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EPOCH A.A. VA Blog

Closing on Skeds

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (0)

This, my friends, is going to be a "post-crazy" week I think!


First of all, the Economy numbers are finished except for a few odds and ends for the Pilots who posted in the Online thread. We'll get those data sheets into the "Economy Page" in the next 2 days. As well, those pilots who participate in the Economy model shall see the chosen work and primary locations tied into the Economy spreadsheet.


Then of course it looks like the Big Draw for the winner of the screenshot contest in the last Online Adventure is going to happen Wednesday when I get a chance to sit down with John, the Judge. That will net the winner a 3 Pack of the aircraft of their choice, drawn from a sales floor of over 50, at X-Hangar.


The EPOCH Alaska Air Schedules Database is complete. This represents the first 100 scheduled routes/legs and consists of 48 Flights covering all of our Main Schedules. This database does not yet include the feeder routes into the various Hubs of EPOCH. That will come in the fall. For the remainder of the summer and early fall however, I imagine that over 11,300 nautical miles of scheduled travel routes ought to keep the Pilots of EPOCH Alaska Air busy :) .


So, still left to do. Format the database into nice looking and easily-readable snapshots for the Sked Page (coming in a couple days), include a downloadable .pdf file, open the Flight Planning & Reporting Form Page (already built), open the Passenger, Baggage/Gear & Cargo Generator page (already built), display the Economy Payscale and write a step-by-step guide to flying the skeds.


Then of course there is the all-new Aircraft Locator & Condition database. This has each aircraft's location across the state along with the 'condition' of the aircraft (as far as TBO vs. Hours), a trip counter and a Fail Number that is to be used by the pilots in their Flight Planning (and in-sim). A special thanks to gofigure who compiled the location data into Hubs and Locales.


Looking real good for a full release either Wednesday or Thursday night. Thursday is sort of a deadline for me, as I will be out in the bush of North Ontario (in a dHC-2 Beaver no less) in a remote camp for 3 days of downtime, returning Sunday evening. So if I don't get the skeds out before then, it would be Sunday or Monday evening, but I am dedicated to pushing this forward so our Pilots don't spend too much time laying around and drinking all of the root beer :D


Cheers,

bc

New Stuff

Posted on July 3, 2014 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Now let's see...

You folks in Europe must be done supper by now. All of you pilots in Australia and New Zealand are soon getting out of bed, ready for a new day. Those of you across the main part of the Americas are looking at an afternoon, with some almost ready to head home from work and our fine folks in Alaska are about ready for luncheon.


Call it a day and head to the sim pit! Tell the boss that your other job is calling :lol: . Why, you ask?


Because we have an ONLINE TeamSpeak Adventure underway today. On our new TeamSpeak server, that works like a charm.


Also, there has been a major update of the Hubs of EPOCH Alaska Air, that can be found under the same name in the Top NavBar when you hover over the EPOCH AA VA tag. Take a look and start imagining that the soon to be released summer skeds are going to see many of these utilized.


Cheers,


bc

Scenery & Hamburger Skin Released

Posted on June 29, 2014 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

The CZN Chisana build (ERAlaska Destination) and the Hamburger Flight overlay have been published and are ready for downloading. Please see the Downloads Page here for the links to grab the custom scenery.


Also, our new TeamSpeak channel is now up and running. There are a few established channels available, so be sure to PM bc or Dirob (see News) for your key code. Now that we own our virtual server, we have great plans for this service, and it all revolves around your use of the EPOCH Alask Air feature.


Lastly, we shall be rolling up the Economy Report tomorrow and drawing the Lottery on Monday to position ourselves to be ready to serve the new Scheduled Routes for the summer months. This shall be coming near the end of next week.


Let's Get Flying :)


Cheers, and keep your float hatches tight,

bc

FARMing, EPOCH style.

Posted on March 26, 2014 at 10:55 PM Comments comments (0)

F.A.R.M.

Ferry And Re-locate Missions (you didn't think we'd started a farming sim did you? :lol:


There are some top notch flying missions available right now at EPOCH, as we attempt to get all of our newly purchased or re-furbished aircraft to our various Hubs and Staging locations.


Come on in and do some Ferry flights with us. If you are a member, you can readily track all of the flights and participate yourself. If you are an EPOCH Pilot, then you can also get paid.

And who doesn't like to get paid?


