DC-3 Airways

Operations Manual

What is DC-3 Airways

Although we are called DC-3 Airways and fly all derivatives of the Douglas DC-3, we have now adopted the Douglas DC-2 and the Douglas DC-4 and its derivatives, for which there is an ever growing number of suitable flights becoming available.

The DC-3 Airways home base is located at Boston Logan Airport, KBOS, but serves customers worldwide with both regularly-scheduled flights and charter flights.

System Requirements

To participate in this VA, virtual pilots must have a computer with Microsoft's Flight Simulator 98 (FS-98) program, or later, installed on it. The computer must be robust enough to accommodate the system requirements of the Flight Simulator software. The appropriate Flight Simulator software patches, if any, must also be installed.


Any person is eligible to join DC-3 Airways. Supply only your first and last name, and place of residence. If a resident in the US, provide city and state information or if in Canada, then city, and Province. Elsewhere in the world, city and country information is sufficient.

Pilots must maintain an active e-mail account while they are members of the VA.

To become a DC-3 Airways pilot, go to the Join Page, and enter and submit the requested information. When membership is confirmed, the pilot's name will be listed on the DC-3 Airways Roster page.

DC-3 Airways will assign a membership number to each pilot upon joining the VA. The pilot should provide their membership number whenever reporting flights, PIREPs, or in any other correspondence.

Membership Status

A DC-3 Airways pilot remains on the active roster on the completion of at least two-hours of flight time per calendar month. The data is accumulated based on PIREPs that pilots submit.

If an event or events prevent a pilot from meeting the minimum flight hours per month, please notify management to prevent any misunderstandings.

If a DC-3 Airways pilot fails to meet the flight-time requirement for their current rank, he or she may be removed from the roster. However, a pilot who has been removed from the roster due to inactivity will be reactivated simply by submitting a PIREP. They will retain their pilot number and credit for all previous flight hours on reinstatement. An exception to this is when a pilot has been removed from the roster for inactivity, and having recorded a total of less than ten hours. In this case a pilot wishing to reactivate his account will be treated as a “New Join” and must begin again with a new pilot number and with zero hours.

Membership Dismissal

DC-3 Airways was established for the enjoyment of the flight-sim community. If a member becomes disruptive, abusive or attempts to bring this Virtual Airline down, he or she will be dismissed.

It is hoped that dismissal procedures will never become necessary, however, this is an open site and people of all types populate the Internet, so, regrettably, one must be prepared.

A full back-up of this VA's software is maintained at an off-site location as protection against mischief.

Non Commercial Nature of DC-3 Airways.

Pilot's names, addresses, or e-mail addresses will never be given out, sold, or rented to any commercial organization.

If DC-3 Airways becomes aware of a particularly useful product or software utility, pertinent information may be passed on to the members. This is not spam in disguise as too often happens on the Internet. Be assured that a product or software utility will not be promoted for any personal financial gain of the VA or any VA management, including accepting free copies of those products.


DC-3 Airways expects pilots applying for membership to be familiar and experienced to some degree with their Microsoft Flight Simulator program. One needn't be an expert. However, the pilot should have at least a few hours of experience with Flight Simulator. Our Forum is an excellent place where questions will almost always receive sensible and helpful replies.

This website contains a major instructional section pertaining specifically to the DC-3. All pilots will benefit by reading through that section.

Also, the Microsoft.Public.Simulator newsgroup is an excellent source for answers to specific "how-to" questions related to Flight Simulator. Visit it here http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.simulators/topics)  

All new pilots must complete the six Type-Rating flights before flying any other flights. In total, this is less than 3½ hours of flight time. These flights will familiarize new pilots with the flight characteristics of the DC-3 and exposes them to the ILS, VOR and NDB IFR approaches. Ten Bonus hours are credited on completion of these flights. All will be better DC-3 pilots after completing these flights. These flights are for experience only; there are no tests associated with them.

The Type Rating package includes two aircraft, one of which must be used for the Type Rating flights. Both aircraft have a simplified panel with over-size gauges so that you can concentrate on properly flying the aircraft. Please do not use an alternate panel for the Type Rating flights.

