One of the best aspects of flight simulation is the community which constantly contributes to and supports the hobby. With this in mind, I asked Jeff Turner of Sky Blue Radio to explain the purpose behind his flight sim themed radio station, and give some background information on the project:
Sky Blue Radio was born in May of 2007. While we were founded and are based mostly in the USA, Sky Blue Radio DJs can be found all around the world. Aside from having staff from east to west coast in the States, we also have DJs in England, Scotland, Belgium, and Australia. Sky Blue Radio is and always has been 100% volunteer run and 100% listener supported, running solely on donations. I have the best of the best when it comes to managers and staff members… I couldn’t ask for better!
Sky Blue Radio has its own exclusive free PC client. It can run either independently or via your flight simulator. Simmers can tune their com2 frequency to 123.45 to listen to Sky Blue Radio. The current version of our radio plugin affectionately named “Wee Tune Beastie” offers maps, frequencies for airports and flight travel.We also occasionally feature software reviews on Sky Blue Radio. Vetter’s “5 sock reviews” have become a big hit! You can also interact via chat through your flight simulator directly with the DJ, and with other listeners who have tuned in at the same time. You can even request songs this way! When there isn’t a live DJ online, we have a jukebox consisting of a vast library of songs from which listeners can request their favorite tunes. The atmosphere is laid back and family-like. We are here for the community, and therefore encourage as much interaction as possible!
In addition to our exclusive PC client, we can also be streamed through vRoute (which is a flight planning app associated with VATSIM), FSInn (Pilot client for VATSIM), iTunes, and TuneIn Radio. Listeners can make requests to the DJs via Skype if they want at skyblueradio1 or via email by clicking on their banner on our website. We also have our own Android application which is currently in beta testing.
Being a volunteer organization, our donations are tax deductable and as such, we continue to give back to the flight simulation community by offering free advertising for Virtual Airlines and budding developers. In addition, we give away prizes from our corporate sponsors which currently include GoFlight, Flight1, and Just Flight.
Every Sunday, we host VFR Sunday. Little over a year ago, we flew out of my hometown of Denver and started a VFR flight around the world. So far, we’ve flown across the USA, Mexico, Central and South America, down to the South Pole, and then up through Africa to the UK. We are currently in Greece as of last weekend. Our VFR flights are hosted on the VATSIM network. We have a blast chatting via our Teamspeak server for the duration of our hour flight whilst enjoy the scenery wherever we are!
We have a VA of the Year competition in which Virtual Airlines compete for a year long of free advertising from us. We also hold competitions during Halloween, Christmas, and our birthday bash which by far is our most popular event. Each year, we celebrate our birthday week or weekend with non stop DJs and prize giveaways from our corporate sponsors. It’s gotten quite popular over the years. Last year’s birthday was by far the busiest during which we had over 17k unique listeners in one day. For the duration of the entire event, we had over 59k listeners in total!
In addition to having a strong virtual presence, we also attend real world events such as air shows and FlightSimCon. If you ever see us out and about, please don’t hesitate to say hi!
-Jeff Turner, Sky Blue Radio.
Why not listen to Sky Blue Radio on FSX: Steam Edition? All you have to do is click here and download the Wee Tune Beastie II. Please note you must have the latest version of FSUIPC downloaded to listen to SBR.