The Death of SL Aviation

Before I start I would like to throw out a picture of a Bunny and a Marble Fox as well as simple relaxing music for you to go and enjoy should any of the Doom and Gloom articles I’m going to be publishing within the coming weeks become too much for you to bare.

Two things caught my eye this week, the first was a notice sent out by DOR Spearhead by their Grand Supreme Overlord Da Admiral forbidding it’s members to talk to the Press, specifically the Second Life Enquirer. Exactly why DOR doesn’t want it’s members talking to the press I will reveal later just to keep you all in a state of suspense, but perhaps more interesting ,once again, DOR has announced it’s run out of money so ,once again, it’s closing. Rather than report on these two issues separately I’ll do them both at the same time later when the Dor-goes-bankrupt-a-fourth-time fiasco resolves itself.

The other thing was this picture sent round by Fey Twin of Unity Airport.boob

Now don’t get my wrong, I have nothing against Unity Airport, they are a fantastic bunch as well as big supporters of the Jeogeot Gulf project ,to which I am very grateful for, so a big congratulations to them for becoming the most popular airport in Second Life. But this does leave me with something of a sour taste in my mouth because after six months of solid day-to-day greifing (Thanks Linden Labs) every airport in the Jeogeot is suffering record low traffic numbers, save for Unity.

Now generally I don’t care about traffic numbers, they’re stupid, easy to manipulate and exclusively used by region owners to measure their e-penis, but what struck me about this one is, while it is a tremendous achievement, Unity didn’t actually achieve this by being an Airport. In fact in the time it’s taken me to write this Article more aircraft have taken off and landed at Second Norway than ever have at Unity. Yet ,according to this screenshot, it’s sitting way back on position #10 so what the hell?

Truth is Unity got to that position, not through any act of Aviation, but by being a Dance Club something once known as the Hallmark of a dying region. Like the great calls of a beached whale on it’s last gasp many failing Airports or Aviations clubs would hire in DJ’s, buy huge dance floors with ludicrous lighting effects, fill the sploders with money and then spam every Aviation group with notices, calling those out to spend their evening zombiefied pressing “Play in World” on their favourite Dance animation while a self-proclaimed DJ booted up iTunes, hit “Playlist”, then expected tips.


While these events would boost traffic for a time in the end all it achieved was to alienate it’s core members who ,like rats from a sinking ship, would flee the lag as their once beloved Group sailed off a cliff. Happened all the time, for reasons that would take another article to explain, but back then there was a lot of small time Aviation groups they could float too, in fact there seemed to be no shortage of them. Every Airport had it’s own Fighter group, it’s own firefighter group and it’s own display team and none of them every really struggled to find members.

These days of course, things are different. Today’s Airport Owners  concentrate solely on Hanger Rentals, Hanger Rentals and Hanger Rentals with very little thought in Community aspects like running events, hosting races and Roleplay groups believing ‘community’ is something that happens to them because “people will want to spend time at my airport because it’s so awesome”. Something which has become industry standard with very few notable exceptions.

In days where I was a nooblett pilot the typical Aviator was in his middle to late 20’s, was most likely Aspbergic and they judged each others piloting skill entirely on combat. They didn’t have much time for the new Pilot, they were quick to judge and couldn’t see the point in flying a plane with no guns on it. Yet ,While we still had our disagreements (there is always Drama), all pilots back then shared the same simple objective, they wanted to get into the Air and Do Something. Disagreements were settled in the Air, Drama was extinguished at the barrel of a 50 Cal and Pilots earned their respect, not through their combat prowess, but how they handled their defeat and how much they laughed afterwords with the person who shot them down.


These pilots were eventually replaced by the “fly for fun” crowd. This is where the Fighter Ace clubs and the super strict RP groups started to die off, inevitably the idiots in charge would fuck up , mostly by promoting favouritism and alienating it’s other members, and people would leave. Until this point they had always been guaranteed a fresh supply of new recruits, but they soon found that the infinite supply of noobs wasn’t so infinite. These new pilots had gone along with what was laid down previously by the Old Gang but had little tollerence for the drama of the clubs, they didn’t give a shit about combat and were more interested in small, vintage aircraft and the joy they got out of being in the air. For the first time Civil Aviation become a major thing.

They began to look for a place outside the control of the Aviation groups, what they found was the Blake Sea and despite heavy resistance from the Sailors and even one or two attempts to Ban Aviation from the Blake, they were able to make a home there.

