MetroAir Virtual Airlines - Pilot Handbook

About the Handbook

Below is the MetroAir Virtual Airlines Pilot Handbook. This document provides all pilots with a great deal of information about how MetroAir runs it's day to day operations as well as procedures and terms of Service for pilots in all circumstances with MetroAir where specific rules or guidelines must be followed. This document is revised regularly as new developments, changes, additions, or removals arise as needed.

The Handbook should be read and followed by all MetroAir Virtual pilots. For new pilots recently hired by MetroAir, this Handbook provides a wealth of information that will help the new pilot acclimate quickly to their stay with MetroAir Virtual. Refer to this document if you have any questions about how MetroAir runs the airline, as in most cases the answers can be found here. If not, by all means contact your fellow pilots, Hub Manager, or post a question on the MetroAir Virtual Forum.

Welcome to MetroAir Virtual

MetroAir Virtual is something entirely different from the rest of the virtual airline community. Where other VA's simply "start operations" with 10+ aircraft and half a dozen international routes, MetroAir has been designed to emulate a real airline from the bottom up. Like the real business world, money matters! We'll grow like an airline grows, calm and calculated. You can count in it. To read more about the MetroAir VA concept, visit the About MetroAir page on the VA website.

The staff at MetroAir Virtual (MAV) are committed to your enjoyment of the airline flying experience, and we will strive to provide you with the type of environment you expect. The following is a very simple credo that we management hold very close to our hearts:

Fun Realism Integrity Professionalism

Virtual Airlines may feel very real, but they are FUN first! Nobody likes to "work" as a hobby. Respect your fellow members, and they'll respect you. The basic rules and guidelines for being a member at MetroAir are explained in great detail below. Read them. Remember them. It'll make your experience that much more enjoyable.

Welcome to MetroAir Virtual, your home away from home.


Matt Calsada
Chief Executive Officer.
MetroAir Virtual


Application Guidelines

10.10.1 Prospective members will be required to make their application for membership over the Internet at the MetroAir Virtual (MAV) web site. Applications must be fully completed pursuant to the instructions and the rules and regulations located on the application web page(s).

10.10.2 As of April 2008, MetroAir Virtual requires that all new and returning pilots are at least sixteen (16) years of age. Under no circumstances will an applicant under this age be hired. Any pilot who is found falsifying their age will be banned from MetroAir indefinitely.

10.10.3 MAV does not charge any fees to apply for or to retain membership in the organization. In addition, no member of MAV may request money or charge fees as a prerequisite to advancing an individual in rank and no member may offer to pay money or a fee to another in order to secure advancement in rank.

Transfer of Hours

10.11.1 New members may transfer hours from one (1) Virtual Airline of their choice OR their total vatsim hours, but not both. Hours will be accepted at forty (40) percent value, up to an unlimited maximum (within reason). These hours will be verified before acceptance. MAV will also accept hours logged on VATSIM. The 40% total does count towards your MetroAir total hours, and as such counts towards your CAT ratings for aircraft availability.

10.11.2 Transfer hours should be declared on the application to join MetroAir, however, New member's will have thirty (30) days from the date of hire to request a transfer of hours. Out with this period, the member will forfeit this right.


Re-Hires & Inactivity

10.12.1 Any member who wishes to return to MAV after leaving on their own terms is urged to contact the HR Manager directly to arrange re-activation.

10.12.2 Any member wishing to be re-hired after being removed for inactivity should contact the HR Manager directly, outlining the reasons behind their absence and to confirm that they are committed to fulfilling the minimum flight requirements set out in the Operations section below.

The decision to re-hire inactive members is made at the discretion of the HR Manager.

10.12.3 All members approved to return after removal for inactivity, including new hires who have not yet filed a Pirep, will commence a period of probation lasting one year from the date of re-hire. Any member who is removed for breaching the requirements of 11.10 during a period of probation will have their membership terminated from MetroAir Virtual on a permanent basis with immediate effect.

