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What do we expect of our (future) members?

Foto 10-08-19 09 45 37Above all else, personal contact has been a cornerstone of the Belgian Virtual Tigers since the very beginning. As a result, what you know or can do is far less important to us than fitting in and being an asset to the group. For this purpose, everyone interested in joining the Belgian Virtual Tigers will first be invited for an informal meeting on Teamspeak or in real life, and fly a few guest flights with us before entering our custom-made training courses. We also prefer to have met a prospective pilot in reality before beginning the course. We realise this “vetting process”, particularly the first meeting, may be terrifying to some, but we find integration in the team often goes a lot smoother using this method. As soon as a pilot decides to start flying with us, we require dedication. We are fully aware this is just a hobby and that real life events take precedence, but we also know aviation, be it real or virtual, can be quite complex. As such, a lot of our time is spent studying manuals, doing research and practising. This is especially the case during the first weeks and months flying with us. If someone is unwilling to do this, experience has taught us they will eventually fall behind and unfortunately drop out at some point. This is true for both new and current members of the Belgian Virtual Tigers, and will thus remain a focal point during the entire stay with us. Aside from our own online squadron flights, we come together almost every month, regularly cooperate with international virtual squadrons, and participate in real life events to promote (virtual) aviation. Finally, at current, all our members are native Dutch speakers, so we require all pilots to be fluent in Dutch. Nevertheless, as all our documents are written in English, and also because of our frequent cooperation with international squadrons, a working level of English is highly preferred.

How do we operate?

We aim to simulate real life procedures and tactics as per the Belgian regulations, as far as we can find them and within the possibilities provided by the simulators we use. For this, we have several contacts, inside and out of the group, that are or were professionally active in aviation, who can provide input and feedback. All this information has been combined in our own standard operating procedures, which is mandatory knowledge for every member.

Initial training

IMG_1582You will be assigned a buddy who will act as IP (Instructor Pilot). Our training consists out of 2 initial phases, a graduation mission and optional additional phases/courses. All training flights are split into a theoretical and practical part. First death by powerpoint, then death by OpFor 😉 All training flights are quoted by the IP. Phase 1 will start with 3 IST (Initial Squadron Training) qualifications. During this training you will learn our SOP (Standard Operating Procedures). Think briefings, fuel calculation, VFR/IFR navigation, formation flying, comms etc. Once you successfully phase 1, you continu with the tactical training in the ACTs or Advanced Combat Training. During this part you will get to learn the ropes of BFM (basic fighter manoeuvres or dogfighting), BVR A-A (beyond visual range air-to-air combat), A-G (air-to-ground) in all its aspects (popup attacks, laser guided bombs, GPS guided bombs etc), and general tactical knowledge (use of FCR, RWR, tactical comms…). You end your initial training with a 2SHIP-FLUG or 2 ship Flight Lead Upgrade. As mission lead you know plan, brief and lead a complete 2-ship mission. If all goes well, you touch down safely afterwards and have earned the title of Belgian Virtual Tiger.

Optional additional training

You can continu training for a 4-ship lead and COMAO (combined air operations) lead. IMG_6674

What else?

Weekly flights

We try to fly a mission every Wednesday and Saturday.

Monthly LANS

Every month we get together and fly a large mission with longer briefing/debriefing. Or have a new theoretical course in the AM and try it out in the PM.

Annual events

We try to attend some flying events to promote both the flight sim part as get young kids interested in aviation in general.

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