An announcement from Jane Whittaker,
Froogle, Novawing24, a whole army of streamers, the Serious Fun Childrens Charity, the Vision of Flight Charity, Over The Wall Charity and myself have been working behind the scenes for a long time to create the world's largest online charity event in the history of flight sim. Incidentally, that is not hyperbole, starting this week, there will be worldwide press and marketing through the mainstream press and media! This is a BIG event. For those who don't know the SeriousFun children's charity, it was founded by Paul Newman and is THE celebrity charity in the world that supports children. They have an A-list of people involved including Tom Hanks, Danny De Vito, Kenneth Brannagh, Harrison Ford and many many others! The SeriousFun guys are throwing their full weight behind the event and running this as a partnership event. It makes it very big league indeed!
Ok so what is happening? Froogle and the other guys will be live streaming a full telethon from 7PM Eastern, midnight UK on the 16th September, running right through in to the Sunday morning. We have scores of celebrity guests from aviation and entertainment, but more on that later. There will also be an around the world flight which we invite all of you to donate and join. Please help here guys and lets show the outside world just how great our hobby is. This is our chance to showcase the hobby to the entire world, literally! So you can fly with us on the flight legs. There will also be famous pilots and celebrities flying on the flight legs in the sim too! all broadcast via live stream!
If that were not enough, we have special events within the telethon that you can donate $5 and be able to subscribe to not just view but take part. For instance, $5 will get you in to a live Q and A session on Youtube with Colonel Doug Champagne, America's most decorated living fighter pilot! Most of you will know the Colonel already. On that fateful day on 9/11 Doug was scrambled in to the air with his F-16 and his squadron to intercept Flight 93. He was in the air for over 24 hours, just taking short refuelling breaks and flew the first EVER armed combat patrol over the continental United States, protecting cities such as Detroit, Chicago and New York. Those of you who remember the F-16s circling the skies that week, it was Col Champagne and his team! Doug also was part of the Desert Storm and flew the first sorties over Baghdad in 1991! After some months organising and flying everything from Airforce 1 escort to air patrols over US cities he was moved to Afghanistan and launched the campaign there, spearheading the air assaults. In 2003 he was relocated to patrol the no fly zones over Iraq ahead of the second Gulf War and took down the SAM's ahead of the first wave of coalition aircraft entering Iraqi skies, of which he was also part. Doug flew over 500 hours on live combat missions during these historic days. He transferred to leading the US Air Force A-10 squadrons circa 2005 and in 2007 flew close air support for Special Forces in the Battle of Fallujah, flying low level fire support missions across the battlefield. Since that date he has continued to fly both the F-16 and A-10 in numerous sorties around the globe - some he can't tell you about!
Not only will Doug answer your questions (and the man says he will be there the entire marathon without any sleep to make sure he can answer all questions on military aviation, Doug will also be demonstrating the F-16 and A-10 in the sim (Aerosoft F-16 in FSX and DCS A-10) with full live commentary and responding to the input from you guys. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet an incredible man. It is not without reason the world's press are getting involved!
As exciting as that is, that is not all, not even close. We also have by my calculation over 20 other fighter and bomber pilots who will be present over the weekend and willing to talk to you and even fly in the sim flights with us all! Everything from Harrier to Vulcan to F-14 Tomcat pilots and crew! I am immensely excited to publicly announce too, the participation of many of the surviving Tuskegee airmen! They will be present over the weekend, many in their 90s now to share their stories with you of flying Mustangs and P-40s in World War 2 in live Q and A. Another incredible honour that has attracted worldwide media interest as this is a very special reunion indeed. During their presentation, I encourage all of you guys to join me on a special online flight which will be streamed in the background where we can fly the Mustang and P-40 in FSX in their honour in an aerial armada of simmers honouring these guys as they chat with us! It is a worldwide first.
For those in to civil aviation, you are not left out, there is also the opportunity to take your ticket to join a cockpit demonstration of the Concorde, with actual British Airways Concorde pilots flying the sim, commentating to you throughout and answering your questions. There will also be workshops on flying both the Airbus and Boeing aircraft. I have been collared to talk about the Boeing 777!
The list goes on and on, including competitions, prizes, other flying events. We also have partnered with VATSIM, Just Flight and other organisations for this event! To call it exciting is understatement. I have spoken enough, so please watch Froogle Pete's Youtube video below and let him describe this incredible weekend to you!
Guys, let's make it a weekend to remember and really raise some money for disabled and terminally ill kids!
ok here is Jane Whittaker's call to action - please all help with this guys!
1) Obvious this one, but please attend the event and donate all you can. Every penny and cent you donate goes straight to the children
2) If you are in a virtual airline or run a virtual airline and want to get involved please contact us. We would love for some VA's to "take ownership" of some of the flight legs to fly with their guys on VATSIM. We will of course fully support and publicise your VA throughout all the media of the event and through the live hosted commentary during the weekend. (Froogle and the other guys will have sore throats from their constant telethon hosting!!). So again, if you are a VA we want to partner with you!
3) If you are a developer or publisher who wants to be involved, please let us know we are happy to accommodate you. For instance Turbulent Designs (the developer of ORBX Melbourne et al) and Bill Womack will be showcasing their new releases over the weekend! The amazing people at Just Flight have provided us with software prizes for attendees and their entire catalogue will be available to people attending at very special rates!! So developers and publishers we want you involved too please for full credit. Not only are you helping the kids, remember this is not just a flight sim only event, the most celebrity supported children's charity in the world are ensuring worldwide publicity for the event!
4) Please ensure that you support our special guests and attend the special events and give them a real flight sim community welcome. We are hoping too to encourage people from outside the hobby to take an interest in what we do, which helps us all build our community!
5) If you have a flight simulation or aviation related website please publicise this event for us, we would very much appreciate it.
6) Please share news of this event on any social media that you use, it will really help us! I want the flight sim community to really show the world how incredible we are. The truth is we are an incredible bunch. After 20 years in the community and over 14 as Deputy Editor of PC Pilot Magazine I know so many of you whom I am proud to call friends. We are simply the best and I mean that!
7) Anything else you can do to make this event a success, please make it happen
A reminder of the URL - you can donate and watch the streams from here:-