Today, April 9th – 2018, marks the completion of my 5th year as Webmaster here at SPA. After taking some time to figure out the inner workings of our wonderful airline, I set out to make improvements in addition to keeping existing things running. It’s important to understand that this is all voluntary effort – as it is for all staff members here at SPA. No remuneration is received by us, and all funds contributed through our Paypal link are used to cover the costs of our Internet Provider, keeping our domain name (stpaulairlines.com), etc.
With that said, I also want to thank all of you pilots who have continued to support us both financially and/or by flying with us here at SPA. All the effort expended to create a virtual airline – no matter how great it is, would be of little value if there were no pilots willing to fly there.
I would like to recap some of the things that have occurred under my ‘watch’ as webmaster these last five years. Besides the obvious pride I take personally in these accomplishments, it is also serves to demonstrate to our pilots (current and future) that St. Paul Airlines is not a stagnant, “same ole flights every day” virtual airline, but one that is actively engaged in developing new flights, adventures and projects so as to regularly offer new experiences and challenges to our pilots.
In addition to things unseen, such as dealing with a site redirection attack in early 2013 before I hardly knew my way around the site, a failure of all ACARS programs when a METAR site they used became obsolete, and myriad other issues that popped up over the years, here’s some highlights of what has been going on at SPA during the past five years:
• Enhancements to the main page to include
o Flying plane ‘logo’ with SPA livery
o Scrolling list of significant or new offerings
o Daily Flight Arrivals listing and Teamspeak Server list showing active users.
o Video featuring pilot’s flight photos and video clips updated annually
o President’s Message area for our CEO to add his own message to the main page.
o Additional Color and text changes to make the site more attractive.
• Changes to existing site features that became necessary due to obsolete code or 3rd-party addons that include
o New Photo Gallery
o New “Active Flights” with enhanced mapping features and ‘flying Piper’ when a flight (and the link) is active.
o A new 37-page “Webmasters Operation Manual” so that future webmaster or assistant webmaster will have much-needed information without having to do ‘trial-and-error’ discovery of site operation.
• New features added to St. Paul Airlines
o A new ACARS program (SPAACARS) I developed specifically for SPA and available for multiple simulators including FSX, P3d and FlightGear.
o A new Catapult/Arrestor Cable program I developed for FSX and P3d for any model aircraft (within reason) to make carrier landings.
o Ten “Adventure Packs” with downloadable Scenery and effects, most of which I especially created for these adventures compatible for both FSX and P3d.
o An Economics Module to add additional challenge and dimension to flights.
o A new Pilot Awards page.
o New color graphs added to Pilot Activity page, including the “Ten Most Active Pilots” for the month.
o Our own dedicated FSHost and Teamspeak3 servers for St. Paul Airlines pilots that I’ve installed and maintain.
Thanks again for your continued support for St. Paul Airlines, and I hope that the next five years will be as productive and creative as I believe the past five have been.
Webmaster, St. Paul Airlines
edited by: jer029, Apr 09, 2018 - 09:29 AM