• Nicholas Mayson

Surviving a Long Haul Flight on Flight Sim

Long haul flights also known as long-range operations refers to the duration of a flight. These flights are quite often related to Australia as its geographical position puts most continents such as Europe and North America 12+ Hours away. Long haul flying in the real world carries so much responsibility by all that are involved from on-ground crew, flight dispatchers, cabin crew, pilots, engineers and many more. All with the same goal of ensuring a flight leaves on time, travels safely and arrives on time.

Long Hauls in flight sim are a great experience and one that I personally recommend to anyone who has loved big jumbo jets. Long Haul flying overnight in flight sim is what some refer to as die-hard simming. I have personally loved getting up early or staying up late till dawn with all my friends on flight sim as we transport a 747 across the sea to another continent. I have done many long-haul flights overnight and it has helped me learn so much. Although flight simming overnight is home for me when it comes to memories I have made. Ensuring though you are able to do one safely without ruining your sleep pattern and health is important too. So here we have a compact guide to how you can do a long haul without bringing about unhealthy habits.

Power sleep or nap (not for VATSIM or other networks)

Power sleeps or naps during the flight are recommended as you can essentially get the plane to a cruise and switch off your monitor before having asleep or nap. However, for those that like to fly on VATSIM or other multiplayer networks, you may come across rules about how long you can step away for. VATSIM only permits 30 mins max away from the flight deck/PC. You must log off if you plan to stay longer. Otherwise ways around this may be to do a shared cockpit with someone and take shift changes. Regardless your health is more important, so if you wish to power off that monitor kick back and have asleep.

Drink Water and Stay Hydrated

Keep Hydrated, make sure you drink plenty of water as staying hydrated allows your body to function more effectively, so there is an extra energy boost right there. Drinking water of course does not alter your body’s intrinsic ability like caffeine to stay awake. However, if you begin to dehydrate it can result in fatigue. So, make sure to stay hydrated with a nice bottle of water.

Drink Coffee to stay awake (No Energy Drinks!)

Pilots in real life depend on coffee and it can help provide an energy boost when needed. Most pilots use a thermal cup/tumbler to hold their coffee nice and warm and maybe a choice of utensil when drinking your coffee in flight sim. Energy drinks are NOT recommended as they provide a high caffeine content which can increase your risk for serious heart issues. Healthy alternatives to energy drinks include eating a snack with proteins and carbohydrates, dark chocolate or doing a small piece of exercise.

Get yourself some Good Food!

Provide yourself with some good notorious food. It is very important to have some good food fitted to your local time. Make it a bit special and go to your local supermarket and find some nice healthy food meal options. I personally found Coles and Woolworths here in Australia to offer an extensive range of ready-made meals that contain the right nutrients for such a flight. Consider having some smaller snacks with you as well. Do not forget about breakfast too! You can find some breakfast ready-made meals too!

Keep Moving!

Movement is a big energy booster. It not only helps you stay awake, but it also helps in relieving stress and the ability to function more effectively.

Things you can do during a long haul.

Some long-haul flights worthy of 12+ hours can be a long one when it comes to finding ways to pass the time. Regardless of if you plan to sleep or not, there is still many hours to combat. Although your main priority is to fly the aircraft and do regular checks with fuel calculations, it is always handy to have a list of some things you can do. So here are a few things below that may help get the ball rolling when you plan your next long haul flight and what to do.

  • Make time and fly with friends or other Aus Virtual Pilot members - Flying with friends can not only make the flight more enjoyable/memorable but also make time go faster.

  • Watch some TV and Movies - Pull out that inflight entertainment and better yet if your with friends there are many applications built into streaming services that allow you to watch together.

  • Make the opportunity to clean your room

  • Read aircraft manuals

  • Make a special meal or breakfast for yourself.

  • Play some video games

  • Aviation documentaries

So that’s it, a simple guide to surviving a long-haul flight in flight sim! Make the most out of it, have fun! Don’t just abandon the cockpit, go and make it an experience for yourself!