While the Fly for Fun crowd still make up the core of SL Aviation they are being slowly super-seeded by a new breed of Pilot. People who were attracted to SL Aviation not through any interest in Aviation but were seduced by the culture of Aviation. The desperation of the Older Clubs and Groups who turned to Dance Parties to fill traffic numbers and who scraped the corners of “Welcome Island” for new blood inadvertently introduced two new species of Pilot into the mix. These new pilots mingled with the Legends of the Old Gang and became seduced by their Gung-Ho attitude and the enormous amount of respect they Carried.

They come from either the Younger and more Immature stock left over from when the Teen Grid merged, also the 30-40 something Middle American Bored Housewives division which has only been growing stronger since the introduction of the Zindra continent and the Book 50 Shades of Grey.Snapshot_023

The difference between these new pilots and the pilots of old is the older guys were obsessed with their own opinions, with combat, and with what ever manufacturer their group rallied behind. These new pilots are obsessed with one thing, their image.


These are the people who get behind the controls of a plane for the first time already thinking they’re a decent pilot and “This should be easy”. What they don’t want is to be thrown off their horse and into the drink at the end of the runway because they didn’t throttle up fast enough or employ the take-off flaps.

That kind of shit is embarrassing and when children (and mothers) get embarrassed there are very few of them who can take it in their stride. They become irrational and their Ego goes into Damage Control mode, they finger and blame everything around them, trying to find some excuse that doesn’t lead back to them. An example of this is Both Zora (ZSK) and Tank (Laminar) regularly receive complaints from people demanding refunds because they “couldn’t fly the plane”. Accusing your plane of having ‘shitty’ scripts because you can’t fly it is basically the equivalent of saying “the sun was in my eyes” when someone punches you.


What they want is something that compliments them and grants them unearned competency and what they inevitably gravitate towards is aircraft with flight scripts so basic and so pointlessly simple they could can only be assumed as aircraft because they look like one. Products like E-tech, Vortex, Java, Shana, Colter Craft, Elite Industries, etc etc etc. Essentially planes that hold your hand as you fly them. Their next step is to become deluded that they are now an “ace pilot” and aggressively defend themselves from any idea that the plane they are flying is “simple”.

This is the “Looks Good, Flies Great” Mentality which essentially boils down to “I look good, I fly great” and supposedly they get some joy out of how good they look flying so you can’t really argue with that, well you can but people will yell and throw things.

To give you one example I’ve been shadowing one or two of the Airlines on the brief notion that it might be interesting to review them. A lot of their pilots start up their big birds, taxi to the runway and then stop and the end and wait, and wait, and wait. After speaking to them on why they wait so long it became clear that they are not waiting on Take-off permission from a ATC, checking with the Stewarts that the toilets are clear and everyone is sitting down or even revving up the engines. They are sitting there on the end of the runway because that is what planes do.

And I think that says more than anything I could.

This all goes back to my original point which is Traffic Numbers. How can Unity have more Traffic than Norway or Hollywood. Well the reason goes back to those “L.G.F.G” pilots I was ranting about above as I said these new Pilots care more about Looking good and showing off than anything else and you can’t show off when you’re in the air as there’s no-one to see you (unless you only ever fly in the Blake of course) so they Land as quickly as possible and spend more time on the ground, idling around airports showing off and attending parties and THIS is what drives Traffic up.

This for me is concerning. Like the Old Groups ,such as the Flying Tigers, quickly found out Dance Parties are laggy and any place which plays host to one can become virtually unusable as an Airport. For Unity this will never become a problem, like many of today’s airports Traffic Numbers have become the standard to which the success of the Airport is judged and Dance parties are the most efficient way of generating this success. However as the Looks Good, Flies Great mentality expands and today’s top selling aircraft become more and more about the Looks and less about the flight scripts we teeter dangerously close to a point where Aircraft become visual props that don’t need to fly, Airports become social clubs with an Aviation Theme and the larger growing mainstream of Second Life users simply arrive to Peacock, Dance and privately agree to teleport to each others sky boxes for a little Pink on Blue poseball Action.