Anyone wishing to appeal their termination from MAV should contact the CEO directly.

Once membership with MAV has been confirmed, all pilots are subject to the Minimum Flight Requirements Policy with immediate effect.


Pilot Rankings

Rank Insignia Hours CAT Rating
Trainee 2.gif 0 - 14.9 CAT A
Second Officer 3.gif 15 - 44.9 CAT B
First Officer 4.gif 45 - 99.9 CAT C
Captain 5.gif 100 - 199.9 CAT D
Senior Captain 6.gif 200 - 249.9 CAT E
ATP Captain 7.gif 250+ CAT E

CAT Ratings

CAT Rating Aircraft Designation
CAT A Bombardier Dash 8-Q200 + Bombardier Dash 8-Q400
CAT B Bombardier/Canadair CRJ-700 + all CAT A aircraft
CAT C Airbus A319-131 + Airbus A320-131 + Airbus A321-232 + all CAT B aircraft
CAT D All CAT C and below aircraft
CAT E Airbus A330-243 + all CAT D and below aircraft

Minimum Flight Requirements

11.10.1 All new hires must complete their first flight within fourteen (14) days of hire. There after, each pilot must complete a minimum of one (1) flight every 30 days, and file a PIREP (Pilot Report) to receive the hourly credit for flight time. Flights completed as part of a PIREP that is denied do not count towards the minimum flight requirement.

Nobody is going to hold your feet to the fire over this if you've got time restraints that occasionally make it difficult for you to meet this requirement. The reason for a minimum flight per month rule is to assist with keeping a clean roster. However, the submission of fraudulent PIREP's will result in the immediate termination of the user's membership with MetroAir Virtual.

11.10.2 Our rosters are periodically purged of inactive accounts. If your account becomes inactive, you will be contacted by E-mail by our HR manager for an explanation. If you fail to respond to this E-mail within 5 days, your account will be revoked and your membership with MVA terminated with immediate effect. Should a member wish to return, they will be subject to Re-Hire Policy 10.12.

Flight Logs

11.11.1 Pilots are only permitted to receive logged flight time if the flight took place using a scheduled flight posted in the MAV Flight Schedules, and was flown using the proper MAV aircraft found in the MAV "Fleet" section. The submission of fraudulent PIREP's will result in the immediate termination of the user's membership with MetroAir Virtual.

11.11.2 Pilots will not be required to depart from their previous arrival location, however where possible this only enhances realism. Pilots are free to select any flight from the MAV schedules for use of logged MAV flight time.

11.11.3 Flight bids will remain active on a pilot's control panel for a period of seven (7) days. If no Pirep has been filed within that time, the bid will automatically be rejected. Therefore pilots are encouraged to bid only on flights that they beleive can be completed within this timescale.

Event Participation Bonus

11.12.1 All pilots who participate in any MetroAir sanctioned online event will qualify for Bonus Hours. The qualifying criteria for recieving this bonus are as follows:

1. Flight must be flown in MetroAir event on VATSIM network. 2. Flight must be a regular scheduled Metro flight. 3. Bonus is equal to 40% of the actual flight time.

11.12.2 It is the responsibility of the pilot to declare on their Pirep that they qualify for this bonus. Failure to do so may result in the pilot losing the bonus and is at the discretion of the the relevant Hub Manager.

Leave of Absence

11.13.1 Leave of Absence (LOA) is an option available to member's who do not believe they will be able to meet the requirements of 11.10. An LOA allows a member to remain on our roster and remove them from the restrictions of flying that may result in their removal for inactivity until they feel able to return to active status.

11.13.2 Leave of Absence requests will only be considered for pilots who have been employed for a minimum of 45 days.

11.13.3 Pilots must have a minimum of one approved pirep that was filed 45 days prior to a request for a leave of absence.

