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+--Forum: General Discussion
+---Topic: Professional flight simulator pilots started by Shawn

Posted by: Shawn on Mar. 16 2017,23:32

I will try and keep this as short as I can. My real world job is as an Air Attack officer with the British Columbia Wildfire Service. As part of that job I have developed a simulation training program for training new Air Attack Officers. Just recently, I finished building a similar setup to train Helicopter Coordinators. Neither of these jobs require the candidate to be a pilot, their primary role is to coordinate and control a safe and effective aerial attack on a wildfire. The trainees are required to have a good deal of forest firefighting experience but we need to teach them how to effectively communicate and direct aircraft traffic to ensure that we are both safe and effective.

The current simulators we have allow us to fly a highly realistic mission profile and the multiplayer capabilities of P3D allows us to introduce fixed wing tankers or helicopters into the scenario for the trainee to manage. The one issue we have is that we don't have enough flight sim stations or the staff who could fly them in a realistic fashion. It's not uncommon over the course of a few hours to have 3-4 fixed wing aircraft dropping retardant and water on a fire along with 2-3 medium helicopters bucketing and moving equipment and crews.

This is where the idea of "Professional Flight Simulator Pilots" comes into play. I am planning to put together a group of sim pilots who are willing to learn some basic SOP's and are available to fly online during real world training. The majority of the training, certification and virtual firefighting will be no different than what you might normally see in an virtual airline. The one difference will be when we are doing "real world training", the pilots we have online with us will get paid for those hours. It will never amount to much money but I think the idea of getting a real paycheck for flying your flight simulator will appeal to a few.

If this initial trial works out then we will continue training individuals and make the list of certified pilots available to the other organizations who are using flight simulators as part of their training curriculum. There are a few more government groups and two private companies that I know of right now who would be interested in hiring some additional pilots to supplement their real world sim training.

For those of you who may be interested in joining this trial please take a look at this website and forum page. Its still quite basic and unrefined but I we are working under a tight timeline to try and trial this idea before fire season starts.  

< Wildfire Pilot >

If you have any questions please join the forum and I would be happy to try and answer them there.


Posted by: RCFlyer on Mar. 17 2017,00:36

I am interested in knowing more details.  I have registered at the Wildefire Pilot forum and once my account is activated I'll check there for more information.



Posted by: Shawn on Mar. 17 2017,01:40

There are some issues with account activation that im trying to sort out, in the mean time i will be activating the accounts manually. Sorry if there is a delay.


Posted by: wurger on Mar. 17 2017,20:09

I signed up on the forum, sounds like an interesting project/concept!
Posted by: Shawn on Mar. 21 2017,05:07

Thanks for signing up guys, i will hopefully be ready to start some online training in the next couple of days. Here is a short video showing the helisim i have been working on.

< >


Posted by: RCFlyer on Mar. 21 2017,16:36

Nice looking sim.  Are you using projectors or multiple monitors?  I have been using Firefighter X for the last couple days.  Interesting software.  I have not had much success putting out fires.  Guess I am not hitting the right places with my drops.  I am certain it takes some practice to get the correct visual from the cockpit for placement of the drop.

Looking forward to learning from you how it works.



Posted by: Shawn on Mar. 21 2017,20:15

I am not in front of the sim at the moment but in the configuration settings there is a percentage of hit? probability, by default it is quite low and makes you hit the target almost directly. I have it up around 400 I believe and it's much more realistic. You can also set the number of drops required to put out each size of fire effect. I have the smallest fire set to two drop and go up from their to a max of 5-8.


The outside visuals are three 50" Televisions and the chin bubble is a 21" wide screen monitor. : )

Posted by: Rebo08 on Mar. 28 2017,17:29

After I heard from this Project, I modified the Cera 412 a bit.
Uploaded two pictures to google drive:

< Cera Bell 412 Bambi Bucket >

The Bambi Bucket is from the LAMA.
I applied a Slingload configuration to lift it up.

Posted by: RCFlyer on Mar. 28 2017,17:40

Can't access your link.  However, I am very interested in how you added the bambi bucket to the Cerasim 412.  Any details would be greatly appreciated.



Posted by: Rebo08 on Mar. 28 2017,17:56

This link should is work:

< Bell 412 Bambi Bucket >

You need AiCarriers and the Object. I copied the object in the boats folder and added a config to aicarriers, so you can place this object in the FSX/P3D while flying or on ground. And you need a sling load configuration for the Cerasim 412.

Posted by: RCFlyer on Mar. 28 2017,18:07

Ok, that link worked.  Look nice.  I have aicarriers and have the sling.0 section in the aircraft config file.  I have the Jetfranger bambi bucket folder in my MSC directory.  I'll get this a try.  Not certain what I need to do, but, I'll see what happens.

Thanks for your help.  Do you plan to join us in the wildfire flight effort?


