David B. - Commercial Pilot (ASEL), IFR, 180 Total Hours
I’ve been a member of BVA since 2009, a little under a year after I’d started getting into FSX. BVA was the first online ATC community that I joined, and from where I stand today, seven years later, the benefits of my involvement with BVA over the years still persist. I am now a commercial pilot (ASEL w/Instrument Rating) with close to 200 flight hours working towards my multi-engine rating.
I had very little virtual flying experience (and no real-world flying time) when I joined BVA, but it was the perfect platform for me to expand my knowledge of aviation and to simulate a realistic flying experience, which is exactly what I wanted to do. Soon after joining, I began learning the basics of flying including ATC terminology, flight planning, airspace dynamics, and much more. I improved as a pilot and furthered my interest in aviation with BVA to the point that I finally felt ready to begin flying for real.
I began private pilot training in June of 2012, just after my 17th birthday. Thanks to my experience with BVA, I had already learned about half of what the private pilot course curriculum covered, making many of the ground lessons merely a review for me. I already knew about ILS approaches, pattern entries, VOR navigation, and ATC terminology before I even started training! Because of this, I was able to earn my private pilot certificate in less than two months, and my instrument rating the following year in about the same amount of time. I attribute most of this success towards my time spent flying in FSX on the BVA network.
My experience with BVA has saved me lots of time AND money during my flight training and has instilled in me a confidence as a pilot that I would say still exists today. I’ve always been impressed by the efforts of the BVA administration over the years and will forever be grateful for the benefits of my involvement with this community.