Why JHB Airlines?
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 July 2004 it was decided to change the format of JHB and
move towards an online operation. In this respect our target
membership was those pilots familiar with Microsoft Flight
Simulator, with reasonable flying skills, who up to then had
not ventured into the online world with active Air Traffic
Control (ATC) and live traffic - other online flyers - from
all over the world.
Initially we joined FPI, a German based online flying organisation,
and we shared many group flights with this simple to
operate organisation. Sadly, they folded in 2007, so
we joined IVAO. This move was very successful for a
few years, but as often happens, enthusiasm and members
fell away, until we were told by IVAO that we could
no longer qualify for
"Virtual Airline" status with them.
How JHB Airlines Operates
airline is now primarily an "online" VA with pilots regularly
flying on the VATSIM or IVAO multiplayer networks.
IVAO is ideal for newcomers to this online world as it is not
as busy as VATSIM and has a less formal atmosphere. We can
show pilots who are accustomed to flying on their own how to
operate in an interactive world where the default Flight Simulator
ATC and AI (computer generated traffic) systems are replaced
with live aircraft flown by other pilots - and with ATC being
provided by online controllers for whom providing Air Traffic
Control is their hobby.
The world of online flying can be intimidating for new
pilots at first (you never know who's watching you!), but we
expect this and can provide help and guidance through the
forum to help pilots learn the real life procedures
for flight in the UK. We do not provide formal training as
we assume that most users have already developed the basic
aircraft handling skills, but we can give guidance on radio
navigational and procedural matters. With a little nerve (it
can be scary talking to ATC for the first few times) and practice,
pilots should soon reach a level of profiency at which they
can fly IFR or VFR in the UK confidently, using procedures
that are very close to real world flight procedures. After
that they can venture further afield.
Realistic flight controls are a significant advantage for
this hobby. A simple joytick can be effective, but separate
rudder controls - pedals preferably, or a twist-grip joystick,
make make a more realistic flight, particularly when landing
and taking off in brisk crosswoinds. Not essential, but "nice
to have" if funds permit, are switch panels and radios, which
are available complete or in kit form. The internet will reveal
flying there is an additional item you need - a headset with
a mike boom to communicate
with other pilots and ATC. There are three types based on the
connector - jackplug, USB and wireless. If your PC has only
one sound card, a USB headset can be a good choice, as they
cotain their own sound card. This
means you can talk to ATC via the headset, with aircraft
sounds coming from speakers - a more realistic efect than having
all the sound coming through the headset.
VATSIM - Virtual Air Traffic Simulator, consists of a network of servers which permit flight simulator pilots to see each other and talk to Air Traffic Control.
It is a sophisticated system which follows real world rules and procedures, and includes training schemes for both Air Traffic Controllers and Pilots, so that,
should you choose to take your virtual flying seriously, it can genuinely be "as real as it gets".
VATSIM uses third-party developed connection software, with vPilot being the most modern and easy to use.
There is a huge amount of information available to help new simmers on the VATSIM website.
IVAO, the International Virtual Aviation Organisation, has
an identical purpose to VATSIM, but operates in a somewaht
different way. The IVAO pilot software (called IVAp) and the
Air Traffic Control software (called IVAc) have been developed
in-house, and can be found at http://www.ivao.aero/softdev/. Pilots
also need 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.
Although there are a variety of aircraft in JHB Airlines livery
available here, for both FSX family, and increasingly, for
X-Plane, you may choose 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. If you have a favourite, then we can arrange
to create a JHB livery for it, although we cannot handle too
many requests as the process is not simple.
The following points on aircraft should be noted:
|There are aircraft in our
fleet for "General Aviation" - small, often single-engine
aircraft, and there are "regional" (medium range) turbo-prop
and jet aircraft in our fleet. Occasionally
an aircraft you would like to fly in fSX which is stated
to be available for FS2004. However,
it may work in FSX, so if it freeware, it
is worth a try. The vintage Boeing 737-200
M-JHBM in our fleet list is such an example.
has fewer "easy" options than the FSX family.
