some thought about more realistic

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fdiponzio
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Re: some thought about more realistic

Post by fdiponzio » Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:29 pm

Cat wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:31 am
We track all of our fleets independently through separate spreadsheets not associated with FSA.

In this manner we have our small plane division "Wrangler Air Charters" a part of the mothership "Fly Vegas". The main reason we have done that and NOT start a separate VA is simplicity regarding pilot ability to fly anything from Cessna's to Jumbo's and retain those hours within the main airline.

Anytime an operator starts expanding their operations to incorporate a wider variety of aircraft and services it will get complicated no matter how the numbers are tracked. It takes a ton of paperwork to make any operation more "realistic" so be careful what you wish for.

check out our website and associated spreadsheets at www.flyvegasvirtual.com then click on FINANCE DEPT link in the left margin
It's all done for free using Google Sheets so if anyone would like to set up something similar, please let me know and I will be more than happy to help you out.

In my opinion, it should not be FSA's responsibility to generate forms/paperwork for each airline. FSA's task is to generate the "business" - Connectivity - Flight Revenue/expenses -prices/maintenance costs/aircraft values, etc. It should be each operator's responsibility to take that data and "do what you will", nothing at all or full on realistic with the same amount of paperwork real airlines generate (and the associated staff to complete that paperwork).
Hi Cat; very nice thoughts and I like the Approach.

I agree with you to be responsibility for the expenses and so on. I have a few questions about your "manually" MRO list:

How you bring this figueres and expenses into FSA from your Excel file?
Are the expenses synchronic with the expenses in FSA?
Is the balance complies the "real" VA account on FSA?

Have a great day!

Cheers

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Cat
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Re: some thought about more realistic

Post by Cat » Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:45 pm

This is what I meant when I said earlier "having the staff to do the paperwork". Each line entry in our individual aircraft sheets is entered manually using the flight data generated by FSAirlines. Maintenance costs are also added into each aircraft log sheet as aircraft are sent in for service.

We then have a master "ledger" that uses formula's to import each aircraft sheet data to track pilot income, overall aircraft "lifetime profit/loss", etc.
If you click on the registration number on an aircraft in the master ledger, it is a redirect link to the individual aircraft sheet. Here's the link to our
master 2018 Ledger, as you can see in the "Lifetime P/L" column (profit / loss generated by that aircraft since day 1), we can tell at a glance which aircraft have not been flown enough to generate the income to pay off their original purchase + operating costs.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

It is a lot of work but a couple of us in Fly Vegas are "numbers geeks" so we do the admin work gladly :wink:

The hardest part with a complex operation and a lot of paperwork is having "too many cooks in the kitchen" and people who are trying to help can actually mess things up quickly if they are not precise and diligent in their data input, so we just ask our pilots to fly and we'll take care of the paperwork.

We use Google Sheets as we can "share" the links and all the data is updated in real time. Only a select few can actually edit the data but anyone with the link can view it.

FYI, yes our annual ledger balances to the penny to the current Fly Vegas FSAirlines account balance.
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lancersdaz
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Re: some thought about more realistic

Post by lancersdaz » Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:35 pm

I haven't been on FS Airlines long and I don't belong to a long established VA. I am a part of one of those small 2 - 3 pilots VAs that have a large balance and a large fleet.

Improving the UX for new pilots joining might help increase the size of the current Airlines and improve that hold on pilots instead of the create a VA play and go you mentioned.

(My opinion) I started a VA because I didn't know how to join an existing one. I have had two people join me and work hard. Parking fees etc... Seem to me like an attack on newly established VAs. If I was forced to sell up the fleet and only have the aircraft we can fly everyday would I continue to fly on FS Airlines, that's a tough question I would need it to offer something else in it's place.

As someone that works within technology I would say, before making any changes to reduce the ammount of VAs or their fleet sizes have a look at what you want the community to look like and work towards that end goal.

If it's a community of world accurate VAs that are run as a virtual business with cost effective fleets doing scheduled flights with established rosters then going down the root of increasing financal realism I think will get you that.

If you want a community of flight simmers that you are giving a mission to, creating a game around flight sim that allows you to run your own VA then I think you are already on the right lines. Today I can fly a 737-200 tomorrow a 787-9. If this is the way, I think working on connecting those people together so they can build their VAs and talk to each other. Pilots can join VAs easily with like minded people.

It might sound very rambling but it's just my thoughts on what sounds like potential restrictions.

