Putting things in perspective: Hub Competitions

Every other month the Hub Jacker, Robin Hub, and the Hub Ranger emerge from the dusty caverns of lost luggage and antiques to rally up their troops while antagonizing pilots from other hubs. Usually fun is had by all and the hub competition months tend to boost our pirep submissions. While there isn’t a huge prize to earn the paddle and pride of winning is enough for the victorious hub’s manager and pilots.

MCI Trophy
It also lets us experiment with new ideas, and sometimes target certain areas of improvement in piloting skills. You may remember the hub competition months where we offered more points for better landings or flying the entire flight on ACARS without time acceleration. Each of these were all aimed at having pilots become better pilots and bring more realism to their flights. Ultimately the biggest thing we want to see from hub competition months is a boost in participation; boosts in pirep submissions, teamspeak activity between pilots, and more posts in the forums all count towards increased participation. The longer you stay with MetroAir the more you start to understand that MetroAir is not the typical virtual airline. While every virtual airline has flights and pireps, MetroAir has a family. This is the reason why participation is so crucial and we encourage everyone to break free from their shells and introduce themselves in the forums. Participation is the livelihood of MetroAir.

With any competition, there is always going to be some friendly bantering between the challengers. We try to keep it a clean fight and show our best sportsmanship throughout the month and give credit to the winning hub and all participants regardless of the hub. Regardless of which hub takes home the paddle and can proudly put it in the display case behind their ticket counter for the month, every MetroAir pilot is a winner. We all benefit from the camaraderie, teamwork, and participation that everyone puts in. So lets get down to some of the dirty little details of what goes into a hub competition and the reasoning behind them.

*Themes: *They help to change it up every month and make things a little more unpredictable. Everyone likes a fresh competition.

*Hub Differentials: *Let me first point out that hub differentials should not be seen as the enemy during the hub competitions. Pilots (and even some staff) seem to think that they are in place as punishment or as an obstacle. Instead they are there to try to level out the playing field. There are a number of factors that go into calculating the differentials from the size of the hub roster, the number of pilots who have been active in a specified period of time, and how many staff members are at a hub. Imagine you were a hub of 1 pilot while the other 2 hubs had 20 pilots. It wouldn’t be very fair if for every 1 pirep another hub made you were sweating to get 10 pireps submitted. Would it?

* ACARS Requirement: *In recent competitions ACARS became a requirement to earn points. ACARS is the best way to ensure that submitted pireps are valid and meet competition rules.

*PiRep Points: *Each approved pirep earns a number of points based on the competition rules for the month and factors in the hub differential. The points earned are *only *used to determine the hub competition winner. While each approved pirep will show the number of points earned, the display is only to help a pilot gauge how their pireps are contributing to their hub’s total. Comparing hub points between pilots at different hubs is like comparing apples and oranges. There isn’t much point in getting too hung up on it so don’t waste your time and energy on the number. Instead, focus on the end goal of flying more and contributing to the hub.

So what is in store for September’s Hub Competition you ask? Everything will be the same as July to let everyone get used to the latest rules and let it all these details sink in.

So if you take one thing from this post, take this: It’s not about who wins or loses; It’s about the entire team effort to make your virtual airline better. If you take two things, get your rump on teamspeak, introduce yourself to fellow pilots, and have fun! 🙂