How to perform Oil platform operations within FS Economy
FS Economy is a huge and thrilling community that revolves around simulating an economy and a market for virtual pilots. I won't go into much detail as you can find two articles about it here at HeliSimmer (read part 1 and part 2) but, in a nutshell, you can register at their website, download their client (available for FSX, Prepar3D and X-Plane), choose your jobs, rent an aircraft and off you go.
There's a lot more into it but if you read the above articles, you'll be pretty much up to speed.
OK now that we are all set, let's start with some offshore ops, right? That should be easy. We just select a platform to start with and off we go. There's a small problem, though: FS Economy's database does not have oil platforms or anything else that is not an airport or airfield (such as ships and other offshore facilities). Therefore we cannot select them for our flights. Bummer.
So does this means we can't fly our offshore jobs? Nope. You can. You just need to do an extra step. Please note that this method works for other facilities too, such as non-real airports, ships, etc.. Do be careful regarding ships, especially if they move around as the location obviously changes.
Finding which airport your platform relates to
Whenever you land, FS Economy finds the airfield that is closest to your location and, internally, recognizes you as being there. This means that when you land at Gatwick, for example, FS Economy does not recognize the scenery or the exact location. You could land next to the airport and FSE would still recognize you as being in Gatwick.
This works with greater distances too. Which means we can "link" our oil platform, ship, or any other scenery element to an existant FSE airport or airfield.
To do so, you'll just need to land at the location you wish, open the FSE client and try to start a flight (Action -> Start Flight). You will then get a message stating that you have no active aircraft at XYZ. XYZ being the airfield recognized by FSE as being the place you're at. Even when you're not!
In the screenshot below you can see that this oil platform (which is part of the excellent Sahara Desert Fly-in scenery from Aerosoft) is recognized as GQNN, which is Nouakchott in Mauritania.
Flying jobs to and from your oil platform
Ok then. Now that we know which airfield we can use to mimic our oil platform, we can now look for jobs to and from it at the FSE website.
A quick airport search for GQNN gives us a list of jobs from GQNN to several other airports in the surroundings. GOSS (St Louis, Senegal) is not too far away and has a couple of jobs to GQNN, which can give us some extra virtual cash if we do a round to and from the platform.
Clicking on the ICAO takes us to the GOSS page and we can see that there are actually 3 jobs to GQNN, which means we can actually do them, flying to our platform. If we have an helicopter capable of transporting 5 passengers, this means we can do a full run (GOSS -> GQNN -> GOSS) and make a bit over v$6,000 (minus expenses). Not bad for a 2 hour helicopter flight!
And there you go. We're all set for some cool Sahara Desert offshore operations.
Out of curiosity, there's a ship and a lighthouse very near the oil platform that we used as the example, which are also recognized as GQNN so, if we ever want to change things a bit, we can always use them as alternative locations for jobs.
I hope you find this article useful for starting your own FS Economy offshore operations. Got some corrections, ideas or questions? Please use the comments section below.