Airshow etiquette: Look, but don’t touch

Once, when I was a teenager manning the pumps at a full service gas station, a gentleman rolled up in a gorgeous Rolls Royce. He claimed it had previously belonged to the velvety-voiced crooner Nat “King” Cole.

You can imagine my surprise when he climbed out and encouraged me to take a seat behind the wheel. [Read more…]

Say again

A long time ago it was decided by people much smarter than I am that only one language should be the language of aviation. That language was to be English, regardless of a pilot’s nation of origin.

Those same people decided that a specific lexicon should be created within English to reduce any confusion spawned by regional accents. So along came the aviation alphabet and quirky customs, like pronouncing 5 and 9 as “fife” and “niner.” The hope was that by adopting one official language and creating a lexicon of aviation-specific terminology, miscommunication would be greatly reduced.

The thing about language and lexicons is that they’re like tools of the trade. And all tools of the trade are only as good as the operator handling them. [Read more…]