One of the most rewarding things about flying our own airplanes is just how far it takes us from the world of political nonsense here and abroad. The fact that in most places we can walk out to our airplanes and just go flying is especially sweet to those of us who also get stuck flying on the airlines from time to time.
There’s an understandable impulse by aviation outlets to cover stories like this, as there are clicks to be gotten and unique visitors to be snared in an attempt to inflate web numbers, especially since these stories attract readers who are non-pilots and thereby additive to the typical numbers.
The downside is, the story isn’t about what we should be doing; indeed, it misses the whole point of what we do. The lure of private aviation is that we get to be away from the intrigue of the politics that drive much of the investigations surrounding these crashes. Think of the recent spate of mishaps: Malaysia Air 370, which disappeared under mysterious circumstances and later crashed into the Indian Ocean; Malaysia Air 17, which was shot down in Ukraine by Russian-backed rebels; and Metrojet 9268, which was taken down by a terrorist bomb shortly after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The loss of life is horrifying; the politics of the circumstances behind two and maybe three of the tragedies is, as well. When I’m flying my airplane, perhaps if on an IFR flight plan checking in with the controllers along my route, I’m not thinking about this stuff at all. And that’s a big part of the appeal. I’m off the grid.
We’re not saying that you shouldn’t be interested in the details of what happened. I worked as an analyst for a variety of cable outlets, including CNN, MSNBC and AJAM, in the aftermath of the Malaysia 370 disappearance, and I, too, was fascinated by the subject. In that case, of course, mystery ran through the entire tragic chain of events, whatever they might have been.
Plane & Pilot, however, isn’t a brand that covers Airbus versus Boeing or the value of American Airlines stock. We’re much more interested in the work the Recreational Aviation Foundation is doing in bringing back backcountry strips or the viability of the coming Cirrus single-engine jet. It’s about planes we fly and flying them. In fact, as a brand that focuses on personal flying and all that it involves, it’s hard to come up with a good reason for us to cover the news of such a tragedy, or, more accurately, to repeat the coverage of those outlets who have the personnel to do the actual journalism. If you want the latest breaking news, go visit one of their sites.
When you want to read about flying airplanes, head on back this way.