via e-mail who wants to fly with us on the 13th!

-R. (MD-Terp)

Approved Aircraft List Purge? Saturday, January 23rd, 2010 @ 12:50 UTC

I was thinking today about the idea of the "approved equipment" list for TGA events, and came to the conclusion that it does not need to be nearly as long as it is. I am considering "purging" it to include only those aircraft that pilots have actually used in events thus far (minus the CitationX), and then adding them back in only on an as-requested basis.

My motivations are:

Based on what's actually been used in TransGear events to date, I am considering limiting the new list to: 737-400 (iEspana), 747, 747-400, 777-200ER, 787, b1900d, Concorde, CRJ-200, DC-6, DHC-8, Lockheed 1049H, and TU-154B. Of course, as I said, former and new aircraft may be added by request, as long as they are in the spirit of a passenger service, and commonly available.

Please visit the forum topic here to voice your opinion.

-R. (MD-Terp)

Range-extended FGCom available for download! Friday, January 15th, 2010 @ 11:55 UTC

Thanks to the continued hard work of Tuxklok, FGCom has seen some upgrades and improvements, the most significant of which (at least, in my opinion) is a modified "radio range" setting which allows aircraft to communicate verbally with ATC stations within 100nm. This means that as soon as aircraft are close enough to be "seen" by the multiplayer system, they should be able to be "heard" as well. This will enhance the ability of approach controllers to coordinate arrivals, even beyond the range of their radar scope, through the use and monitoring of position reports. This enhanced version is currently available for Windows and Linux systems, and details can be found on the Charts and Resources page.

EDIT: Also, I have updated my custom ATC set -- I removed the text chat shortcuts (which seemed to cause too many bugs, glitches, and overall issues anyway), since we have moved away from the need for issuing commands via text, and replaced them with easy-access buttons to control the COM1 and COM2 frequencies. Per request, I also added in the keyboard shortcuts for zooming the radar scope in and out (up and down arrow keys), as well as target selection (left and right). Finally, I made the wind heading display compatible with both older and newer builds, by making the correction for magnetic variation able to be enabled/disabled. It's available for download here, and a README.txt provides some basic information.

-R. (MD-Terp)

Thanks for another great gathering! Sunday, January 10th, 2010 @ 3:55 UTC

My sincerest gratitude goes out to everyone who participated in TGA6! It wound up being a reversal of last event, with a busy East hub and a relaxing West. We had quite a few brand-new particiapnts this time through, and overall, I was pleased with the results.

I haven't yet had time to gather any of the screenshots, videos, or flight track links; but I'll do the usual drill as soon as I get the chance, and the resulting gallery and/or debrief page will be available under the TransGear 6 link as soon as I can get them there.

-R. (MD-Terp)

URGENT: Controller Lineup Change for TGA6... Friday, January 8th, 2010 @ 20:40 UTC

Please welcome "Farmboy" to the ranks of TGA event Air Traffic Controllers!

Farmboy holds a real-world pilot's certificate in the US, and will be joining our controller ranks for tomorrow's event, TGA6, as Baltimore Tower. This means I will be moving over to Potomac Approach on 119.0, and that will be the initial contact frequency for inbound USA East pilots. Handoff to Tower will take place once you've been cleared for your approach; landing clearances will be issued on the Tower frequency.

Thanks and congratulations, Farmboy!

See everyone in the skies tomorrow!

-R. (MD-Terp)

TransGear seeks nominations for European Hub airports... Thursday, January 7th, 2010 @ 12:20 UTC

It's not exactly imminent yet, but as TransGear Airways continues to grow month after month, it's time for me to start thinking down the road about opening a third hub. As I stated from the very outset, I always intended for that hub to be in Europe. Along the way, I was presented some very interesting ideas regarding flight scheduling, and so you all should expect that this hub will be done a little differently than the current model I have operating in the USA -- but, we'll get there in due time.

What I need for now are some ideas, "nominations" if you prefer, for airports in Europe that TransGear should consider serving. My main criteria are, (a) that they are substantial air-travel ports in real life (as opposed to an out-of-the-way, regional airport with little activity); and (b) that they have seen something by way of scenery enhancement, hopefully including a terminal building with jetways and maybe some auxiliary buildings.

Spacially I would hope to cover all of the major corners of Europe, as well, without having any two that are too close to one another. But I'll work on that.

