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History

Southwest Virtual Airlines was formed in December 2008 as a collective idea from Ryan Flynn, Steve Cocks, Kevin Hornaday, and Tony Pitt. Their vision was to create a virtual airline that was designed for the pilots, and not to compete with other virtual aviation organizations. This concept allowed for the creating of a superior community in which anyone interested in the aviation and flight simulation hobby was welcome.

The very next year, the airline saw serious growth by encouraging its pilots to join and fly on the virtual air traffic simulation network (VATSIM) to maximize realism. By the end of the first full year in operations, the airline hosted 75 active pilot's who shared similar interests. Also in this year, partnerships were created to benefit everyone within the organization such as providing everyone with an accurate timetable.

Just the second year in operations, the airline surpassed the triple digits with more than 130 members involved in the community. Major technological advances to the organization, such as the release of LUVCARS 2, were also welcomed in this year.

The third year in operations only saw more fundamental improvements with how the airline is run. As we were growing, we realized we needed to make changes in order to keep with our philosophy of putting our pilot's first. We also welcomed AirTran airways into our system which allowed our pilots the option to fly more routes, including visiting international destination. We also received recognition as being one of the leading community oriented virtual airlines that was open to the public.

Today our airline hosts more than 500 active pilots and has plans for major technological improvements in order to keep with the original philosophy of hosting a community that is all about the pilot.

Founders

Steve Cocks - SWA1001
Steve was born and raised in Houston, TX. In 1986, he entered the United States Marine Corps. After discharge, he attended College at Southeast Louisiana University and majored in Criminal Justice. During his time in college, he volunteered for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Department. Among his many adventures, Steve drove trucks for 15 years. Steve is currently employed by Chrysler Group LLC as a Case Manager, handling various customer related issues. Steve is a Founder at Southwest Virtual Airlines.
Ryan Flynn - SWA1002
Ryan was born and raised in Rhode Island. He works as the Operations Manager at a manufacturing company in Massachusetts. He has held his PPL since early 2013. Ryan is the Owner and President of Southwest Virtual Airlines.
Tony Pitt - SWA1004
Tony lives on near the Chesapeake Bay and Patuxent River Maryland with his wife and two sons. His daughter and granddaughter live in South Carolina. Tony served in the U.S. Navy as an Electronics Technician and he currently works in the information technology field where he supports the Department of Defense and the Transportation Security Administration. Tony was first introduced to MS FlightSim in 1984 in the MS DOS environment. Tony entered the virtual airline world in July 2008 and helped found SWA VA in 2009. Tony started flying on VATSIM in 2009 and has earned the VATSIM P1 Rating.
Kevin Hornaday - SWA1007
Kevin began flight simming about the time of Flight Simulator 3. In 2007, Kevin discovered virtual airlines and VATSIM, finding it an enjoyable and relaxing hobby. He have accumulated several hundred hours on VATSIM and in 2011, earned his VATSIM P-1 rating. His interest in flight began before I was born; his uncle, Charles Hornaday, was killed in 1968 while piloting a private aircraft in Elizabethtown, NC. In "real life", Kevin is a police supervisor and criminal justice instructor. He is also active at the state level in North Carolina for the Fraternal Order of Police.

 

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