:-)

P
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Cat
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Re: some thought about more realistic

Post by Cat » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:49 pm

Perhaps Joe is on the right track when he originally proposed the more complex economic engine to be a VA owner "option". That unto itself makes the whole process far more complicated than it should be.

Most operators probably don't want to go through the hassles of emulating real world operations with the mountains of associated paperwork.

I personally am not a fan of parking/landing fee's as that system actually penalizes those who are doing all the flying and would be especially hard on small operators with large fleets.

Setting up a maintenance status decline on all aircraft that sit parked however, I think is fair. It will increase the overall maintenance costs vs. currently when aircraft can sit for years and not cost a dime, but it should not be such a hit as to prevent small operators with big fleets from continuing what they are doing - having fun.

My proposed maintenance status decline on parked aircraft should not be greater than requiring an operator to perform an A Service once a year. Usually the costs of an A service can be recovered in one flight or two at the most using the aircraft in question.

To make things even simpler, I would propose any aircraft that sits 180 days without flying be charged 2% status. Fly the aircraft just once every six months and nothing changes regarding status - it would remain as it is now, only declining for flight wear and tear. The aircraft "clock" resets every time the aircraft in question is flown. You can fly it 5 miles or 500, it does not matter, you have logged a flight to reset the 'parked maintenance clock'.

So if you park an airplane for an extended period after buying it, the status after 360 days would be down to 96% - requiring only an A service to restore it to 100%. (B Service which is much more expensive and takes 3 days kicks in at 95%).
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lancersdaz
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Re: some thought about more realistic

Post by lancersdaz » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:28 pm

I like the way you are thinking Cat, aircraft that are sitting a long time will need work to put them back in service. Maybe as simple as an Airworthiness check that increases in cost the longer the date between last flight and current date.

If fees like that were in place to make it easier to sell aircraft, the holding company that is used in the traders list would need to reduce it's hold on the market. You would want to be able to offload if you were using long term.
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Cat
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Re: some thought about more realistic

Post by Cat » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:10 am

Actually the Trader List has gotten much better with the FSAviation "buyback program". If you want to sell an aircraft quickly, simply post it at a lower than market price.

If you are trying to get max value from the sale, plan on having the plane sit for quite some time on the Trader List.
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joefremont
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Re: some thought about more realistic

Post by joefremont » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:44 am

The thing that bothers me about the 2% every 180 day idea is that 2% is a pretty big hit all at once if you don't move the aircraft, which will make it more of a game to move aircraft around for no reason other than avoiding maintenance rather than operating like an airline. My basic idea is that for whatever the period not flown, the amount of reduction would be the equivalent to an average flight, that way an airline won't fly it to avoid maintenance but will see a cost of having a large fleet thats not being used.

Parking fees of course would add to that.

Most maintenance intervals, weather they are for planes, cars or other motor vehicles are usually every so many miles/hours or so many months before each service.

Just my thoughts.

P.S. I am glad the buy back program is working!
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Cat
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Re: some thought about more realistic

Post by Cat » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:59 pm

Well I guess lancersdaz is correct then - the bottom line is defining FSA's "target market" and establishing parameters for them at the risk of alienating others. The operators who are not trying to run their VA like a real airline pay the same fee as those who are trying to run their VA like a real airline.

They have a voice that also needs to be heard in order to keep FSA healthy and alive.

A compromise solution will never suit anyone perfectly but I think we can all agree buying hundreds of millions of dollars of airplanes and just letting them sit without costing the operator anything is not what FSAirlines is about.

So I am now making a counter proposal - compromise as it were: All aircraft regardless of status or flight hours should be required to undergo either an annual or bi-annual (every 2 years) A service. It should be a straight forward thing to implement and it is fair to all operators. When an aircraft has been serviced prior to the one or two year requirement due it being flown extensively, that aircraft "maintenance clock" resets when the aircraft comes out of service and it will need another mandatory A service before the decided time frame is again exceeded.

This would not penalize airlines who are flying their planes and servicing them as they show wear and tear. It would penalize airlines who just buy planes and park them either to look at or resell. Again the penalty is not severe enough to force small operators with large fleets out of business, but they will have to rethink their business plan and get those hangar queens in the air, accept the added cost of having all that ramp eye candy or reduce their fleet.
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Cat
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Re: some thought about more realistic

Post by Cat » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:38 pm

Looking at our own airline records, WOW ...... I can see where if such an annual inspection requirement were implemented, FSA would have to "grandfather" all VA's and start the clock from a prescribed date going forward. Otherwise small operators with large fleets would be bankrupt bringing their fleet into compliance.

