Military AircrewA forum for the professionals who fly the non-civilian hardware, and the backroom boys and girls without whom nothing would leave the ground. Army, Navy and Airforces of the World, all equally welcome here.
I think this may be the appropriate place to salute the two gentleman who fly my Gulfstream G550. Both were USAF pilots shortly before we hired them, both had flown the VC-37 and in addition to the fact that they are superb, professional aviators, they are also decent, honourable gentlemen. My hat's off to them and to all of you who fly in the military of your respective nations. I believe Lord Nelson referred to his officers as "good men, and true" and having now had two of your number in my employ for a couple of years, I feel compelled to thank all of you who serve.
1. To salute military aviators as a group 2. And to thank my crew, one of whom reads this forum.
Prior to hiring our crew I had had very limited contact with military aviators. In addition to being employees of our family, our pilots have become family friends which was not anything I'd expected. I'm told that the discipline, professionalism and airmanship these guy display is pretty common in the military. I certainly appreciate what you all do for us, and a deeply admire the skills these guys display.
Actually I've only received 6 CVs so far. That having been said, it is my goal to keep our pilots contented, happy and well rested for the next twenty years or so. I don't ever want to go pilot hunting again.
We fly our G550 about 500 hours per year. About equally spread between foreign and domestic travel. Last year our crew was away from home 66 nights. The airplane is purely family transportation and is not used for any business purpose, so I like to think that we place less pressure upon the crew to meet a particular schedule. To put it another way, I would much rather be safe than on time.
We pay above the top reported BCAA pay scale for a G550, and have what we believe to be an excellent benefit package (health insurance, life insurance, short and long term disability insurance, loss-of-license insurance and so forth.
What I do not know about aviation is a vast, uncharted territory. What I do know is that I was extremely fortunate to find these two guys.
Anyhow, I'm straying far afield from my original purpose. When I was a businessman (before retirement) I travelled fairly often in chartered aircraft, and in other company's business jets. I was generally NOT impressed with the crews I met. So when I sought to buy the 550 I was quite uncertain about how we'd handle the recruitment process. There are dramatic, perceptible and important differences between military trained aviators and civilian trained. Were I to hire again, military pilots would be the first considered.
I found our Captain purely by chance, vetted him, hired him and allowed him to choose his own First Officer.
Anyway, if they were in Nelsons Navy, they may well be honourable and decent, but wouldn't be Gentlemen!
A strange world indeed, Marcus, and most of us are enjoying your interesting tale. Silsoe, however, starts with a good joke about Marcus's commendable praise for his former USAF officers, SS. and then spoils things by making a bit of of a unsubstantiated and unnecessary generalisation about the naval officers in Nelson's day.
I believe that I know what he may have been thinking of, perhaps along the lines of the quotation from Macaulay's History of England, namely that "There were gentlemen and there were seamen in the navy of Charles the Second. But the seamen were not gentlemen; and the gentlemen were not seamen."
However, by Nelson's time the situation had changed substantially, and even a small amount if research would have shown that there were plenty of naval officers who would be honourable and decent - as well as professional and gentlemanly, just like Marcus's flight crew in fact, which I like to think is precisely why he hired them!
Marcus, fine words and well said, as previously mentioned public praise goes along way!
Union Jack, sadly my friend you are not correct, Queen Victoria stated that the Officer's of the Royal Navy were not Gentlemen for leaving a hanging corpse on a yard arm during a ship's visit in Chatham in 1895. The result was that, by Royal Decree, a Naval Officer would "carry his sword for 100 years", hence if you see an RN Officer type in full military dress then he will have his sword in his left hand, not on a belt as his Royal Marine, Army and Air Force colleagues will. The ruling should have been lifted 16 years ago, but of course, the RN has got used to it and does not like to make a fuss.....
Apologies for thread hijack, glad you are hapy with your pilots Marcus.
Oh dear Dancing Bear*, I fear you had better stick to being an "Aviation Instructor", whatever that is! You are way off beam on this one since the original reference was to naval officers in Nelson's time.
To save you doing any research, in the spirit of my suggestion to Silsoe Sid, Nelson died on 21 October 1805, Queen Victoria acceded to the throne on 20 June 1837 and, quite separately, the present arrangements for the wearing of swords were approved in 1856. And oh, I have checked both my No 5 (Old number)/No 1 (New number) uniform jacket and my greatcoat, and both have provision for hooking up one's sword, and have been used accordingly many times.
If that's not good enough for you, have a look at the Cenotaph ceremony on 11 November and you should clearly see that those members of the Royal Family, their naval equerries, and other naval officers present, wear their swords accordingly, thus indicating that there is absolutely no such bar, especially not for the reason you so fancifully and inaccurately suggest.
With renewed apologies to Marcus that his splendidly positive thread should have degenerated into such petty strife, but I do feel it right to set the record straight.
Please state your sources. I did research this before my post, and it seems to me that you are yet another continuing various myths under the belief that your version is the correct one.
The point of this is that not that no-one is saying naval officers are not honourable, decent, professional and gentlemanly, the point is that historically RN Officers aren't necessarily referred to as Gentlemen.
I prefer this version of history;
Naval officers in British society were unique. The navy had, by the late 1600s, made it clear that being a “gentleman” was not sufficient to enter or succeed as a naval officer. Skill, as opposed to social status, was the mark of a naval officer and the navy exercised equality of opportunity at the point of entry over a century before the army saw the merits of such a program. Army commissions, very much the preserve of the nobility, were generally purchased. Naval commissions were granted only after a young teenager had learned his trade, passed his examinations and was selected for promotion on the basis of merit. When wartime required the navy to expand its officer corps, most were drawn from the seaman pool where education and skill in handling ships carried weight; social status carried none.
Union Jack rewriting history...."How very Native American! "