Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Giants Among Us

It's hard not to be impressed by the everyday posting roster on our forum. Being a no-screen-names place from the beginning, and perhaps the last online forum holding out against the whole web anonymity thing, we don't have any self-proclaimed Captain Xs (who might actually even be pilots ... or might not even out of prison for another seven years) flooding our forums with Genuine Internet Stuff that May or May Not Be True. So over these past 29 years we've been proud to call the aerospace industry's authentic best and brightest our own, be they airline or corporate crew, air traffic controllers, government safety folks, military aviators, inventors, visionaries, or general aviation pilots who have come to own, operate, and enjoy personal and business aircraft via many different and compelling paths.

But we have more under-the-radar members, so to speak. Sometimes, if said folks happen to be named to the ranks of AVSIG's difference-making forum posters (we call 'em Top Guns, after AVSIG founder John B. Galipault's favorite aviation flick of all time) we learn a good deal more than we might otherwise ever have known about them in day-to-day forum discussions. In other cases we learn bits and pieces about these members only in the course of forum posts.

From the Bits and Pieces Department we recently learned that at least two AVSIG members used their piloting skills and time to aid in relief efforts to Haiti. Both gave forum updates on the challenges faced by the many hundreds of aviators who have come to the aid of this devastated country. If you've been browsing our Accident & Incident reports you'll note that there have been several secondary tragedies related to airborne relief in a country that certainly had but a hodge-podge of aviation infrastructure before suffering a major earthquake. Reading of the daily operation precautions our AVSIG folks took in preparing for each unique day and operating environment is a reminder that regardless of the urgency and changing conditions of any flight, getter there and back safely is the number one priority.

Over the years, other forum members have used their time and aircraft to aid organizations like Angel Flight, which provides free air transport to people with medical and health hardships. Some have flown on behalf of Doctors Without Borders. And other AVSIG members we know have simply always had their aircraft and piloting abilities on-offer for those in need without being connected to a formal charitable organization.

Today we would like to thank these men and women for carrying the banner of personal flight well beyond its popular reputation as a really expensive way to get a hamburger on a Saturday afternoon, and for taking the time to share their stories with us at our humble little aerodrome & farm.


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