Just in our Executive Division: 737-BBJ last serviced 2-22-2014, 100 flight hours on it since service. 737-BBJ3 last serviced 11-4-2013, 99.4 flight horus on it since service. Citation Mustang last serviced 10-2-2012, 51.5 flight hours on it since service. Another Citation Mustang last serviced 1-9-2015, 20.8 hours on it since service.

Just some data to show the "annual inspection requirement" may be the way to go, as real aircraft require annual inspections too. If they are allowed to sit past their certification date, they become "pumpkins" and are not allowed to fly legally.

Perhaps instead of trying to work a grandfather clause into the FSA code, simply set a date and declare all operators have 'one calendar year to bring their fleet into annual inspection compliance'. Post 'caution message' when booking an aircraft that is currently out of compliance to remind operators they need to get this aircraft serviced.
Last edited by Cat on Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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flugkapitan
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Re: some thought about more realistic

Post by flugkapitan » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:53 pm

I've been following this discussion and have contributed to similar discussions in the past.

I'll just say that if this is the way that FSA is going - trying to run virtual airlines like "real" airlines - I'll be packing my bags and leaving.

I've been with FlyNet/FSA since, Hell, I can't even remember...probably the mid to late 2000's.

As stated before, I'm a virtual airline of one. I inherited a large fleet when I became the CEO after Leif passed away. I'm not in this to emulate a "real" airline. I just like to fly in the virtual world and have fun doing so....while also having a goal (good stats, make some virutal $$$, etc).

The way this discussion is going is not what I signed up for.

Regards,
Scott
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"...now let's get this thing on the hump - we've got some flyin' to do!" ~ Major Kong

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Cat
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Re: some thought about more realistic

Post by Cat » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:03 pm

Never apologize for your opinion sir, this is why we have the forum and can have discussions BEFORE any action is taken. Like I said before, everyone pays the same fee to participate as an owner in FSA, your voice DOES count too.
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joefremont
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Re: some thought about more realistic

Post by joefremont » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:58 pm

Hi Scott,

Please don't worry too much, as I have always said these additional fees would be optional, and there would have to be something to balance the new costs, so that for a fully active airline they would make more V$ with the fees on that they would with it off. The simplest way would be to allow airlines using the fees to have a higher multiplier than those that don't but nothing is decided yet.

I do sort of like the idea of requiring an annual check to be able to continue flying, and any maintenance check would reset the clock. I don't think that's incompatible with a gradually reducing status %, as long as that reduction is around 3-4% per year, less than would be repaired by the A-Check interval, just something so that the AC will be less reliable 11 months from the last maintenance than it would be right after. It would also have the advantage that if you leave it for two years, now you need a B-Check rather than just an A-Check.

Right now I am working on adding finance totals by fleet so this project would still be several down the pipe.
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jato0072
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Re: some thought about more realistic

Post by jato0072 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:35 pm

I find this discussion interesting. I am for realism, but I understand other member's concerns.

What about a "control panel" of sorts or call it a "difficulty setting": Each FSA airline can switch on or turn off the newly implemented realism features?

You already have a great feature with the revenue "Multiplier" setting. To those Airlines who want a challenge; Perhaps some realism can be achieved by using this current feature and setting the Multiplier to 1.
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VegasTim
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Re: some thought about more realistic

Post by VegasTim » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:40 pm

I like the idea of a two tiered system - optional for those who want it but not mandatory for those who don't. I am probably one of the few VA owners in FSA to be blessed with having both real world pilots and those who love to crunch numbers. It really should be up to each operator/owner to set their own level of realism without being made to do so by FSAirlines.

@Cat: Please make me a list of all our aircraft and their last dates of service, we need to be pro-active and get our fleet up to date regardless of the FSA parameters. Please check your email for further details, thanks!
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Cat
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Re: some thought about more realistic

Post by Cat » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:36 pm

On it bossman, here's some scary stats: Fly Vegas/Wrangler Air Charters has 91 planes. Only 28 of those have "current annual inspections/service".

That means we have 63 aircraft that are not "legal" - probably looking at $40-50 million to get them all done. YIKES! :shock:

If this is typical of other FSAirlines VA operations, there would have to be some sort of transition period to requiring all aircraft have a valid annual inspection certificate. Like say an entire year LOL
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