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Pilot Magazine and UKGA

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Pilot Magazine and UKGA

Old 14th Feb 2022, 19:58
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Pilot Magazine and UKGA

It appears these titles have been sold by Archant as part of a portfolio of small performing magazines. Archant are owned by Recapital who have carried out an audit of the portfolio and are offloading those titles which are unprofitable or no longer worth continuing with, in which case many of it’s withering weekly and woeful dailies must too be at risk of closure?Pilot is the only UK GA magazine left in newsagents following the withdrawal of Flyer nearly two years ago due to diminishing sales and higher overheads. Both magazines operate in a small niche market where a lot of classified advertising has been lost to free sites such as AFORS.
Specialist publisher Kelsey are due to close the sale on shortly and Pilot will join existing brands are mainly in the automotive, farming, active living, hobbies, and transport markets.

The acquisition, which also includes the brand Your Chickens which was incorporated into Country Smallholding several years ago, is due to complete on 18 February. The Tillergraph is a small free title produced by the Canal Boat team, while UKGA is linked to the Pilot brand.


The UK Press Gazette has the story here.

https://pressgazette.co.uk/archant-s...s-up-for-sale/
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Old 15th Feb 2022, 12:54
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I am frankly surprised that print magazines have lasted so long, I haven't bought a copy of Pilot or Flyer for at least 5 years. I think I stopped when I got an iPad and they went digital. That being said I am also surprised at how much some news publications think they can charge for an online only edition. The marketplace hasn't sorted out what it wants to do and what the public will accept yet.

I currently only subscribe to Flying and that has reduced itself to 4 times / year and a daily blog.

Last edited by Dave Gittins; 17th Feb 2022 at 11:55.
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Old 15th Feb 2022, 14:56
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I'm not sure that's correct Dave. I thought Flyer was digital only and comes out monthly?
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Old 15th Feb 2022, 17:27
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Flyer definitely 13 digital issues a year and no longer printed.
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Old 15th Feb 2022, 19:15
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I used to read Pilot when I was younger, but now with considerably more experience than I had back then, I find one certain individual's flight tests so unbearably slimy and self-absorbed that I can't bring myself to read it anymore. Yuck.
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Old 16th Feb 2022, 15:09
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That and his obsession with DV windows and using the same diameter tyre on the nose and main wheels is tedious in the extreme.
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Old 16th Feb 2022, 17:50
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What's DV windows? Not a new "product" from Microsnot, I hope?
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Old 17th Feb 2022, 07:37
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I think Dave means “Flying” which has gone to quarterly.
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Old 17th Feb 2022, 09:09
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DV = Direct Vision i.e. opening the little window
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Old 17th Feb 2022, 10:21
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You never really appreciate the value of being able to open a window, door or DV panel in flight until the windscreen is iced up or covered in oil, or there's fumes in the cockpit.
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Old 17th Feb 2022, 12:03
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Corrected.. I did mean Flying. Despite their claim to use premium paper to compensate for only having 4 editions per year for $30, I only have the iPad variant.

My other point (badly made) was that irrespective of the existence or otherwise of print editions of Pilot or Flyer, I haven't attempted to buy one in at least 5 years and even then I thought they were very expensive.
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Old 18th Feb 2022, 09:17
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Which is why I have only taken discounted subs to Flying for around 15 years. (One of my Club members passes his Pilot copies to me when he's finished with them thankfully)

Just received issue 1 of the new 1/4 inch thick glossy Flying production. I'll be reading that over the next week or so, then I'll decide whether to renew the sub.
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Old 19th Feb 2022, 08:29
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Originally Posted by Dave Gittins View Post
My other point (badly made) was that irrespective of the existence or otherwise of print editions of Pilot or Flyer, I haven't attempted to buy one in at least 5 years and even then I thought they were very expensive.
Just in case you don't know, the digital edition of Flyer is now free. No reason not to get it now?
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Old 19th Feb 2022, 19:25
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Sadly I think the days of aviation magazines are approaching the end. The expensive bit is original content which sells a periodical.