For now, let's just start this way: what are the "prettiest" airports in FlightGear's virtual Europe?

Already in mind I have the following:

... and, that's only four. I'd hope to have a total of eight, just like my hubs in the States. I definitely need an EVEN number.

Thanks for your suggestions! Screenshots might be good to include with your nominations as well! Please respond on this forum topic or e-mail your ideas to me.

A SMALL UPDATE ON THE FLIGHT PLAN LIBRARY... I now have eleven legs available for your perusal. Remember that you may need to modify fuel loads and altitudes per aircraft, and adjust the routes per surface wind conditions. But at least you have some samples to look at when it comes to creating flight plans for the USA West hub. Visit the bottom of the Charts and Resources page to see the samples.

A SMALL UPDATE ON TGA6... there remains only ONE USA East flight and four USA West flights! If all currently scheduled attendees participate as planned, this month's gathering will be the biggest TransGear event to date! But, there's still time to claim those remaining slots, so please feel free to jump into this forum topic or e-mail me your preferred flight assignment! Time is running out -- hope to see you in the skies!

-R. (MD-Terp)

USA West Flight Plan Library Now Open; Now Soliciting Pilots for TGA6! Tuesday, December 29th, 2009 @ 1:55 UTC

To help beginners ease into creating flightplans for use with the USA West hub, I have started a "Flight Plan Library" at the bottom of the Charts and Resources page, where previously flown flightplans can be catalogued and recycled. As of this writing, of the sixteen legs in the hub schedule (eight spokes times an inbound and an outbound leg each), only one test flight I just completed myself is listed. I encourage each of you to look over the format there, and send me the information on your own planned flight routes that I can post there to share with others.

On that topic, TransGear Airways 6 is just under two weeks away, so please jump in on this thread in the Forums to claim your favorite, or else e-mail me to do the same. Air traffic controller assignments will be posted as soon as I know them.

-R. (MD-Terp)

Adjustments to TGA Event Procedures, Mark II... Sunday, December 27th, 2009 @ 16:05 UTC

After discussion of the below on the FlightGear Forums, the consensus seems to be that the procedure discussed below was actually more of a divergence from reality than an improvement -- and, in conclusion, was needlessly complex for the level of traffic and the scheduling format we are at for now.

Therefore, the website is getting another rewrite today (possibly finished by the time you read this) to greatly simplify the Departure process, particularly in the West where all aircraft are departing via one SID or another. In reality, SIDs were created with the purpose of reducing the necessary controller interaction, and so it shall be here. While the Departure controller will really only be needed in the East to vector out aircraft that are not following a published procedure, they will remain in place for both hubs -- however, the West Departure controller will probably only interact with pilots if they are spaced too closely along the same SID route, other than to clear them to change frequencies once they leave the airspace.

Thanks for all of the valuable feedback, and see you in the skies!

-R. (MD-Terp)

Adjustments to TGA Event Procedures... Thursday, December 24th, 2009 @ 6:10 UTC

Since the advent of more pilots wishing to follow more realistic flight paths, and particularly since the addition of the USA West hub, I have found it necessary to make a minor, but important, change to the general procedure of the TransGear events. This will also get us a little closer to real-world departure procedures as well.

(EDIT: stricken. see above.)

Also, speaking of listed online procedures, the first draft of the USA West Route Planning and Flight Checklist has been published, and is ready for scrutiny, proofreading, comment, correction, and test-driving. Please let me know what you think. Additionally, in developing that checklist, I found a list of online flight planning resources that I've added to the Charts and Resources page, including national METAR database and all sorts of routing tools, sectional charts, and airport procedures. Look those over as well.

The Controllers' Handbook has gotten its needed rewrite, to reflect the use of SIDs and STARs, too. I've been very, very busy this week!

Feedback on any and all of the above is appreciated. Above all, have a great holiday (those of you who celebrate those sorts of ordeals, anyway), and I'll talk to you all very shortly about scheduling for TGA6!

EDIT, Apr 16, 2010: the checklist spoken of above has now been split into separate guides for Flight Planning and Flight Execution.

-R. (MD-Terp)

Current and Proposed Changes to TGA Site... Friday, December 18th, 2009 @ 1:45 UTC

For the sake of keeping information organized and concise, I have split the Approved lists into separate pages for Controllers and Aircraft. Please let me know if you find any links on the site that need updating. I believe I've caught them all.

