A rose by any other name…

It’s rare to find a pilot who doesn’t have an aviation-related nickname. If your best buddy is named “Snake” you, by default, become “Mongoose.” If you insist on chair flying and visualizing instrument approaches before you execute them, your witty CFI might bestow the moniker “Zen” upon completion of the check ride.

For the members of “The Thirteen Black Cats,” the first union of stunt men and movie pilots organized in Hollywood in 1925, a nickname was sometimes required for membership. It was decreed that each member’s name had to contain 13 letters. If your name didn’t contain 13 letters, a nickname was bestowed, such as Spider, Fronty or Bon, to give you the proper number of letters so that tradition could be maintained.

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