All the modern editors would never allow any criticism that might upset their advertisers who fund the magazine and they pay very little for text. I learnt to fly in 1980 when Pilot was stuffed with great writers like Alan Branson and James Gilbert. We also had Flying with Len Morgan and Gordon Baxter.

There are no modern equivalents. Virtually all the current aviation contributors have never been out of the local area or at best hopped across the channel. Flight tests are a waste of time as few of us will ever fly the aircraft let alone buy one.

I bought Pilot throughout the 1980’s for the editorial, original content, air accident reports and the classified adverts through which I bought my first aircraft. This is now freely available and up to the minute online. Pilot went downhill when Archant bought it because the late Ian Davies,who died in an accident at Seething, suggested it was a good investment.

The UK forums tend to feature the same clique talking to themselves about nothing.
There is a parallel UK GA movement out there flying from private strips who never mix with the urban elite.

All the glossy magazines face the same problem. Their business model has past its sell by date and I suspect newsagents are facing a grim future.

I will leave this post with a quote from the late Len Morgan.

True, there was no teenager sport to equal tumbling about the glistening cumulus on a summer morning, rolling, looping, stalling, spinning (while supposedly practicing steep turns), then cruising back to our little grass field with its single hangar and neat rows of yellow biplane trainers. Check the windsock, follow the landing drill exactly and join the downwind leg at 800 feet, reduce speed and look for other planes, turn base, chop the power and descend to 400 feet. Then the slow glide down final with the engine muttering in idle to cross the fence and level off with wheels skimming the wet clover. Finally, the moment of truth: bump...bump...and slowing to a walk. Taxi to the flight line, shut down, hear the ticking of the cooling engine and inhale the exotic aroma of gasoline and dope and leather --- aware of being truly blessed. You never forget such moments."

Last edited by Mike Flynn; 19th Feb 2022 at 20:26.
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Old 20th Feb 2022, 08:59
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I had a signed copy of his P51 book. (Long story involving J.W.R.Taylor)

Like the idiot I am, I lent it to a friend and forgot which friend.
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Old 3rd Mar 2022, 10:48
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I'm sad about the decline of print. For me reading a physical magazine or newspaper or book is far more enjoyable than staring at a screen. You can engage so much more. Maybe because I've spent so long in IT.
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Old 20th Mar 2022, 18:44
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The BMAA produce an excellent magazine monthly - Microlight Flying - in print.

Yes, I am sure there will be some in GA who look down on microlighting but I suspect that may be because they haven't flown a modern 3-axis microlight and don't know what they are missing.

The editor is a proper journalist which might explain the quality of the publication - it is sent out free to all BMAA members.
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Old 25th Mar 2022, 19:32
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I still buy Pilot because there are still some very good writers at the title, and I am humble enough to appreciate I am likely to learn something from every issue.
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Old 25th Mar 2022, 20:14
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The LAA magazine is pretty good too. That and Microlight Flying do a pretty good job for us grass strip flyers.
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Old 4th Apr 2022, 19:36
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A few facts about Pilot

Pilot wasn't sold because it was under performing - quite the opposite. As its Editor since 2011 and Associate Editor (employed by the late, great 'founder' Editor proprietor James Gilbert) from 1998 to 2000) I hope you'll allow that I do know a bit about the title...

I respect all the opinions expressed about the magazine I see here, negative and positive, but simply offer a few facts for your consideration, not least being that Pilot is still written and produced by the people who were doing it in the James Gilbert era, including Peter March (Old Timers and Calendar etc) and Bob Grimstead, who not only has a regular column based on his long career with BA but wrote the Jodel D.18 flight test coming up in the May edition. 'Notes' would still be written today by my old friend Mike Jerram, were it not for his untimely death in 2019 - but his tone and accuracy in news reporting remain the editorial standard today.

We remain robustly independent, freely criticise anybody who deserves it - authority and advertiser alike - and actually do pay our writers and photographers a decent amount for their copy and images.

But the proof of the pudding is in the eating: I'd urge you to sample it for yourself, rather than judge the kitchen by what may sometimes neither be the most up to date nor impartial review


Last edited by Philip Whiteman; 4th Apr 2022 at 19:49. Reason: to correct meaning of last sentence
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