With all the talk at year’s end about the fiscal cliff, the potential of user fees, and the end of the world — at least according to some Mayan calendar theory — there was definitely a need for some levity among the general aviation community.
So, sticking with the calendar theme, take a moment to enjoy the sheer lunacy of the folks who make up the Antique Airplane Club of Greater New York, based at Bayport Aerodrome (23N). Their yearly fundraiser is a calendar and, for the second time, club members posed nude with their antique aircraft to create the calendar.
While last year’s effort included beautiful female models with the vintage aircraft, this year the club decided to go back to its roots and feature the airplane owners themselves. This year’s calendar also features the club’s newest member, Gavin, the son of Mr. April.
“We also went through our Pilots Without Pants archives and found the oldest known calendar photo, which was featured in the 1919 Pilots Without Pants calendar,” said Annemarie Bain, the creative force behind the calendar and wife of the club’s president, Stuart Bain. “This brave unnamed model was a pilot with the Royal Vulgarian Flying Corp,” she added, tongue firmly in cheek.
Bain acknowledges that some in the aviation community may disapprove of the calendar project, while others think the club members are crazy.
“We’ve gotten the shocked looks, the bugged-out eyes and, of course, the loud gasps,” she said. “But if you look beyond the cover, you will see 13 of the best pilots I have ever known. Proud men who have lived a lot of life. Men who have both ‘snow on the roof and a fire in the hearth’ and they aren’t afraid to show themselves and their airplanes off. And almost always, when I get one of these people to really look at the calendar, they smile and say, ‘Well done!’ It’s all for fun, folks.”
As a veteran of putting the calendar together, Bain notes she has learned a few things to ease the process.
“I have learned that if you ask your model to pose for you after they’ve had a beer, they say yes to posing nude quicker,” she said. “I have also learned that sometimes they don’t need a beer. But, in truth, our club members have such beautiful antique airplanes that they love to show them off, and to some, posing nude next to them is just an excuse to do just that. No one catches this mix of fun, flight and folly quite the way we do with Pilots Without Pants.”
Funds raised from the sales of the calendars are used to help support the club’s annual fly-in and other projects club members are working on.
The calendars are for sale on the club’s website for $19.99. If you prefer to buy offline, you can send a check for $22.98 ($19.99 for calendar, $2.99 for shipping) to Antique Airplane Club of Greater New York, P.O. Box 782, Bayport, N.Y., 11705. Make the check payable to AACGNY, and allow four to six weeks for delivery.
Also on the club’s website is an original music video “Fight or Flight,” that features many of the club member’s airplanes, as well as videos on the making of the first two calendars.
Bain notes that fans of the calendar can take heart as she has already begun preproduction on next year’s calendar.
“I actually have almost all of my models cast, and a lot of new ideas,” she said, noting the club is looking for sponsors for the calendar. She also welcomes suggestions for upcoming calendars and even extends an invitation to General Aviation News readers who may want to pose for an upcoming calendar. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information: AACGNY.org