JHB Operations Manual

Revision 28.

24 June 2010



May I offer you a warm welcome to JHB Airlines

Why the name?

Well, it's a long story. Although we are now based in the UK, JHB started life back in 1995 as the Johannesburg Hub of Noble Air. In 1998 the hub became a separate VA under the name of Johannesburg Airlines and focussed on flights around the African continent. By 2001 it became obvious that the majority of pilots flying for the airline were based in the UK and the decision was taken to relocate to new bases at Liverpool and Ronaldsway. The JHB name was retained for nostalgia.

In May 2007 it was decided to change the format of JHB and move towards an online operation. In this respect we are aiming at pilots familiar with FS and who have reasonable flying skills but have yet to venture into the online world with active ATC and live traffic. JHB is aiming at pilots who wish to learn the skills to fly in this environment.

How JHB Airlines operates

The airline is primarily an online VA with pilots regularly flying on the IVAO multiplayer server - IVAO is ideal for newcomers to the online world as it is not too busy and has a very informal atmosphere. Our aim is to show pilots who are accustomed to flying on their own how to operate in an interactive world and where the default FS ATC and AI system being replaced with live aircraft flown by other pilots - and ATC being provided by online controllers.

This new world can be intimidating for new pilots at first but we expect this and provide the help and guidance a pilot needs to learn the real life procedures for flight in the UK. The training is informal and is tailored to the skills of each pilot - but we assume that most users have already developed the basic aircraft handling skills and we concentrate more on radio and navigational matters. Pilots should eventually reach a level at which they can fly IFR or VFR in the UK using procedures that are very close to real world flight procedures.

Hardware and software

For online flying there is only one additional item you require to communicate with other pilots and ATC - a headset with a mike boom. These are readily available these days and not very expensive. Once plugged into your soundcard they should allow you to transmit and receive voice with other users on the network.

The IVAO pilot software (called IVAp) can be found at http://www.ivao.aero/softdev/.  Pilots should also download the TeamSpeak voice software - found in the Voice Client Menu.  Once IVAp is installed the window becomes part of your FS display but can be hidden if not needed. The voice software operates independently and sits on your taskbar. It only takes a second to set up with your headset and you are in action.


Pilot promotions are based on hours flown. The current ranks and hours required are:

Rank   Hours required
Flight Officer
Captain Over 10
Flight Captain Over 20
Senior Captain Over 40
Senior Flight Captain Over 80
Commercial  Captain Over 150
Senior Comm Captain Over 300
ATP Captain Over 500
Senior ATP Captain Over 750
Master ATP Captain Over 1500
Command ATP Captain Over 3500


Additional Awards

Global Rating -

Pilots who complete a round world flight will be awarded a G suffix to their Pilot ID and a gold star on their rank. The circumnavigation can be of any chosen route but total flight distance must exceed 20,000nm.


Although there are a number of JHB aircraft repaints available here you may use any aircraft that you have in your collection for your flights. A vast number of aircraft are available from the larger FS Internet sites (AVSIM or Flightsim.com) for all major FS products. The following points on should be noted:


FS2002 aircraft were made using a totally new design engine (GMax) and cannot be used in earlier versions of FS. Some FS98 and FS2000 aircraft work in FS2002 once the aircraft file has been loaded into FSEdit (supplied with FS2002) and then saved - but this is a hit and miss process. Some FS98 panel gauges will not work in FS2002 either, but despite these drawbacks I have had some success using FS98 aircraft in FS2002.


FS2004 aircraft are slightly different to those in FS2002. Some FS98 and FS2000 aircraft may work in FS2004 but usually all animations are lost. Some FS2002 aircraft will work in FS2004 but they will perform differently owing to the changes in the performance files. How well each aircraft works depends upon how good the original performance files were written - some work quite well but others can be unflyable - it's rather hit and miss.

Some FS2004 aircraft can be made to work in FS2002 but this is also rather variable - it may need some tweaking of the .air file.