Posted by: Rebo08 on Mar. 28 2017,18:11

You will need a model of  the object, like all other misc objects and boats. The BambiBucket is from the LAMA X, there are several sling objects included.
Posted by: RCFlyer on Mar. 28 2017,18:16

Got it.  Found the bambi bucket object file in my MSC directory.  Now trying to figure out had to associate it with the heli.

Thanks again for your help.


Posted by: Rebo08 on Mar. 28 2017,18:23

As I said,you have to add the object to a config of aicarriers and place it in the flightsim. You can pick up this object with the Hoist Controls.
Posted by: RCFlyer on Mar. 28 2017,19:13

Well, I got the bucket to appear with the helo.  However, I can't get it to attach to the helo hook/hoist.  I have the sling.0 section setup in the aircraft.cfg, but, I can't get the bucket to attach no matter what I do.

Any help would be appreciated.


Posted by: Rebo08 on Mar. 28 2017,21:04

This is my Sling Config:

hoist_extend_rate = 5              
hoist_retract_rate = -5            
position = 1.0, 0.0, -1.00          
max_stretch = 2.0                  
damping_ratio = 0.6                
rated_load    = 600                
ultimate_load = 2250                
auto_pickup_range = 8              
auto_pickup_max_speed = 8.5        
hoist_payload_station = 4          

position = -0.90, 0.00, -1.80          
max_stretch = 4.0                  
damping_ratio = 0.75                
rated_load    = 10000                
ultimate_load = 25000                
auto_pickup_range = 15              
auto_pickup_max_speed = 12

Posted by: RCFlyer on Mar. 28 2017,22:19

Thanks for the config information.  I pasted your config info into my Cera412, but, see had no luck getting the sling load capability to activate.  No luck attaching the bambi to the helo.  I also tried a different liftable object and had no luck with it either.

I am going to try to setup a mission for sling loads and see if that will work.



Posted by: Rebo08 on Mar. 29 2017,14:31

I'm using P3D. For FSX, I believe you have to do a mission.
Posted by: RCFlyer on Mar. 29 2017,14:50

Thanks for continuing help.  I too am running P3D V3.4.  For some reason I can't get the sling function to work.  I can get the liftable objects to appear in sim.  Tried both the bambi and a humvee.  I checked to ensure the aircraft.cfg has the sling.0 and sling.1 entries and checked the keyboard configuration to ensure I was using the correct key to attach/detach the sling load.  I don't get the sling line visible, nor, am I able to get an attachment manually or auto.

I think I am done with this effort for awhile.  I have the HC412 with the bambi bucket already configured with the aircraft.

Again, thanks for the continued effort.



Posted by: RCFlyer on Mar. 29 2017,20:20

Well, finally got the sling load capability to work on the sim.  Very simple once you know what to do.  

Didn't need to create a mission, just make some adjustments to a saved flight.

Bambi bucket away!!!!!


Posted by: Shawn on Mar. 31 2017,15:31

Any chance of a screenshot Danny?


Posted by: RCFlyer on Mar. 31 2017,16:35

Here you go.  I have the bucket attached to a 15 foot sling line.  I tried short lines, but, the flight characteristic became unstable (oscillations).

Works as it should with Firefighter X, fills, dumps, etc.  



Posted by: Shawn on April 02 2017,18:15

Thats  pretty cool, looks like you might need a bigger bucket though&#9786;
Posted by: RCFlyer on April 02 2017,19:25

Yeah, it is the 206 bucket in the a2carriers stuff.  If you have a bigger bucket as a liftable object let me know.


Posted by: Shawn on April 04 2017,02:34

I don't have one anymore but it's high on the list of things to do now :)
Posted by: LouP on April 04 2017,03:55


Would FSX Steam edition work OK for this?


Posted by: corbu1 on April 04 2017,17:42

There's a much easier way for slingloading even without having a saved flight bevore.
Use the winching gauge from the VFRfrench website.
This tool is beautiful. I have it running with P3d 3.4 and aicarriers.

Do a google search for french-VFR.
The gauge is in the download section under fsx gauge.

Posted by: Shawn on April 06 2017,03:51

Loup, steam edition works fine with firefighter X  and its built in multiplatform multiplayer. Be glad to have you.

Thanks Klaus, im off to check that out.


Posted by: LouP on April 06 2017,15:35

Hi Klaus,

What exactly does the winching gauge do for you?


Posted by: corbu1 on April 06 2017,17:59

Hello LouP,
the winching gauge allows to attach a sling cable to every helicpter very easy.
The gauge allows the full sling funcftionality from a free flight situation. In combination with AIcarriers ( brings the liftable objects onto the sim), you can sling liftable objects from any freeflight situation. No configuration of a previously saved flight is necessary.
You can change the cable length very easy as you like in the sim.


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