Friday, 8 November 2013

Pilot obligations

During a period of reflection today (yep, in the shower!) I started thinking about all the questions I ask about flying.

I have a permanent note file on my phone that I use to jot down anything I have to ask Bob as I think of it. But I ask far more questions than I ever bombard Bob with. I have a whole host of people on the other end of an email whom I constantly pump for information.
It got me thinking that no pilot I’ve ever come across has ever refused to answer a question, has never even considered doing anything other than taking the time to reply to my onslaught of questions. People don’t bat an eyelid when a simple “check out my cool new video” email elicits a whole slew of questions from me.

I’ve done the same myself, a random internet person asked me for advice about flying into CYTZ. As a mere student I wasn’t sure how much I could assist but I was able to give them some tips about the local airspace and dealing with ATC.
No matter how big or macho the egos involved, no one will ever let a fellow pilot struggle on unassisted. It seems to be an unwritten pilot code; you will answer questions posed by another pilot. As an example, a simple comment that JES seemed to be struggling to climb in a recent video, led to the pilot sharing his weight and balance calculations with me.

I’m infinitely grateful to this infinite wealth of information at my disposal. The more cynical amongst you might wonder how I know that I can rely on this advice; after all I’ve never met these people. They could be telling me anything.
True, but every single person who has ever tried to offer me assistance or has passed on any useful advice has ALWAYS prefaced it with this caveat…

“… ask your instructor first”

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