See you in the skies. The weather is nice this evening, at least for 10 square miles of the airspace I'm in :P


Cheers,

bc

Things are Heating Up!

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 10:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Thankfully, the pilots here at EPOCH Alaska Air have until the end of January to finish the Winter Preparedness Contract, with a huge haul of almost a half million pounds from Homer to Dutch Harbor still to go. Oh, you can rest assured that it will get done - we have some of the most dedicated pilots to ever fly the virtual skies, right here :)


Okay, so what's heating up?

First of all, member RocLobster has been updating and filling in all of the Aircraft listed in the Forum Thread, Aircraft Locator Links found here -> http://www.unex-planedapps.com/apps/forums/show/14438745-epoch-aircraft-locator-links

This is no small task and he has been at it for hours (and still is I believe). So, go take a look and fill out your kneeboard with all of the relevant data - best on the net - right here at EPOCH Alaska Air.


Also,

We're going on Vacation, if you haven't seen. The preliminary topics and threads are established and the vacation proper shall begin in just 2 short days. It can be found here -> http://www.unex-planedapps.com/apps/forums/show/14931683-new-zealand-vacation-adventure


So turn off those televisions, put the dog out for a couple of weeks, take some time off work, buy your family some gifts and movie tickets, fill up your 'Cave" with snacks and root beer and get ready for the vacation of a lifetime :D


Cheers,


bc

Looking Ahead

Posted on April 21, 2013 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (2)

As April draws to a close and the Hawaiian Adventure is in it's last weeks, I realize that the time to start "jobbing" in EPOCH Alaska Air is soon upon us. I have been working through the design phase of how this shall rollout, and I would like to share a bit of my planning.


There will be a new portal to access EPOCH. The portal shall have a number of elements; the already existing adventures, a freeware path and a future payware path. Let's look at the freeware path right now, since that's the one that will be brought on line first.


As I have stated many times here, I want this VA to be and act differently than the usual models that are employed by others. It is important to an immersive experience to have this "bush" airline run like it's RW counterpart - thus not all is regimented but much ends up rather loose and free-flowing while still staying within a typical business model and the ever-present slew of regulations. Typically, a VA has hubs, routes, economy models and some link to online flying. Let's break that down and see what I have in mind....


Hubs: We have hubs. They have staff associated with them, who you will see as dispatching job requests. The dispatches shall make logical sense - sked routes will go from major hubs like Bethel, Kotzebue and Unalakleet while off-airport or one-off contract jobs could be expected from a hub like Merrill Pass West. While three more hubs are in development and have yet to be made public, the remainder can be found on the Master Map found in the member's VA downloads. This will be further refined as the active map with hubs shall be viewable directly from the portal.


Routes: Well, these come and go. The standard scheduled routes don't change as often as contract routes, but change they will, depending upon the fortunes of EPOCH over time (to be discussed at a later date). Sked Routes will be published and EPOCH pilots may choose to fly any or all of them at will, with the appropriate aircraft for the job.  Contract Routes will come and go on a regular basis. Freeware EPOCH will see these change on a monthly basis, as they will be limited to one contract type per month.  This means that an off-airport contract, a taxi contract, a cargo contract etc. will have one of each listed per month that any EPOCH pilot can fly. Special Assignments shall see only one per week as well. All together though, close to a dozen free jobs will be available each and every month.


Economy: This is where a vast difference shall exist between EPOCH Alaska Air and other VA's that have an economy component. Many of them use the FS Economy process which is a fully automated way of generating revenue from flights and paying expenses.  Our economy process shall be more behind the scenes in some ways and very upfront in others.  The EPOCH pilot shall grab a dispatch job and fly it. At the conclusion of the flight they shall fill in their paperwork and submit to the office. This last step is not neccesary, but it is the only way that you will be able to participate in the economy process. Revenue and costs shall be calculated outside of the sim (actually the form will go through a separate application) based on the pilot's submission and a database of costs associated with aircraft type, fuel, landing fees etc.  The remaining monies shall be banked based on the pilot's employee number. This is as far as the Economy Model goes in the freeware version - the payware version down the road opens up a brand new way of handling and using your revenue, affecting both your pilot persona in-sim right through to the actual, RW you :)


Online Flight: There is no planning at present to participate in an online flight server. There are 2 chief reasons for this. The first - you are a bush pilot. At best you can expect to see a dot in the sky indicating another pilot in the vast wilderness spaces where you fly. Nearer to the few cities and hubs one could expect to encounter traffic, and this is where one of a couple traffic models will come into play. The XTraffic plugin (Sandy Barbour) may be developed to provide other aircraft near the hubs that we all work, but the latest offering, World Traffic (CJS), shows vast potential and should serve our needs very well to keep some aircraft in the air, flying sked routes or congregating near major centres. The latter application is a payware one, so we shall monitor participation in it by our pilots here at EPOCH and make the determination down the road as to which system we shall employ. Neither of these requires an online presence however, which meets with the bush pilot's life flying: alone, but never lonely.


