The release of the new Flight Sim Labs update brought some brand new features, enabling simmers to communicate via the Hoppie ACARS system. This system which was created 20 years ago, enables people to send messages through a system, which could then be displayed in the virtual flight deck or via ATC memos. Despite it being around for a very long time, the past few days have brought a series of abuse being sent within the system.
In a message sent to various people flying at the time, Hoppie expressed his concerns by saying “The few people that like to ruin everything have found us. ACARS will shut down because of them. Thanks to everyone else for supporting”.
This message sparked a new forum thread opening up on the FSLabs forum where several people chimed in their experiences or contact with Hoppie.
A forum user said that he had emailed the developer and this was the response he received.
The reply read as follows:
“It was not a hoax.
I am currently abroad so I cannot add stuff to filter things out, so the prankster(s) won. It may take several weeks before I can fix it and by then, likely, the world has abandoned the system.
It was nice.
This was then followed up with this email.
“Spread the word it will be back. Don’t know why. Worst timing ever.
[Email images reviewed at the request of the poster. Please refer to the forum thread for full details]
Hoppie ACARS still remains online right now, and users have reported receiving the following message:
DUE TO CHILDISH ABUSE
WE HAVE BEEN SHOWN
THAT EVEN HOBBY SYSTEMS
NEED BRAKES TODAY.
WHILE I STAPLE SOME
BRAKES TO ACARS PLEASE
USE ANY MEANS YOU HAVE
TO STOP THE JOKERS.
IT IS VERY FUNNY.
HA HA HA.
You can view the message here.
Whilst this isn’t a problem for the Flight Sim Labs product line nor will it have an impact on day-to-day use of the product, developer, Andy has said that he and the team will “Be assisting Hoppie in any way we can.”
Finally, a new statement was issued by Hoppie via the website. It reads as follows:
“The inevitable happened: some funny guy (statistically it must be a guy) has used the ACARS system to spread offensive stuff among unsuspecting pilots. As the system was not designed to weed out jokers with surgical precision and ban them for good from the planet (there was no Facebook or Twitter or Google with omnipotent identity cancelation powers 20 years ago), I am currently contemplating how to stop the comics. So please beware the jokers and give me some time to come up with a workable solution that fits in with our hobby. What do pilots do when there is a joker on the frequency? (hint)”
Hopefully whatever the abuse was can be curbed. It’s a great tool for the community to use and would be a shame if it were lost for the greater community over the very few who chose to abuse the system.
We have reached out to Hoppie, but understandably (he’s on vacation), we haven’t heard back from him yet.
Thanks to Chris for the initial tip-off.