The amount of Lindens generated by this crowd would ultimately shift the focus of the Market from Aircraft and flying, back to what SL normally does. Cosmetics, Fashion and Sex. And I can think of nothing more boring than yet another Virtual Reality dominated by the people I play Second Life to escape from in reality. So for the time being I will continue to Fly, fly high, fly far and fly for fun. I hope you’ll be willing to join me up there because it looks like we are something of a dying breed.

tl;dr  New Pilots are more interested in having sex than flying.


20 thoughts on “The Death of SL Aviation

  1. Albert Elson says:

    Mal you sound like a bitter jealous little boy. Who cares what Unity Airport is doing? Are you paying for the tier at Unity Airport? Is the Unity Group taking money out of your pockets? Is the Unity Group threatening you so that you have to file a protection order against them?

    The people at Unity Airport use their airport as a gathering place and most of their aviation activities are launched from one of the many hangars rented from the airports on the other continents since Jeogeot is really not an ideal area for commercial aviation.
    So it is really not a shock that airplanes are not taking off all the time.

    If people are enjoying themselves and having fun, how dare them not be involved in the drama that the combat groups generate.

    Many of the other airports have dances and other social non aviation events. People are having fun and enjoying the company of others. To bad that you are such an unhappy person that fun is a concept that you do not understand.

    “Products like E-tech, Vortex, Java, Shana, Colter Craft, Elite Industries, etc etc etc. Essentially planes that hold your hand as you fly them.”

    Combat aviation has moved to the wayside and commercial aviation is the new popular interest in SL.

    If sales of combat aircraft are down, then it is time to buck up buttercup and try creating a product that people find interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angela McKeenan says:

      My thoughts exactly. Oh so we can’t be social and have a good time, we all have to be numbskull military types? pfft, screw them and their drama. We are going to have a good time, and the lone wolves can howl all the way back to their empty airports.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jimmypesto says:

    Malcious I applaud you sir.


  3. Jess MacDougal says:

    I’ll till be flyin’ my planes that require some semblance of skill to fly.

    To quote (a show starring) a different Mal…
    “I don’t care, I’m still free. You can’t take the sky from me.”


  4. Rebecca says:

    This is obvious, but to be honest there is no leadership in the SL Aviation community to organize it like the Sailors got. I see no doom and gloom and those salty windbags got all sorts of friendly ports to go to.

    Want to know why? There’s three things that are problems we need to fix, even if it in the short term hurts us (gotta use chemo to cure the cancer after all)

    1: Infiltrators.
    Yes, this will sound like tinfoil-hattery. But when there was a combat area in the Blake (god rest it’s soul) there was a active combat community. But there was also a growing vocal and disruptive minority that would cause all sorts of havoc to block off any meaningful fun. These people were clever in their disruptions too. Thing is I got a feeling some of these people that are becoming a cancer to the aviation community are part of that number of protesters. Simply put if you can’t kill it from the outside, kill it from within. This can be simply dealt with. Anyone who is obviously a forever nugget shouldn’t get into any combat group or be kicked out. At once.

    2: Drama.
    For every true DMCA, there are dozens of false accusations, and the combat community has them in droves. The knives are sharp and long and will only be satated when their favorite builder is on top. And it’s hard to stop this as the moment you ban the shitheads, they accuse you of being part of some “grand conspiracy” to hold SL aviation down. Trust me if there is any conspiracy, it’s to destroy it with BS. I’ve seen great builders and coders brought low by this shit. Best way to handle this is just to indiscriminately swing the ban-hammer. Thank god I grew up before that happened to me. (anime girl avatar not included…)

    3: Apathy.
    There’s that word… many fliers just don’t care anymore, after all you beat your head against a wall enough times and you realize that perhaps it’s a bad idea. So either they leave SL (which has been happening) or they go and learn other ways to have fun (like joining the sailors, or getting into the flavor of the month SAR group, or whatever). The best way to fix this is to organize. And I mean fiercely. There’s hundreds of splintered groups, and many of them are shambling corpses (Aviatrix Aeronautics Club, I’m looking at you… and you really should stop using the logo I designed after I told you not to in any form…) and to be honest SL Aviation is a drama magnet as there’s few moderators and thousands of slowly more disheartened pilots.

    To be honest I think we need to get behind the builders now… at least the ethical ones. Ones like Tig, Aeon, Joe, and others. The time for conspiracy theories needs to end and if we’re to pull out of this nose dive (or at least make a proper emergency water landing) is to simply start cutting people out of the community that want nothing but drama and dance parties.