Navigation Tutorial

A separate and comprehensive tutorial is available for pilots to learn all aspects of Navigation. The Tutorial can be viewed here… http://www.navfltsm.addr.com

 One can fly most of that tutorial's practice flights with the DC-3 downloadable from this website. DC-3 Airways members will be granted PIREP credit for any of those flights that are flown with a DC-3. Consider this a "Sanctioned Event."

Route Bidding

Pilots need not bid routes on DC-3 Airways. Simply select a charter, route, a flight of your own choice, fly it, and report it.

All new pilots must fly and report flights 1201 through 1206 included in the Type-Rating Schedule. You may not fly and report any other flight until these mandatory flights are completed and correctly reported.

Hub System

The hub and spoke system of routes did not exist in the '40s and '50s era of this Virtual Airline. DC-3 Airways' routes directly connect many more cities than a hub system. The larger cities, of course, have more departures and arrivals, and thus may give the appearance of a hub.

Credit for Flight Time

Towards the end of 2007 DC-3 Airways introduced the very popular concept of 'Free Flight'. This meant that as well as having the option of claiming flight hours for all the other forms of flight credit; you may now create and fly your own flight plan between any two airports in the world.

To submit a PIREP after making a Free Flight, you must include the ICAO codes for the departure and arrival airports. If a flight is broken into legs, the ICAO code for the stop, or stops made during a flight do not have to be recorded but you are encouraged to mention this in the Comments section when reporting the flight. An example of a Free Flight PIREP is shown below...

Pilot #: 0393

Name: Robert Betts

Flight Number: KVPZ-KIND

Minutes Flown: 51

Comments: Valparaiso, IN to Indianapolis, IN
FS9 ATC - IFR @ 5000 ft

As with all other flights, they should normally be flown with Flight Simulator set at the default simulation rate of 1.0. On very long flights such as Trans Atlantic crossings it is permissible to increase the simulation rate. Honesty must prevail here and only the ACTUAL time taken must be reported for credit. The fact that increased rate simulation has been used should then be stated in the Comments section to avoid confusion.

On-Line Flying

DC-3 Airways is a registered Virtual Airline with VATSIM. Our callsign is DCA.

Member pilots must be ranked Second Officer or higher to fly On-Line while using the DCA Call Sign, or as part of any DC-3 Airways authorized On-Line flying event.

DC-3 Airways will grant flight-hour credit for online flights, be they VATSIM or Multiplayer. Reporting procedure is as below…

A group of DCA pilots usually fly on Fridays, and holidays using VATSIM. The flight chosen by that group is eligible for flight credit. The flight number will be that chosen by the senior pilot, or the pilot arranging the event.

VATSIM by its nature is mainly intended for flying individually. In this respect individual DC-3 Airways pilots may fly from anywhere to anywhere as long as the flight at some point is under ATC control. As proof that the flight is bonafide the PIREP format must be in the form … V1234, where 1234 represents the Squawk code issued by ATC. The ICAO codes for the departure and arrival airports must me recorded in the Comments section of the PIREP. This information can be checked if deemed necessary

Formal MP Events flown on Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, or an otherwise designated day, are eligible for flight credit. The Senior Vice President or his designee will assign the PIREP number for that event if it is not already a posted DCA flight.

Charter Flights

DC-3 Airways welcomes and encourages the submission of Charter Flights designed by member pilots. For details see the menu - Flights/Charters/Info/Charter Submission.

Partner VAs

DC-3 Airways may partner with another Virtual Airline or Airlines with route structures suitable for a DC-3. The DC-3, unless re-tanked for ferry flights, cannot fly non-stop across the US, or across the Atlantic or the Pacific. Thus there is no consideration of partnering with VAs with that sort of route structure.


DC-3 Airways encourages constructive feedback, whether positive or negative, from pilots or other visitors to this site. The VA can only improve with feedback. Quite simply, what should be changed, added, dumped, or whatever?

DC-3 Airways pilots should always provide their membership number in any communication with the VA.

Management opportunities at DC-3 Airways

Management opportunities are occasionally available at DC-3 Airways. If you are eager and enthusiastic, we welcome your help, even if only for a single task. Please offer your assistance if you see something that needs to be done or somewhere that you can help.

Thank you.

Charles Wood,