Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Non-Airline Forums > Private Flying
Reload this Page >

Aviation "communities"

Private Flying LAA/BMAA/BGA/BPA The sheer pleasure of flight.

Aviation "communities"

Old 25th Nov 2016, 16:39
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 618
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Aviation "communities"

The differing communities of aviation have been apparent to me over the years. I have observed many of them, and participated in some, choosing to avoid others. The fact that I might choose to avoid, is my preference, and an indicator that I see things differently. I wish to be regarded by peer pilots, as a pilot, rather than a socializer. But, I respect the right of similar interest people to gather as they wish.

Quoted passages from another thread:

What on earth is the "gin and tonic aviation community"? What an inane comment!

Gin and Tonic aviation community

It is the part of the general aviation community that indulges in small talk and networks over their achievements at black tie gatherings
I agree with the latter part of what I have quoted. I have observed that some people associated with aviation enjoy gathering in environments which more have the elements of luxurious social clubs, than the less than clean and neat airplane environment. That is entirely their right.

However, when I see photos of pilots relaxing with a glass of "beverage", in jacket and tie, or otherwise dressed up, that goes the opposite direction from "flying" for me. That group of people are socializing with perhaps aviation as a common element.

For myself, I don't drink, I don't do small talk well, and usually, there's something which needs to be fixed on one of my planes. My aviation community will more likely be a few friends around passing me tools, or holding something, while I insert screws. When we fly as a group, we'll be dirty, smell of gas and oil, and probably somewhat wet - and we're happy that way! I know I'm with pilots when the hand offered in friendship, is greasy - I'll shake it! If a person is thinking about whether they want to shake my greasy hand, they may not fit well into my aviation community.

Everyone can socialize as they wish, and I respect that. But, in aviation, there is no less respect for the scraggly haired pilot climbing out of the aircraft with their oil stained shirt, recently ripped on a part of the aircraft and headset marks around their ears. That pilot is aviation, and the core of the aviation community we need - they're doing it, at whatever level. If you polish them up, and hand them a glass of gin and tonic at an annual celebration, fair enough, but in doing so, you have moved that pilot just a little further away from actual aviation.....

So to me, it's not inane to celebrate a pilot drinking from a plastic water bottle in a plane over one socializing in a luxurious room, all dressed up, holding a gin and tonic. One pilot's opinion....
9 lives is offline  
Old 25th Nov 2016, 17:11
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Gone
Posts: 1,665
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've got nothing against having a few G&T's en-route. It's always connecting the bu**ger back up with terra firma that sometimes presents a few problems.
The hiccups over the RT with ATC can be a give-away as well.
Jetblu is offline  
Old 25th Nov 2016, 17:44
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: S.E.Asia
Posts: 1,876
Received 7 Likes on 4 Posts
Terry Holloway (Air League Awards Chairman and Honourable Company Of Air Pilots liveryman ) was the catalyst for this thread and I guess ,just checking his Linked-in profile,not a man for sleeping under the wing of a Piper Cub.

I wonder how many of the members of the Air League, or indeed Honourable Company of Air Pilots, could manage a trip in an old aircraft like the Cub and sleep under the wing. No decent seat or indeed heater. Kirk can drop that Cub in anywhere and that was was what it was designed for.

I look at some of the Air League and Honourable Company of Air Pilots social gathering pictures and wonder if they have ever even had to get oil on their hands.

Have they ever had to fly a ropy old aircraft where the endurance was not the fuel but the oil burn?

Watched the T's and P's in an aircraft with a high houred engine on a late November evening flying night VFR over Wales or the English Channel? Looking back through my log books there were many winter evenings decades ago flying to Cardiff from Guernsey night VFR.

Flying an aircraft where you have seen the old engine dismantled in your garage and realised your life was dependant on those pieces holding together?

Risky? Yes

Worth a mention anywhere?
No


Look at Kirks aircraft pictures and see tricks like the instrument air filter in the cabin and jury rigged fuel system.He will also have a system to pump oil in to the engine. This is not a man with a cavalier attitude but a pilot keen on survival.

Kirk is missing again tonight in Africa but we know he has the tenacity to win this rally.