    • The thing you and some others seem to keep assuming is that the air combat community (such as it is) is what’s driving aviation in SL. That was once the case, but isn’t now and hasn’t been for a while. Like it or not it’s the civil aviation community and the passenger carriers that are leading the way now. That’s the main reason the attack on Dani met with such a violent backlash. With him being pretty much the only one supplying aircraft of the type wanted by those interested in non-combat aviation, it felt like you were attacking the type of flying we prefered. We reacted accordingly and mostly as a community. Meanwhile the combat flying community has splintered into a jumbled mess of groups that each dislike or mistrust the others. You have no central group or leader. When some of you still act as though you speak for and lead the SL aviation community as a whole, it comes across as arrogant and out of touch with reality. The fact of the matter is that you need the civil aviation community a LOT more than we need you currently. That may be a bitter pill for many of you, but you need to stop focusing on what is pissing you off about civil aviators and start focusing on getting the issues worked out amongst the combat aviators while there are still enough of you around to matter.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Capt. Rebecca S. Rathbone says:

        This coming from the person that actually condones what amounts to content piracy? Also you should see the Civvie aviation community, it’s just as messed up as you.

        Also I’m sure the one person that liked your comment will be fair and balanced in regards to protecting IP. 😉


      • Capt. Rebecca S. Rathbone says:

        Oh, as for some reason I can’t edit my post I got distracted by someone talking over my shoulder. I meant to say the Civvie Aviation Community is as messed up as your view of the combat community.


        • malcious says:

          I probably should have said you need to comment with your actual Avatar name not your profiles nick-name. Since I already know who you are on grind I’ll let it slide but just this once.


  5. Angela McKeenan says:

    Let it die, its riddled with drama and hate. Byeeee!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angela McKeenan says:

      BTW this is my legacy name Tzaryna Gracemount if you want to talk do it to my face and not behind my back. Yes I am a performer at an airport but so what? the airport owners pay the tiers, they can do whatever the hell they want. Whether they want a dance club or not is up to them. Some of us are actually social people who want to have a good time. And as for “showing off” get off the damn grass. Who the hell are you to tell us what we should be doing with our own time and money? You obviously can’t socialise to save yourself so you piss on everybody that does. You want SL aviation back to the good old days? go for it, you don’t see us complaining about you because we JUST DON’T CARE.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Angela McKeenan says:

    Pfft screw you and your sweeping generalizations you don’t know me nor do you care to so how can you profess to know who and what I am? you’re a special kind of asshole who has the nerve to think you know it all. Next time you want to fling shit at people, take a good look in the mirror.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. James says:

    No matter what community, you can count on other people to create friction among the members and try to put other people down with the hope of making themselves feel better among their peers.
    If an airport has members enjoying their time in SL dancing in a club,what business is this of yours? None,Nada,just.
    What these people are doing is no business of yours.


  8. The bunny and fox are the best part of this blog entry and I fully support their inclusion. I’ll pass on the music thanks.

    There’s no death of SL aviation as a whole. The part of it into air combat seems to be kind of splintered. What did you think was going to happen in Jeogeot when all those sims got set open rez with no admin powers other than the Lindens? You got an area worth just about as much as you all pay for it. You want something where you can keep the griefers at bay? Pony up and set up a group of privately owned sims. You mock the DOR flyers, but they aren’t constantly having those issues. Yes they are having to cut back some, but they can have a good time combat flying in a single sim if need be in the aircraft you mock as ‘penny turners’. The thing is they don’t care what you and your group think, they are doing their thing and having fun.

    Now if you mean the SL Aviation group? That stopped being the central group for aviation in SL the day Asshole Voom had his little toady Whitewolf issue the edict against talking about Dani (the other makers included in that weren’t being talked about anyway so who cared.) Things have loosened up a little but the damage was done and that group is no longer seen as inclusive of most of the general aviation community. It’s lost it’s credibility and much of it’s perceived usefulness to many people who once were happy to rely on it.

    As for Unity. Of course they aren’t getting most of their traffic from flights in and out. Where are you going to fly after all? You can only take so many laps around the Jeogeot bathtub before that gets old. So what? They have fun and I’ll let you in on a little secret. A big part of the reason people hang out over there is that for the most part they are friendly and nice and don’t just stand around bitching like the bitter old guard farts and their yes men over at Wright Brothers often do. I think part of the hard on you have for them is they refused to tow the line and ban Dani’s aircraft thus ensuring people who wanted to fly them over there could do so and still have a couple of decent airports to fly between. Boo fucking hoo.