Also, I've greatly streamlined the area of the Approved Aircraft list with respect to the download links. It is now encumbent upon each individual participant to ensure that the models they download are compliant with the version of FlightGear they happen to be running. There were simply too many variations of too many planes and too many software versions for me to keep up.

Finally, there is also a poll on the FG Forums Site that I encourage you all to participate in. I would like to find out how strong the push might be for us to add our own discussion forum to this site. I'm currently very much on the fence as to whether this would be a good idea, or whether the status quo is just fine, for reasons I list in the post there. Please contribute to the discussion and I will move ahead accordingly.

-R. (MD-Terp)

Thanks for Another Successful Event! Tuesday, December 15th, 2009 @ 11:50 UTC

The December TransGear event was a great success and a grand debut for our USA West hub! Despite a last-minute shortage in controllers, leaving us just one person running Approach, Tower, Ground, and Departure for each hub, the event seemed to stay pretty organized and orderly and nearly on-schedule. The USA East hub was a little sparse, but was a nice change of pace from the hectic morning that the West was. All participants did a great job and (seemed to have) had a lot of fun. The radio procedure just keeps getting better and better!

All of the flights I could find on Flight Tracker are linked in; as usual, I'm still collecting and sorting through screenshots and will hope to have a nice collection of those posted within the next couple days, or at least before the end of the week.

For January I am hopeful that we can get closer to filling the two hubs. We'll see. I also expect a pick-up after the new FlightGear version update, which should be coming out around the first of the year, so hopefully we can snag some new members through the Winter and into the Spring. I appreciate all of you helping to get the word out about our events.

Thanks again to all who did a wonderful job flying with us this past week, and to wookierabbit for keeping the West running smoothly.

-R. (MD-Terp)

Missing Terminal and Nav-Aids Located! Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 @ 17:35 UTC

If you fly around KSLC, either casually or in preparation for our event, you may have noticed that many of the waypoints used in the standard arrival and departure procedures there are not in the FlightGear database. There is a fix available. Please visit the newly updated Charts and Resources page for more detailed information. Also, if you aren't a TerraSync user, you may wish to visit the FlightGear Scenery page and download a fresh copy of the GlobalObjects file -- an error was discovered and corrected which now allows for a terminal building to be visible on the grounds of the Salt Lake airport. Thanks, statto, for getting that rectified!

The December event is filling up -- only six pilot slots remain! If you'd like to join us for a flight this Saturday, you'd better speak up soon!

-R. (MD-Terp)

Temporary Fix Available for Scenery Errors around KBWI Tuesday, December 1st, 2009 @ 23:25 UTC

For those of you who fly around KBWI (either for these events or just in general), please be aware that I have submitted changes to Martin Spott which should hopefully eliminate all (or at least most -- but on my end, *all*) of the error messages about global animations and missing glyphs that one normally gets when approaching KBWI. Martin is a little backed up with scenery changes at the moment, though, so for a temporary fix, please see this topic in the FlightGear Forums.

An update on the December event -- seven of sixteen pilot slots are filled, and I believe I have two controllers ready to go at each hub airport. Keep those reservation requests coming!

-R. (MD-Terp)

Now Soliciting Pilot Assignments for TGA5! Sunday, November 29th, 2009 @ 19:15 UTC

Controller assignments and flights in the first DUAL-HUB TransGear event are now up-for-grabs! Please visit the December Event Page for a list of available flights, and then visit the FlightGear forum thread or email me if you're willing and able to participate, and I'll reserve your flight preference. Remember, flights are first-come, first-serve. Please do not commit unless you're almost certain you can and will attend.

All are welcome, new participants included -- I ask that you please look over the "basic" information available here before the event.

Just as a reminder: FGCom usage is mandatory for participation.

-R. (MD-Terp)

TransGear 4 Features Four More Firsts! Sunday, November 15th, 2009 @ 2:35 UTC

TransGear 4 is now in the books, and what an event it was! Not without its share of technical glitches, it still managed to show how far we can push the simulation envelope within just four months. The culmination of that time resulted in the following "firsts":

TransGear 5, which will feature a "first" or two of its own, is already heavily into the planning stages (as you can see by the announcement below, and by the other major updates the website has seen this week, in case you haven't already noticed!). My big project for the coming weeks is to develop a flight planning and execution checklist for the upcoming USA West hub. Hopefully that will be complete over the next week or two, and then the two weeks after that will be spent deciding and allocating roles for the December gathering! Once a month doesn't seem like it's really that often, but somehow this stuff keeps coming up fast!