If you crash you have to start from your departure airport
again. You cannot "slew" to a favourable position.
Most aircraft cannot be started by simply pressing a
key or two - you have to follow the correct procedure.
In short, it's a more serious simulator and less
of a game. This more
"serious" approach often attracts flyers, therefore,
who first started out with FSX but appreciate the
tougher challenge in X-Plane to get it right without
Scenery for JHB Routes
Addon scenery is not necessery for JHB flights but users
can install enhanced scenery 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
the FSX freeware collection of airfields from Tony
FSX has its own built in planner but there are products that
are well worth looking at which do the job much better. X-Plane
does not have an inbuilt planner.
For pilots who do not have access to real world en route
charts one of the several freeware and payware flight planning
programs would be well worth obtaining. There are two good
freeware flight plannings applications now available on the
Little Nav Map
Little Nav Map is (as at the end of 2018) a freeware planner
for FSX and P3D. Little Navmap collects its data from your
BGL (scenery) files and so its database becomes unique to your
scenery collection. You can use the Little Navmap map display
and functions to plan your route with a few simple mouse clicks.
Little Navmap can then save the planned route in a format which
can be loaded into the autopilot and/or FMC and then, if you
wish, automatically fly the planned route you have just created
- not that that is actually much fun! In a sense Little Navmap
is a GPS navigation system with lots of functions and possibilities
depending on the system(s) and you have and what you want to
do. When flying online, you can also see on the map display,
other aircraft on the network within a 40 Nm radius of your
aircraft. Flying (IFR and/or VFR) is therefore made easy by
using it as a real time moving map. It even comes with a set
of AIRACS and these can be updated using the Navigraph services.
Updating AIRACS is not strictly necessary (and Navigraph services
are not free).
For information on the freeware Little Navmap see: https://albar965.github.io/littlenavmap.html
Plan-G has been around for several years, and was one of the
first, if not the first, map-based flight planner for
all simulators. It is simple to use and can create flight plans
for direct use in FSX or P3D. Its target audience really
is General Aviation pilots, but it can be used for long-haul
with some limitations. Details can be found on the
Flights and Procedures
All flights should be logged. The PIREPs option on the main
menu takes you to the form to record your flight. The result
is emailed to the webmaster who adds it to the running record
shown on the Pilots web page. the form includes error trapping
to prevent simple errors. Flight times should be recorded as
in real life from the time you start taxying (brakes off) until
you come to a halt at your destination (brakes
Do not rely on the clock in FS to record your flight
times. The "World" tab in FSX gives UTC time as
well as local time. Use UTC times for your flights.
JHB Airlines keeps only limited data, so if you want
full details of your flights such as times, day or night
flight, visual or instrument flight, then keep your own
records, plus backups. Hard drive crashes are not uncommon
and some pilots have had the misfortune to lose all their
valuable pilot records.
JHB Airlines dos not give pilots assignments. Members are
free to fly what they wish, where they wish. Pilots
are welcome to start off with the flight packs listed on the
Flight Pack page. However, controller coverage online
is variable and manned controller cpositionsmay determines
the routes that pilots choose to fly.
Still interested ??
you are interested in flying with us, send an email
Upon receipt of a pilot application, you will be assigned a temporary JHB Pilot ID.
New pilots will be required to fly at least two flights
each of 30 minutes minimum duration in the first two
weeks with the airline. They will have a further two
weeks to submit their first Pilot Reports (PIREPs)
for these flights. 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 must also join the JHB Airlines Forum.
JHB Pilot promotions are based on hours flown. The current
ranks and hours required are:
||0 - 10
|Senior Flight Captain
|Senior Commercial Captain
|Senior ATP Captain
|Master ATP Captain
|Command ATP Captain
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.
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.