Last edited by Mike Flynn; 25th Nov 2016 at 17:57.
Mike Flynn is offline  
Old 25th Nov 2016, 20:20
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: 23, Railway Cuttings, East Cheam
Age: 66
Posts: 3,115
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't know what it's like in Canadia but here in Englandshire flying is still seen as a bit of a 'posh' passtime, in the main by people who don't participate in it. One look at me climbing out of an aircraft in my greasy jeans, boots and hands with a leather jacket hanging on by threads and my perennial greeting of 'Where's the caff mate is it expensive?' instantly dispels that myth.
thing is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2016, 14:11
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: England
Posts: 1,391
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
For posh passtimes carriage driving comes fairly well up the list. The missus decided this would be something to do. So she invested in a carriage and a second pony to compete in the pony tandem class. We had a clapped out Vauxhall Victor estate to tow a very second hand horsebox. On every trip at least a spare gallon of oil was required to cope with the various leaks.

She always had a points disadvantage as we only had one set of harness for the cross country and cone driving with no posh harness for the presentation phase of the competition(now defunct). She still manged to win regularly at national level.

We always arrived late and ended up pitching tents in the dark.
On one memorable occasion after pitching in the dark we found ourselves parked at the posh end of things having manged to find a gap between Prince Phillips entourage and Alan Bristow's (Bristow Helicopters).

Always competitive if poverty stricken. Nowadays she has moved on to a Cessna 150, still doing it on the cheap with a single Navcom and a transponder with me still fixing everything.

Plus ca change!!!
ericferret is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2016, 15:48
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: eastcoastoz
Age: 75
Posts: 1,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Probably my introduction to the 'aviation community' as a youngster in the late 50s was being allowed to sit quietly in the background in Sid Marshall's hangar at Bankstown
at the end of a busy day.
Some of the stuff I heard being discussed during hangar-chat in that scene left me awestruck.
I'd later found out that most of it was, in fact, true.

Sid himself was considered to be a bit of an eccentric because he liked to collect old aeroplanes - a junk hoarder, as some would have it.
Things like a couple of Mk.VIII Spitfires, Avro Ansons, two DC-2s, a Lockheed 10, Messerschmitt 109G, and a Nakajima 'Oscar' were cluttering up the place, in the opinion of some.
He was always dressed in dirty overalls and had grease under his fingernails.
Terrible.
.

Last edited by Stanwell; 26th Nov 2016 at 16:04.
Stanwell is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2016, 16:02
  #7 (permalink)  
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 14,021
Received 10 Likes on 3 Posts
I can see no reason why there isn't room for both in our lives.

At various points in the year I'll be in various cockpits, jeans and a jumper at my microlight club in the backroom of a pub, in overalls on my back under an aeroplane older than me in a hangar older than my Dad, putting on a suit to meet with people that control power and money, and in black tie at a formal dinner of something like SETP or RAeS. I'm good with all of the above, just need to use the nailbrush quite a lot if I'm doing both dirty and clean the same day.

I've sat at black tie aviation occasions next to people whose "hands dirty" exploits probably put what any of us have achieved in our lives look pretty bloody tame - whether that's flying combat, flying into space, or just plain doing something the rest of us could never dream of (I recall once a friend, who used to be Chief Test Pilot for NASA, coming up to me gleefully and explaining that he'd just filled up an aeroplane for the first time - and this is somebody who Test Flew SR71s: just proves that everybody has missed out on something in aviation.)

On the whole, the only people I have an issue are either the efete wastes of space who believe that getting their hands dirty is beneath them, or the inverted snobs who believe that because they spend most of their time in overalls that there's something wrong with occasionally dressing up a bit, meeting with other high achievers, and enjoying good food and company in a smart environment.

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2016, 17:44
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: France
Posts: 1,012
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Genghis

Genghis, if there was a way to "like" posts here I would do so. I've only sometimes been at the posh end, usually I'm on the scruffy side but ALL the flying I have done, whatever it has been, has given me something worthwhile. We are, on this forum at least, pilots because we want to be, not because we get paid for it, even if sometimes we struggle to find the money (and even when, not too often, we are paid to fly)
Please can we be an aviation community, singular?
Piper.Classique is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2016, 21:11
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: 23, Railway Cuttings, East Cheam
Age: 66
Posts: 3,115
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Please can we be an aviation community, singular?
I think we are.
thing is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2016, 21:44
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Mare Imbrium
Posts: 638
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'll drink gin and tonic if its all thats on offer. Otherwise I prefer Scotch or even a good craft beer.

Otherwise I agree with what Genghis said.

