Everything started in summer 1984 with SubLOGIC Flight Simulator II on an Apple II. This was the beginning of what we can call a FS fever for Yann Gascard, founder of the Virtual Pilots Association, who was only 7 years old.
This passion merged with another passion: computers and in 1994 the Internet.
This knowledge resulted in the creation of many websites and helping people to launch community projects within Yann's own companies.
During this research, he found the Flying Tigers Group and decided to get involved in it because many things he wanted to do were already done there.
At first as COO of VA France, and then becoming involved in many developments to improve the websites and management of the Flying Tigers Group, he still had many ideas in mind. This was including a complete rework of VA France's website. Unfortunately he was unable to do everything he wanted as fast as his ideas came to him inside the big Flying Tigers Group. And thus the VPA was born.
Because of Yann's past experience in web development and online web-games the website and project basics where done in a few days and the VPA could start beta testing. This was first done thanks to Stephane Goddard and Jennifer Conner, former members of the Flying Tigers Group. And then, just a few days after being launched, VPA grew up with plenty heavy simmers from all around the world including Denis Tourtonde, Frank Seigler, Bruno Roucher, Cedric Schoeni, Eric Chollet, and many others.
After 6 months of operation we were approaching 100 members. About 80 exams were taken each month resulting in an average of 15 new pilots who became part of the VPA. Most people who join in the VPA remain in the VPA, the attrition rate is extremely low. Today, after 5 years of existence, we've grown to 500 members - still keeping our solid sense of community. And this was achieved thanks to VPA members and especially those involved in management, giving part of their time to help and manage VPA.
We've got a friendly, supportive environment and many new features and flight opportunities. Almost every flight interest is represented and the Association provides a wide range of resources and tools for flight. But, in a recent survey of VPA members, the overwhelming response was that people like the VPA because of the unique community of flight simulator enthusiasts that gather here. In 2007, members wanted to go further and started our own e-magazine called "The Wing" based on the idea of Brandon Cobos.
In 2009, after 5 years of existence, it was time to get some fresh new stuff. After many hours of work and 2 years of development we launched our second version of our website with many new features, a fresh design, and many dynamic features for the members thanks to the experience we gathered in 5 years and the constant development we had.
And that's where you come in!
We now need people to become members and also to get involved in this really great project!
So try our entrance exam and join us!