Special thanks today to David (D-79) for managing all the air traffic on Approach, including all ten of the scheduled flights plus two or three unscheduled visitors, while trying to keep track of whether the Tower was available (which was intermittent due to technical issues). I think we could tell in a couple spots that he was particularly overwhelmed, but overall he held it together and kept his composure like a true professional, and I'm proud to have him on my ATC staff! Nice job, David!

I'd like to also welcome all of the new participants that flew with us today. Even if you have already, look over our Pilot's handbook and Communications Handbook; now that you've been a part of one gathering, some of the things outlined in those two manuals might make more sense.

You all did a great job! The flight schedule goes from ten pilots and two controllers to sixteen pilots and four controllers for December, so I hope to see you all with us then!

EDIT, Apr 16, 2010: the checklist spoken of above has now been split into separate guides for Flight Planning and Flight Execution.

-R. (MD-Terp)

Preliminary "USA West" flight schedule released! Thursday, November 12th, 2009 @ 21:45 UTC

The continued and rapid growth of this event is astounding. The support all of you have shown for it is nothing short of amazing. In response to that growth, I have decided that it is time to expand the event's flight schedule. Our second hub, Salt Lake City, will be open effective for TGA5 in December!

As I have explored the area surrounding the airport, I have come to realize that the "basic" level of flight procedures we have been using around Baltimore will not be sufficient. Central Maryland is, for the most part, very flat and level, with few high obstructions. Virtually anywhere within the "virtual TCA radius" of 25nm from the airfield is perfectly safe to fly at altitudes of 2,000 feet.

In and around Salt Lake City, this is not so. Well within the 25nm circle are several areas (particularly approaching from the Northeast) which require 11,000 or 12,000 feet of altitude above sea level to safely clear; the field itself rests at about 4,200 feet. Clearly, our "watered-down" procedures won't cut it, lest we lose some of our fleet to the rock faces there.

Instead of seeing this as an obstacle, in either the literal or figurative sense, I believe that this is a great opportunity to accommodate the pilots who have been participating in TGA with a higher degree of realism in IFR procedures. Flying into Salt Lake, particularly in adverse weather, will require their additional skills, and I'm sure many will enjoy the challenge of our new USA West hub. For the others, we have the choice to continue to employ simplified methods in the USA East region, or to acquire the additional knowledge and skills required for participation in the more difficult setting to the West. The two areas have been nicknamed "The Casual Hub" and "The Procedural Hub" for clarification's sake for newcomers.

In the meantime, we still have just a couple slots open for this coming Saturday. I was originally concerned with the number of people who said they were unavailable; yet, with some returning pilots and some new faces, we're almost 100% booked!

Thanks again... keep passing the word... and I'll see you in the skies!

-R. (MD-Terp)

Controller and Equipment "Approved Lists" Now Available! Monday, November 9th, 2009 @ 1:55 UTC

In response to the growing list of non-CVS aircraft models I have approved for TGA events, I have decided it was time to go ahead and develop a specific Approved List published here on the site. At the time of this announcement, that list is under development; however, the page has been created at the previously referenced link. I felt it was as good a place as any to keep the "Approved Controllers List" as well, so if you have any questions about who is eligible to sign up in ATC positions for a monthly event, you can refer to that same link.

EDIT, Dec 17 2009: I have now split that list into separate links for approved controllers and equipment; please see above.

-R. (MD-Terp)

Now Soliciting Pilot Assignments for TGA4! Friday, October 30th, 2009 @ 17:35 UTC; updated/corrected Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 @ 10:35 UTC

Please visit the November Event Page for a list of available flights, and then visit the FlightGear forum thread or email me if you're willing and able to participate, and I'll reserve your flight preference. Remember, flights are first-come, first-serve. Please do not commit unless you're almost certain you can and will attend.

I am holding off on opening the West hub just yet... maybe I'll change my mind, if a lot more pilots than last time are interested in participating... but a few former participants have already said they aren't available for this one, so instead of having two semi-boring hubs, I'll opt for one crowded one again, at least this one more time.

Just as a reminder: FGCom usage is now mandatory for participating.