Seriously though, one of the great things about being involved in leisure aviation is the way that (mostly) folk who wouldn't otherwise come in contact with each other can have a great time together.
Heston is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2016, 21:58
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: 23, Railway Cuttings, East Cheam
Age: 66
Posts: 3,115
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Seriously though, one of the great things about being involved in leisure aviation is the way that (mostly) folk who wouldn't otherwise come in contact with each other can have a great time together.
Absolutely. I've flown with knights of the realm and window cleaners, landed in a Lord's back garden and a golf course. Being a pilot is a great leveller; it doesn't matter really what your social standing or wealth is, as soon as those magic words 'You're a pilot too?' come out then you can almost feel the shared experience that let's face it, are pretty unique to us. I'm not implying that we are unique in that we are supermen/women is some way, but what we do is different and only those who share that can really understand what we talk about in terms of experiences; even down to the guy who has just done his first solo.
thing is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2016, 22:27
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Wor Yerm
Age: 66
Posts: 0
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There are many circles associated with aviation. My entry into aviation was via gliding. After a day at the field you would return to the bar, possibly have a meal, or as a group make your way to a pub. We looked like a bunch of scarecrows. But once a year we would have wash and put on some ill-fitting evening wear and attempt to behave ourselves. There were also few "official" hangar parties to which everyone was both invited and welcome. Every now and again we went off flying in light aircraft and apart from a grubby coffee machine there appeared to be no social activities at "power" clubs whatsoever. My opinion changed when I joined the WLAC at White Waltham. A proper clubhouse meant various social activities were possible and regular events took place. Before long I found out that WLAC was not unique, I had obviously led a sheltered life. My horizons were further expanded when I became a member of the Royal Aero Club of Western Australia. Doers, Walts, Wannabes, Nearly-ams – all types were members and that made some social events very interesting.

But at both sorts of clubs, there were 'hangers on'. People who apparently once flew, but no longer did. They were regulars in the bar and told everyone else how to fly, how to maintain this and that and they would regularly criticise those who did fly. And then there were the 'affinity groups', clubs and associations with fancy names. A lot of their members had fancy names and titles as well. These groups would hold some of their events at our clubs. They were very well dressed (by comparison with the members) and did not drink much beer. Shall we call them the Gin’n’Tonic set? But much like the hangers on, they knew everything there was to know about flying and aviation and would also not hang back with their criticisms of those that actually flew. But I never saw them fly. No, not all of them were like that but these people appeared to be in the majority. Their main events were held well away from aviation though!

Then there were the ones who you bumped into every now and again. They would have a grubby hangar, a grubby plane, boxes of tools and piles of bits and probably an old motorbike (in bits) out the back. They told you they hadn't a clue about anything, didn't fly much and would greet you with a smile and an oily handshake and get you to hold XY and Z while they did something up. You would probably have to zip off and get some milk so you could make them the tea they offered you. Then you find out that they have flown all over the place, still do and have an almost encyclopedic knowledge of aviation.

And then there are the people like me who now fly only for a living. I don't have the time to go flying for myself - I prefer to spend time with my family and friends and do other things. Given more time I think I’d like to learn to fly an auto gyro. And I'm certainly not what you would call a professional; I'm just a pilot. I still have a keen interest in all things aviation. But after nearly 40 years know the whiff of the Gin'n'Tonic set. Awards, gongs, plaques and medals awarded to people who are just like them. And how dare I criticise their decisions. After all, what can a mere ignorant pleb like myself know about achievements in flying?

What I have never done is managed to mingle with the people who have really done things in a formal environment. As Genghis states, these people and groups exist but I’m so far down the food chain that I’ll never do so. Which is a bit of a shame because these are people who I’d love to listen to and learn from. An even bigger shame is that Genghis’s mob are unable to put the Gin’n’Tonic set right.

As much as I'd like to think we are a single community I don't think we will ever be so. The small subsection represented by PPRuNe posters proves this to be true. And then we have the regulators; are they members too?

PM
Piltdown Man is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2016, 22:47
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: 23, Railway Cuttings, East Cheam
Age: 66
Posts: 3,115
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
But the people to whom you are referring aren't pilots so their criticism counts for zilch. I'm a musician by trade and used to gig an awful lot. You could almost guarantee at the end of the night you would be accosted by some guy who couldn't wait to tell you that the band had played such and such wrong. The instant shutter upper as I like to call it was to ask them when their band was next playing so that you could see how to do it properly. Of course, they didn't and had never played in a band.

There are people in all walks of life who gain a little knowledge and like to display how little they have.
thing is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2016, 10:43
  #14 (permalink)  
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 14,021
Received 10 Likes on 3 Posts
An even bigger shame is that Genghis’s mob are unable to put the Gin’n’Tonic set right.
Probably because "my mob" (not that I'm at all convinced I have one), are too damned busy doing "stuff" to even contemplate the existence of what people here are calling the G&T set. They're the sort of people who love to put on black tie and enjoy a posh aviators dinner - but it will have been in their diary for 9 months, with a significant proportion still not making because something more important (and obviously, aviation related) has come up.

