Why the “Pilot” part of the title means everything to us
As the big re-launching of this title approaches, I’d like to ensure our loyal readers that the essential nature of Plane & Pilot will not be changing. We have always been a brand that focuses on the flying experience, as seen from the left seat–okay, or the right seat, if you fly helicopters, or the back seat, if you fly J-3s, or, sigh, the front seat if you fly a T-6. But you get the idea. Plane & Pilot is about pilots and the aircraft we fly and own.
How we approach the brand, however, will change, as will our assumptions about you. We will strive for excellence in everything we do and hope we hit the numbers a lot more often than not. We will aim not just for great content, but to challenge you with that content as well. We want you to come away from an issue of Plane & Pilot or a story on planeandpilotmag.com or an eNews letter with the sense that you’ve seen something new, learned something you didn’t know before you cracked it open or laughed a laugh you didn’t know you had coming about how funny flying and life can sometimes be. Even when we miss by a little, or by a lot, it won’t be for failure to take chances or push our limits, or yours.
Speaking of you, pilots are special people, and I’m not saying that because I’m one too, but because it’s true. We’ve taken the time to learn to do something that’s kind of scary to most people, that has a very real element of risk to it, and that is really hard to learn to do well. We want more pilots, a lot more pilots. But that’s not the same thing as thinking that everyone can be or should be a pilot.
A need to learn is something built into most pilots I know, and it’s a good thing, too. If we’re paying attention, we figure out shortly after our Private Pilot check ride that the learning never ends.
In fact, we pilots seek out the learning even when we don’t have to. A pilot friend (I do have a few friends who aren’t) is heading to Florida on business later this month and on the way back is stopping in Winter Haven to get a float rating at Jack Brown’s seaplane base. “Why,” I asked, “To launch a career as a commercial seaplane pilot? “Ha,” she replied. “Nope, just for the fun of it.” I guess I knew that already. But it’s really more than that, because the word “fun” here really means “challenge” and “excitement” and “opportunity.” Someone once said that the act of flying literally and figuratively changes your perspective on the world, and that’s the secret we pilots know. That’s why we fly. We’ll strive not to keep that such a big secret.