We are tremendously saddened and hurt to have to announce the passing of one of our own...
Mike Ionas is no longer with us unfortunately, after battling an acute disease for the past month.
Mike was born in Athens in 1978 and had been a beta tester for Flight Sim Labs for many years and one of our best support engineers since 2017, helping countless customers with their issues and offering his free time without ever asking for anything in return. He was an avid flight simmer and the president of Olympic Airlines Virtual (OAV), which flourished and increased its membership many-fold under his leadership and guidance.
Above all though, Mike was a people person. He would always patiently assist everyone no matter what the problem, small or large and his ideas have born many new features in our simulated aircraft that everyone enjoys. Those of us who had met him in person can never forget his smile which he carried everywhere Mike went, never sad, never once complaining about anything.
While words are never enough in these sad moments, we'd like to share some thoughts and feelings by Vassilis Gkartzonikas, our resident painter, who was closest to Mike:
"In life, we meet new people every day, but only a handful stay and take root in our hearts at first sight, with the first smile. Mike was that rare breed: A man with a pure heart, a sharp mind and a fault-free ethos. One of the most selfless beings. With values, ideals and true love, not only for those in his closest family circle but for everyone around him.
In his final weeks, Mike fought bravely, but eventually lost the final battle. He faced his end just like he faced everything in life: With courage, bravery and always holding his head up high.
I cannot describe what his loss means to me. Whatever it is, however, it pales in comparison to what his family and closest people are currently enduring.
Mike loved long-haul flights. He received his final clearance yesterday, direct to heaven. Have a safe flight, my friend, enjoy paradise!"
There is an empty captain's seat in our hearts now, dear Mike. Blue skies and rest in peace!
Your friends for eternity,
Flight Sim Labs