    If you’re going to call out makers for making ‘look good fly easy’ aircraft, it might be best if you actually had some clue as to what you’re talking about. Coltercraft aircraft have issues, but they are by no means easy to fly. Oh and just to set the record straight, the 737 model was and remains legit and legal in the same way the ones Tig paid for are legit and legal. He’s just a maker who wasn’t part of the little clique so why not include him in the rumors.

    I will agree that those who whine because they don’t want to put in a little practice to fly something with slightly more realistic flight dynamics shouldn’t get any sympathy. ZSK planes do take some getting used to.

    As for the ‘Look Good Pilots’, I kind of agree with you there. SL aircraft are generally not that hard to learn to handle, but many don’t even want to spend the minimal time it takes to not fly like a noob. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken somebody up as a passenger with the airline I’m with only to see them a day or two later with their own airliner, a crappy livery and announcing to the world yet a new one person airline that will fly for 2 days and never be heard from again.

    It doesn’t help either that some of the more established SL airlines don’t have any standards when it comes to accepting new pilots more stringent than “Are you currently breathing?” Those are mostly the same ones posting constant ‘Pilots Wanted’ notices. The one I’m with requires two passed check flights and does some mentoring before somebody gets in. We turn away people who just don’t have the skill. Strangely enough, we don’t have to post those ‘Help Wanted’ notices to get people wanting to join up.

    As for airports, It’s not hard to tell whether they were built to support aviation or to fit the maximum number of rental spots. It’s possible to make a well done airfield in a quarter of a sim. I’ve seen it done more than once. I love small strip airports. On the other hand I despise rental farms. I try to avoid flying to or from those as much as possible. They are usually badly laid out, laggy, and as unattractive as cheap row housing in the bad parts of a large city. Adding a dance club doesn’t improve it regardless of what it does to traffic numbers. That’s not saying that airports can’t sponsor events. I think it’s great when they do, preferably events that cater to aviators. It’s not the green dots at the club that matter to a real airport, it’s the green dots moving up and down the runway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • malcious says:

      “We want a plane that makes us look good to our passangers” -Crim 2015


      • Flying passengers is partly putting on a show for them and yes the planes need to be able to allow for that. I don’t apologize for that either. It’s moot anyway because your group seems stuck on combat and vintage aircraft. I like the latter actually, but it is a more limited market.

        I fly more advanced aircraft in my off time in SL, but even then don’t expect them to be particularly realistic. If I wanted realistic I can load a dedicated flight sim and get a far better experience than anything possible in SL.


    • James says:

      Unity Airport does not assume that people from South America are copybot thieves unlike the people at Wright Brother’s.
      I always see the Unity people living up to their group’s
      name by being warming and accepting of people from all parts of the globe.
      Just like a person who does not particularly like a brand of aircraft. Do not visit Unity Airport if you dislike what they are doing.
      I do not think that the Unity group needs the SL Aviation’s bitterness. These people are enjoying their own family like atmosphere. I am certain that Unity did not open with their breath held and fingers crossed hoping to appease the old guard.
      Since Unity Airport is a non profit group who rewards their pilots with free hangars and aircraft and does not rely on the proceeds of rentals, they will not be going anyplace soon.


  9. Yelena Zen says:

    This article just demonstrates that its author has a distorted vision of reality, probably due to a large and unhealthy ego, characteristic of someone who must have serious problems to socialize, about to deduce that all going to a party do so only for sexual reasons. What credibility deserves someone who claims that “new pilots are more interested in having sex than flying”? This generic assertion sounds like an offense! Most people who made Unity the busiest airport in SL are passengers, pilots and friends who like aviation and feel comfy to spend time there. It’s worth to remeber Unity has hangars in several airports in every continent, and part of the take-off and landing movement in these airports are due to the operation of Unity Airlines and their passengers. People nowadays are interested in commercial aviation more than combat groups with all the drama they do, and of course, SL has great limitations to be called a flight simulator per se. Pilots qualities can’t be depicted by the kind of aviation they have embraced, and real aviation knowledge isn’t compatible with such bla-bla-bla. What really matters is the pilot experience and skills and the contribution she/he can give for the construction of a healthy and unified aviation community in SL.


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