So this should give you all a taste of what's coming as EPOCH Alaska Air starts to generate contracts and scheduled service all across Alaska and beyond. We hope you enjoy the adventure.


Keep your float hatches tight,

bc


Lovin' Hawaii

Posted on April 2, 2013 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (0)

In case you haven't noticed, EPOCH pilots (and those over at X-Plane.org are enjoying a fun, relaxing and, if I might say so, challenging adventure in Hawaii right now.


So if you're new to us, or just tuning in on our COM frequency, click on the links below and join in the fun. You can always start with Day One and work your way along, as we just started Day Three a few minutes ago.


HAWAII ADVENTURE FILES


HAWAII Adventure Forum Posts


Cheers,

bc

Here it Comes (I hope)

Posted on March 17, 2013 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Two more surveys to be done and we will have a 10% representation of the number of people that dowloaded the Iditarod Files.

I'm thinking that the first post of the new Adevnture should be going up here and at the Org by Tuesday night, as I had decided that we needed some feedback from the last one before I was willing to move the next one forward.

Thanks to all for taking 5 minutes to answer our few questions. If you would like to help us out this way and haven't yet, please see the blog post below this or go to the EPOCH AA VA tab and select the Iditarod Survey. Thanks in advance!


so, remember how we are "uneX-Planed"? This fits well with the next Adventure. You're just not going to believe it, nor are you going to walk away from this without noting just how much fun you had!

The New Adventure is called...

HAPPY HOLIDAYS - ENJOY OUR GIFT TO YOU!

Posted on December 25, 2012 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (2)

Short, sweet and to the Point!


ERAlaska Destinations custom scenery, support files, maps, charts and even a new livery for your Carenado C185... all for the taking.


Visit Downloads to get started.


Not a uX-Pa member? You need to be to receive the enhanced files for the scenery release as well as the livery. So, just pop over to a page with the member's signup in the sidebar (News will do) and sign up for free. We hope you, as a member, will then wish to participate in our forums and prepare to join the new VA as it gets some serious attention this winter.


Cheers, from our families to yours.


bc

Getting sooooo close!

Posted on December 20, 2012 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)

ERAlaska Destinations Update.

I thought it would be nice to let you all know that we're past the first in-depth beta run on the new scenery package. I am happy to report that two small issues, solvable in short order, remain to be fixed. That's the V9 and V10 versions of 17 fully featured facilities. Very pleasing to know that we're not going to be up all of Sunday night trying to chase the last gremlins down before release on the 24th.

The Master Map will have changed for tis release, as there is a new Distance Finder process being put into play. After all, counting the 40+ facilities in Release 1, the 17 in Release 2 and another dozen destinations mapped but developed by other Alaskan fans, we're up around the 70 mark. We would have to publish an entire page as a separate distance finder if we wanted to keep the current format, which just makes it awkward. So, between the team members and my per rabbit, we worked out another way :)

While I'm on about this, there are another handful of Cockpit INtelligence Files coming as well. If you are using Release 1 and you have not tried these out, you really are missin g a great resource. With these, there is really no need to look at the Local Map during your flight. Optimum usage is if you have a second screen to hold the fully zoomable Master Map and CIF's loaded for your next destination.

Alright - we're back at work again. Once we get the release out and sorted our full attention will go towards the VA and getting some work for all of our very patient pilots standing by! Oh yes... I will swipe a few hours and get the next chapter of Bush Blood finished off. We crossed a threshold with this just last week, with the 334th person downloading or reading the .pdf chapters (tested against the last one only, since who'd read that many chapters ahead without having tracked the previous ones :lol:


If I don't get a chance to get back here in time, the uX-Pa team wishes each and every one of you a Happy and Safe Holiday.

Many Blessings,

Joel