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Sputnik Aviation: Dream, Believe, Build

Aviation Updates Philippines – If you happen to see in our Facebook wall, we have shared several contents from a fresh Philippine-based gaming creator, Sputnik Aviation. However, it's kind of a different gaming stream given its quite educational nature.

Sputnik Aviation is a rising streaming icon on Facebook for realistic and "by the book" flight simulation mimicking the actual day-to-day operations of an airline pilot. Sputnik has flown series of Airbus A320 family flights on a popular flight simulator software, X-Plane 11.

Meet Capt. David

But before that, let's meet the man behind the streams. AUP has exclusively interviewed airline pilot David de Koenigswarter, the brain of the Sputnik Aviation concept, about his intentions, his inspirations, and his goal with his growing community.

As he shared, Capt. David is an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) holder, type-rated on the Airbus A320 family. From 2017 to 2020, he has started his airline career with Philippines AirAsia, one of the goliath airlines in the Philippines. Before that, he has also flown extensively on the C414A, Seneca II, Baron 58 and C172.

The story of Sputnik

While flights were suspended in March due to the enhanced community quarantine, Capt. David thought of keeping himself "current" through the use of X-Plane 11. With the help of a co-pilot utility, SmartCoPilot, he was able to connect two flight simulators, one acting as the pilot while another as a co-pilot while flying one aircraft.

This proved to be vital to the stream's continued success because it enabled two different individuals to fly virtually, remotely. The technology was taken advantage of, making a publicly-available flight simulator as a platform to practice Crew Resource Management (CRM) and to simulate an airline cockpit environment.

In fact, Capt. David took this opportunity to help his friend familiarize an Airbus environment before jumping into the real flight school. This made him realize it was a chance for him to share this technical knowledge to a much wider audience, especially to aspiring pilots.

"One statement that I firmly believe in is 'Teaching helps you learn more'. As a responsible and learning pilot, it is best to find ways to innovate, keep current and of course, pay it forward," he said.

"There are so many aspiring pilots who are just so passionate about this job, it would be a mistake not to help them because not too long ago, I was in exactly the same shoes. Aside from a way to help keep people at home during this pandemic, this is my way of injecting some positivity into our beloved industry while it is on its knees."

When asked about the origin of the name "Sputnik Aviation," Capt. David excitingly said: "Whenever I take my dog out of the house, he loves to look out the window, parang dreaming of something. Kaya Sputnik Aviation has a hashtag #DreamBelieveBuild; I feel that my dog, Sputnik, has dreams too."

Although Sputnik is relatively new in this tight streaming market, it stood out mainly because of its unique content, and yes, star-studded guest appearances! They have invited Capt. Genesis Bernardo, former A380 pilot Capt. Frank Desiderio, Air Traffic Controllers Renz Bulseco, Carl Mansueto, Darl Reyes, among others.

Therefore, not only does Sputnik's streams glorify the system and procedures of flying an Airbus A320, but it also has valuable insights from aviation professionals who will guide and inspire your way in becoming a commercial pilot or an air traffic controller someday.

Sputnik also flies over VATSIM, or the Virtual Air Traffic Simulation Network, where virtual pilots and controllers simulate air traffic globally. This is, however, far different from your usual "multiplayer" flight sessions due to the realistic procedures required over the network. As you have noticed, there is an almost realistic ATC coverage when Sputnik streams.

What's in store for Sputnik

Not only can you watch and learn, Capt. David has been planning to establish a virtual flying school with its fleet of C172 aircraft soon. Aspiring pilots can soon join a virtual ground school and flying sessions to familiarize the Cessna.

"This will be a good way to get students familiarized with standard phraseology, basic aerodynamics, usage of charts and most importantly, develop a good attitude."

Sputnik Aviation also has a community of aspiring pilots already. Every streaming session, there would be a group flight from point A to point B, thus, simulating air traffic around. If you wish to be part of this community for free, Capt. David encourages you to do so.

"If you have a driving passion for aviation, a hunger to learn, and a personality that is ready to become one with our community, you are more than welcome to join our Discord [channel] by messaging us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/sputnikaviation."

For aspiring aviators out there, Capt. David has one final advice: "Take every event whether a setback or promotion as an opportunity to improve yourself for your own sake, the sake of your family and the sake of your passengers."

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