FSX aircraft are different again and will probably not work in FS2004 correctly.

FS2004 aircraft import into FSX without problem but they may not fly correctly. It is better to stay with aircraft designed specifically for FSX.


Scenery for JHB Routes

No additional scenery is essential for JHB flights but users can download many of the enhanced scenery files from the usual FS download sites. Many UK pilots use the superb photographic scenery for VFR flights when flying within England and Wales and airports from UK2000, Horizon or the FSX freeware collection from Tony Meredith.


Planning Flights

For pilots who do not have access to real world en route charts I would suggest that a flight planning program would be well worth obtaining. There are many of these now available on the Internet.

FS has its own built in planner but there are some products that are well worth looking at which do the job better.

FSNavigator is a planner for FS2004. FSNav collects its data from your BGL (scenery) files and so its database become unique to your scenery collection. You can use the FSNav map display function to plan your route from a few simple mouse clicks. FSNav can then interact with the autopilot of FS and automatically fly the planned route you have just created (not just directionally either - it also sets and flies the vertical profile too). In a sense FSNav is a GPS type of navigation system - it operates quite independently of the navaids in your scenery.

A similar product is FSCommander which, currently, is the only program suitable for FSX.

Currently under testing is a new flight planner for VFR operations only for use with FSX. Details can be found at Plan-G.



Flight assignments are no longer issued but pilots are welcome to start off with the flight packs listed on the Flight Pack page. Online flying is variable and the controller coverage usually determines the routes that pilots which to choose. This tends to conflict with fixed assignments and so the latter were dropped.


Reports and Messages

All flight reports should be sent to the Base Captain using the IVAO PIREP system. If this is down an email report should be submitted in the following format;

Callsign From To ATD ATA Flight Time Comments
JHB7296 EGNS EGKK 1020 1155 01:35 any other comments about the flight

For example:

JHB7296 EGNS EGKK 1020 1155 01:35 Nice flight in SAAB340
JHB7297 EGKK LFMN 1235 1445 02:10 Switched to A310.

Format is not too strict on flight reports except for flight time - this must be shown in the format hh:mm - i.e. it MUST include a : (colon) marker between hours and minutes. If this is not done the flight time will not be detected by our compilation program.
Do not use a colon in any other section of your report.


Recording your Flight Times

Flight times should be recorded as in real life from the time you start taxying until you come to a halt at your destination (Brakes off to brakes on).

Do not rely on the clock in FS to record your flight times as it is extremely unreliable. It will adjust for time zones and (on long flights) will occasionally go completely wrong by jumping several zones at once. For later version of FS stick to GMT (UTC) time.

Please keep your own records of your flight times. Hard drive crashes are not uncommon and some HC's have had the misfortune to lose all their valuable pilot records.


Still interested ??

If you are interested in flying with us in JHB just send an email to me at

Upon receipt of a pilot application:

New pilots will be issued with a temporary JHB Pilot ID and will be placed on the roster as P (U/T) - Pilot under Training.

New pilots will be required to fly at least two flights (30 minutes minimum) in the first two weeks with the airline.

New pilots will have two weeks to submit their first flight reports. On receipt of the reports they will be validated and, if correct, the pilot will be given a JHB Pilot ID and the rank of Pilot Officer.

If a pilot does not submit a flight report within the two week period without a valid reason for not doing so he will not qualify for admission to the airline.

All new pilots will be added to the JHB email list and will receive posts from other members. These are not excessive. The email list is mandatory for all pilots.



Read this Manual.

Drop an email headed "JHB Recruitment" to me at

Once I have your details you will be added to the Pilot under Training list for your first flights.

Training is relative to each pilots initial skills. Our aim is to teach you the communication and navigation skills to fly both IFR or VFR in the UK in as real a manner as possible.

Do not hesitate to ask any questions..... JHB is a very friendly hub and all my pilots would respond to any questions you may wish to ask about the airline.

John Woodside - Base Captain, JHB Airlines