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Vatsim I take my hat off to them and what fsx means to some

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this afternoon while monitoring vatsim and their crossing the atlantic rally with literally many hundreds involved Over 1400 in the air!!) , i was listening into the contollers checking people in to the various airways and giving them their appointed times to be at the entry point , when i heard what i thought was someone taking the p-ss on the radio , however the contoller not flustered at all, gave him a read back and an entry point and time , the pilot of the a/c gave his readback which to be honest was unintelligible to me but on hew flew , it wasnt until a few more contacts that I realised this guy must have cerebral palsy or similar (i have had a couple of friends with it)


And it set me thinking about our hobby and how it much it must mean to some people, i felt truly humbled that here was someone who perhaps wanted to be a pilot more than anything in the world but because of his condition, would never be able to fullfill his dream, yet here he was , crossing the atlantic with real ATC and for all intents and purposes a real plane , bloody hats off to him and all those that helped this guy onhis flight, to be honest it brought a lump to my throat.

I just needed to share this with you all .

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Thanks BF, it is truly humbling to see people come to terms and beat their disabilities.


I am presently in conversation by email with a blind flight simmer who uses a couple of programs to feedback audibly what the sim is doing and he commands it by speech, amazing, 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Nigel and all,

Sadly I'm one of those disabled people who sadly have had their life limited by an illness. I was born with a rare bleeding condition which gives me spontaneous internal bleeds (into joints, muscle, soft tissue eventually "locking out" the area affected.

I worked until 1994 when I had a triple massive bleed that has left me with L4-L5 prolapse, T4-T5 displaced, chronic nerve damage in my lower back and partially paralyzed left leg. At 24 I was medically retired. I'm now 42 and have to use a wheelchair. After dabbling a little bit here and there with FSX I've now got the wish to learn a lot more about flying and have discovered the excellent hobby that is FSX. Just flying around is a lot of fun but I'm slowly trying to learn it ALL properly like SIDS, STARS etc etc.

Thanks to people like yourselves this hobby can be a real as it gets even for those like me who will never fly in real life due to our problems. The immersion in it can honestly help you manage pain and as you are probably aware we all get lost in it for a couple of hours here or there.. I, like you also want to praise people like Vatsim for furthering our hobby and as you say ... It works for all.

Being able to do something that in real life we can't really does fulfil a passion of wanting to fly and the fantastic thing is that with just a basic knowledge we can use things like Vatsim. It honestly doesn't get "Realer" than that.

Living in the back of Bournemouth International EGHH airport I've driven past lots of times en route to hospital looking over the fence at a plane lined up for take off or watched one come in over the road we drive on and thought "Wow, I'd love to do that". Now we can.. We are only limited by our capacity or desire for how much we want to learn to enjoy this hobby. If it wasn't for real people giving their time and advice then flight sim I feel would only be for the experts..

I've flown a couple of times on Vatsim doing a short VFR flight and only have nothing but immense praise for the controllers that dealt with me. As it was quiet on the first flight I explained that I was disabled, very new but wanting to learn correctly and my controller talked me thru so patiently. I wish I had written his name down so I could pass on my sincere thanks because I honestly feel that if those initial flights had gone badly that would of put me off flying online I think.

So Thank You and Well Done to everyone who flies online because you make it real for us that can never do it reality

Best wishes Glenn

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Well said Glenn, those guys deserve all the credit they can get. :thum: 


Sorry to hear about your disabilities, I am glad you found a hobby that can take the mind away from the everyday and expand your horizons. :) I still get a thrill every time the wheels leave the runway and I am off to my next adventure. :pilotic:

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Glenn, it is good to hear from you, I know several of the guys here fly together using skype or something similar to connect their p.c's , maybe one day we can get the chance to fly in formation , perhaps even with vatsim giving atc at the same time.

our hobby never ceases to amaze me, as no two people utilise it the same way or with the same equipment, yet we all derive a huge amount of pleasure from it. I have to admit that having discovered recently that I can create my own scenery, it has opened up all sorts of potential that I never even realised existed,

Keep the blue side up!

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