11.13.4 All members on LOA must remain active with the airline by logging in to either the website or the forums once every forty five (45) days. Failure to comply with this policy will result in the member's account becoming inactive and subject to policy 11.10.2

11.13.5 An LOA is considered temporary. You should plan on resuming your flight requirements as stated in policy 11.10. a) If you feel you are unable to resume flight activity within six months of your leave request (Military deployment, etc) , you should alert the HR Manager at your earliest convenience. You will not be penalized for this action and may return without penalty when you are able. b) Pilots who are on LOA who have not submitted an approved pirep within six months will be removed from the roster and subject to policy 11.10.2.

11.13.6 Pilots abusing LOAs will be removed from the roster. This is considered a disciplinary termination. Any rehires will require CEO approval. One common abuse is a repetitive cycle of 1 or 2 pireps and then an LOA to avoid flight requirements.

If you need to be placed on a leave of absence, simply contact your Hub Manager or the Human Resources Manager and they'll make the necessary arrangements.

Hub Transfers

11.14.1 Pilots are welcome to transfer to any hub they choose (as hubs are developed), provided that they remain at each hub for a minimum of thirty (30) calendar days.

11.14.2 Hub Managers reserve the right to automatically transfer any pilot who is identified as flying more regularly from a specific Hub. The Hub Manager will contact the member before the transfer is processed.

Hub Transfer requests should be made directly to the HR Manager for consideration.

Guidelines for Flying

11.15.1 We do not require that flights are flown online with the VATSIM or IVAO networks, however we HIGHLY encourage our pilots to use these free services. Both provide free access to a world of live ATC and other real traffic, and will enhance your piloting experience.

These networks encourage realism by facilitating live air traffic control, and use of their free services is highly encouraged.

11.15.2 Pilots must fly at 1x (one-time) simulation speed whenever they are within forty (40)nm of any active airport, except when navigating appropriate airways and with ATC approval.

11.15.3 Each pilot will adhere to the proper FAA-outlined altitudes according to the chart provided below, when operating flights online or offline. This guideline was established by the FAA as an extra safety measure to keep aircraft flying in opposing directions out of each other's way.

Westbound Eastbound Notes
EVEN Flight Levels (FL180, FL200 etc) up to FL280 or FL400 with RVSM ODD Flight Levels (FL190, FL210 etc) up to FL290 or FL410 with RVSM Note 1: Below 3,000 and above surface, any course, any altitude may be assigned

Note 2: If in transition to/from, or within Oceanic airspace, where composite separation is authorized: any odd/even flight level, including above FL290

Note 3: If local altimeter is lower than 29.91, then FL180 is unusable

Note 4: If local altimeter is lower than 29.81, then FL190 is unusable

Westbound is considered 180-359 degrees magnetic Eastbound is considered 0-179 degrees magnetic Reference: See FAA 7110.65.M, chapter 4.5.2: Flight Direction

RVSM = Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum: The goal of RVSM is to reduce the vertical separation above flight level (FL) 290 from the current 2000-ft minimum to 1000-ft minimum. This will allow aircraft to safely fly more optimum profiles, gain fuel savings and increase airspace capacity. The process of safely changing this separation standard requires a study to assess the actual performance of airspace users under the current separation (2000-ft) and potential performance under the new standard (1000-ft). In 1988, the ICAO Review of General Concept of Separation Panel (RGCSP) completed this study and concluded that safe implementation of the 1000-ft separation standard was technically feasible.

The US switched to RVSM in January of 2005.


RVSM Status World-wide


11.15.4 Due to MetroAir's realistic financial operations, pilots must use somewhat precise fuel loads. Pilots who use an improper fuel load for the first time will be warned via PiREP comments. Pilots who, after a warning, continue to use improper fuel loads will have their PiREPs denied. Warnings and denied PiREPs will come at the discretion of the hub manager.