-R. (MD-Terp)

Controllers' Handbook now online! Saturday, October 17th, 2009 @ 11:55 UTC

The Controllers' Handbook is now updated and available. I'm sure it will go through several revisions as I re-read it and tweak it. If there are any major revisions or rewritten sections, I will let you all know with an announcement here. Please look it over, whether you are an "approved controller" or hope to be one, or even if you are a pilot who is curious to know what to expect from our ATC services. Regardless, please feel free to e-mail me with any feedback.

On the subject of "approved controllers," I would like to announce your current TGA Air Traffic Control staff: D-79, jomo, wookierabbit, and myself will be at your service on FGCom. Who is assigned to what will be published on each month's event page, as will the appropriate inital contact frequency for each hub at each event.

And on that note, I'm not yet sure whether the USA-West hub will be open for the November event. We'll see how pilot demand looks in a week when I post the thread seeking assignment requests. I'll also post an announcement on this page with some preliminary information on the USA-West flight schedule, in case it does become necessary.

-R. (MD-Terp)

Thanks to all TransGear 3 participants! Saturday, October 10th, 2009 @ 18:25 UTC

TransGear 3 was, by all measures that matter to me, a great success! Seven out of nine scheduled pilots were able to make it as planned (the other two had technical issues beyond their control, so I'm not holding their absences against them) and all were using FGCom. A couple of unscheduled visitors joined us as well (including someone flying a British Airways Concorde... got some pretty screenshots of it!) and for the most part everything went fairly smoothly.

I've linked in all the flights I could find in Flight Tracker and posted my screenshots as well as four that Tuxklok took and posted in the Forum, but I'll continue to collect pics and vids as they appear.

Nice job everyone! I already can't wait until next month!

-R. (MD-Terp)

TransGear 3: The First All-Voice TGA Event! Thursday, October 8th, 2009 @ 02:45 UTC

Those of you who remember August and September's events, you'll recall what a mess it was to try and type ATC commands to everyone -- and, in TGA2, how much trouble I had remembering who I was supposed to be talking to versus who I was supposed to be typing to!

So, with the goal in mind to slowly transition from a mixed environment of Multiplayer-Chat-ATC with FGCom users, originally upon starting the scheduling thread for the October TransGear gathering I had stated that I would allow FGCom-equipped pilots first crack at their desired flights, and would form a waitlist for non-FGCom-equipped pilots to cover the remaining slots.

Well as of today, we have no less than NINE pilots signed up for flights, and ALL are FGCom equipped!

As a result, I have decided to eliminate the waitlist and start considering FGCom a mandatory part of the TransGear equation. You'll see if you look at the Membership Requirements, Pilot's Handbook, and Controller's Handbook that these resources have been rewritten to reflect this change.

I hope that this migration does not block out anyone who would like to join us for an event. My goal is for more realism, and for more ease of participation given that pilots will not have to type and fly simultaneously. For those that this causes issues with, I do truly apologize, and hope that with emerging text-to-speech and speech-to-text technology a gateway will reopen allowing your future participation.

For my FGCom-equipped users, though, I hope you all are looking forward to this major FlightGear milestone as much as I am! Hope to see you all in the skies on Saturday!

-R. (MD-Terp)

TransGear Online is here! Thursday, October 8th, 2009 @ 02:00 UTC

If you are reading this, I presume you already figured this out. :)

As September turned to October and many newcomers came inquiring about joining, I was starting to realize that it was time to open up a small website on which I could maintain some basic information on TransGear Airways. Pointing them to the previous forum threads, which had become bloated with discussion, was no longer a viable option; and I was afraid that newcomers to the group would feel left out if they had not been participating with the threads the entire time. I began pricing web hosting services for the task.

Then there was a mild stir in the forum regarding my process for selecting Air Traffic Controllers for the events. This led "yourgod" and "jomo" both to suggest separately that it might be time for a website as well. That was the push I needed -- originally I had planned to wait until after the October gathering, but here I am in the days before it, throwing the information together for a basic page.

At some point in the near future I may decide to include a forum here, where we can discuss upcoming events and hash out pilot and controller assignments, review and debrief previous events and post screenshots and videos, and discuss our plans for expansion as the events become more and more popular. For now, we'll continue to (ab)use the main FlightGear fourms for that, but it's certainly a short-term goal for us to have our own space here for such things.

Anyway, welcome to the website, modest as it may be for the moment; and I hope to see you in the skies!

-R. (MD-Terp)