May I offer a thought of somebody far older (well dead for that matter) and wiser than me...

Originally Posted by Theodore Roosevelt
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
(From a speech "Citizenship in a Republic", Sorbonne, Paris, 23 April 1910)


Piltdown - you imply an aviation passion, but that time and funds and a non-aviation profession are too tight to engage in the way you'd wish. Can I suggest that you consider taking out Affiliate Membership of the Royal Aeronautical Society? Apart from a half decent magazine once a month, it does make easier access to a very large network of talks and events - many of them free - around the country (world!) about just about every aspect of aviation and aerospace you can imagine. Or if that is still too much, locate and join your local branch: there's likely to be a lecture programme, maybe the odd "professional" visit, and certainly opportunities to meet a few people we can all learn from.

G

Last edited by Genghis the Engineer; 27th Nov 2016 at 10:58.
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 29th Nov 2016, 05:22
  #15 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 618
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
But at both sorts of clubs, there were 'hangers on'. People who apparently once flew, but no longer did. They were regulars in the bar and told everyone else how to fly, how to maintain this and that and they would regularly criticise those who did fly. And then there were the 'affinity groups', clubs and associations with fancy names. A lot of their members had fancy names and titles as well. These groups would hold some of their events at our clubs. They were very well dressed (by comparison with the members) and did not drink much beer. Shall we call them the GiníníTonic set? But much like the hangers on, they knew everything there was to know about flying and aviation and would also not hang back with their criticisms of those that actually flew. But I never saw them fly. No, not all of them were like that but these people appeared to be in the majority. Their main events were held well away from aviation though!
I am aware of these types of groups also. I've never devoted much time to them. I have a deep respect and appreciation for those older pilots who have stopped flying, but still participate in events to mentor new pilots. But these older pilots encourage, rather than discourage or criticize. And, their mentoring happens away from the fancy events, 'cause they know that's not often where one finds the new pilots who will benefit from the mentoring. Instead, they'll be sitting at a picnic table at the flying club, chatting with passers by.

members had fancy names and titles as well
Yeah. If you need to introduce yourself with a fancy name or title to be welcomed in the group, well, oh dear..... Your family gave you a name, that'll do. If you're working in the military, or other structured organization, maybe you should use your title. But if those around are paying you nice human to human respect, adding your title to the conversation may not really make the conversation better - it'll just serve to intimidate the person who really you should be drawing in and mentoring.

If I hunted through certificates I've filed away, I could find groups of letters to put after my name. When with fellow pilots, the letters after my name which serve me well are: C-150. We can build from there with a nice conversation. If you want to know if I fly anything else, you'll ask....
9 lives is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2016, 10:37
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Wor Yerm
Age: 66
Posts: 0
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you for your suggestion Genghis, but I will not be able to join any institution that believes TC-T worthy of any award. She is a fraud, flies illegally and recklessly. The evidence that she is not worthy comes from her own mouth and is simple to verify. I'll not deny that there were some worthy recipients but an award to TC-T clearly demonstrates that too many senior members of the RAeS are hopelessly out of touch with reality and cannot be trusted.

PM
Piltdown Man is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2016, 12:53
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: London
Age: 54
Posts: 125
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm a miserable sod. The fewer pilots at an airfield the better.
Camargue is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2016, 20:00
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: S.E.Asia
Posts: 1,876
Received 7 Likes on 4 Posts
Connections old boy...

How many of us have Prince Michael pushing our aircraft out of the hangar?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-4525305409001

Last edited by Mike Flynn; 1st Dec 2016 at 20:44.
Mike Flynn is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2016, 23:12
  #19 (permalink)  
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 14,021
Received 10 Likes on 3 Posts
Originally Posted by Piltdown Man View Post
Thank you for your suggestion Genghis, but I will not be able to join any institution that believes TC-T worthy of any award. She is a fraud, flies illegally and recklessly. The evidence that she is not worthy comes from her own mouth and is simple to verify. I'll not deny that there were some worthy recipients but an award to TC-T clearly demonstrates that too many senior members of the RAeS are hopelessly out of touch with reality and cannot be trusted.

PM
Well, the "Women in Aviation and Aerospace Group ", anyhow, which I don't plan to join either.

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.