Example: On a flight from IAD to BOS, hub managers do not expect to see a fuel load of 100% to start the flight. Pilots must plan their fuel load according to the flight they are flying. Hub Managers do not expect pilots to calculate reserves, account for winds, etc., but they do expect some effort to be made to be more accurate.

Resource Usage

The following "Terms, Conditions, and Agreements" can be found in each forum thread, and is posted here for your review:

"By posting or replying to postings anywhere within these forums, you agree to the following rules and conditions:"

12.10.1 As is the case with many flight simulation-related forums, freedom of speech rights are not valid here. This website and forum is privately owned and operated by Matthew Calsada. Users shall not post or transmit material through these forums that:

* Violates or infringes the rights of another (such as the unauthorized posting of 
      trademarks, copyrighted material, and the like);
	 * Threatens, abuses, defames, or otherwise attacks another (such as through sociological,
      geographical, political, financial, or religious attacks);
     * Contains profanity, vulgarity, or other obscenities;
     * Contains pornography or pornographic language; OR
     * Spams or otherwise has the effect of a mass advertisement or mailing.

12.10.2 This service is free to you, and is completely revocable at any time at the sole discretion of the owner. Any abuse of these forums, including but not limited to the primary bullets above, will be subject to immediate termination of the user's current and any future accounts with websites affiliated with or owned by principles of V1 Holdings. Forum use is a privilege, not a right. Please treat it as such.

12.10.3 If you intend to use a signature banner in your posts, the maximum physical size allowed is 400 pixels wide by 90 pixels high. The maximum file size allowed is 25k. If you choose to use multiple banners, the above limits apply to the TOTAL physical size (including space between the banners) and the TOTAL file size. Exceptions to this rule must be approved by moderators of the forum beforehand.

Violations of this rule will result in the deletion of the user's signature banner, and repeated violations of this rule may result in a permanent ban of the user's current and future forum accounts. Management is exempt from this rule, and will be issued a uniform signature banner from MAV upon entering MAV management. Issued banners are for management use only, and can not be duplicated for member use. Violators of this rule are subject to the same signature penalties previously mentioned in this paragraph.

12.10.4 As has been explained before, we reserve the right to restrict or prevent a user from using these forums, either through the locking and removing of threads or the outright banning of accounts and IP addresses.

12.10.5 Furthermore, due to the varying nature of conflict or other issues that may arise, it should be understood that the application and enforcement of these rules or those otherwise deemed necessary may be enforced to a greater or lesser degree without warning.

12.10.6 As a method for controlling easier functionality of the forums, please refrain from posting or replying to threads posted within categories that do not correspond with the subject's topic. Management may, at their sole discretion, move or delete topics to provide for smoother forum use.

12.10.7 Users must use their first and last names when registering for a username on these forums. If a user is not comfortable providing his last name, an initial followed by a period will be deemed satisfactory.

12.10.8 Lastly, please remember that while this service is provided to you free of charge, the service you are using is not free to the owner. Abuses of bandwidth will be dealt with on a case by case basis (you may not know you are actually abusing bandwidth, and we will keep this in mind if a situation arises). As a rule of thumb please respect the owner's wishes to keep the forum a fun and enjoyable environment for virtual aviation.

Terms of Usage

13.10.1 By and logging onto the MAV website, a member agrees to be bound and to abide by the “Terms of Usage” which appear throughout this document. These "Terms of Usage" will also be made available for inspection on the MAV web site. Violations of the “Terms of Usage” may result in suspension of login privileges and/or expulsion from MAV membership.

Terrorism and Misuse

14.10.1 Since the tragic events of the September 11th attacks in 2001, our nation has become much more sensitive to commercial aircraft and aviation. Flying is a safe and enjoyable experience, one that terrorists cannot take away from us. By joining MetroAir Virtual, you understand that our website and organization is for HOBBYIST PURPOSES ONLY. Any suspicious behavior will be considered a real threat to the safety of our members, and will be reported directly and without hesitation to the Federal Government of the United States of America – no exceptions.