Pilot’s fiftieth anniversary
Just to thank you and all the team at Pilot for giving us such a great fiftieth anniversary edition. It does not seem possible that I have enjoyed reading Pilot for fifty years; I guess that dates me as a private pilot. The contents have always been superb and you have helped to keep the aviation community in touch. We can never thank you enough. David Hastings MBE I have been a Pilot subscriber almost from the beginning. I say almost as the manager of W H Smith banned me after I spent half an hour reading the first issues in his shop. The fact that I had just changed a wheel on my Austin 7 Ruby of 1938 vintage and had filthy fingers had something to do with his wrath. A former editor, the late James Gilbert, was both a good friend and a fellow entrant in the Lockheed International Aerobatic Trophy contests in the 1960s. I hear that Nick Bloom has now retired and I enjoyed both his friendship and his writing. Editors both arrive and depart and I wish Philip every possible success in his present tenure. I enjoy his style which is much like my own. Barry Tempest
October’s Pilot arrived today and has been put on one side (after a lengthy browse) until I’ve sent this email to you and because I’ve been busy catching up with my pile of unread magazines ( Pilot rarely gets onto this pile) and visiting my local airfield.
I went to the exhibition by the Guild of Aviation Artists. The paintings were truly engaging and enthralling and the exhibition was well worth the seven-hour coach trip. The Mall Gallery is a lovely gallery which is now on my list of places to visit when in London and yet I would not have known about it if you had not mentioned it in Pilot.
Safety Matters, September: ‘Who’s in command?’ This incident is surely a good example of the need to plan, think things through thoroughly, and brief carefully and in depth before a flight. The pilots have my sympathy because planning and briefing aren’t unique to aviation but are often neglected. They are needed in many activities that involve more than one person, from lopping trees (‘don’t stand under the tree that someone is removing’) to house repairs (‘don’t turn the electricity back on’) and organising an AGM or a stand at a hobby show (‘I thought you were bringing the books’).
Old Timers: I’m not an aircraft or aviation historian so why is this such a fascinating column? Perhaps it is because the history of these aircraft is fascinating or maybe it is because I appreciate the work that has gone into keeping them flying. This is a column that I browse soon after Pilot arrives.
The flight reports of the BA Swallow (July) and Slingsby T61F (September) were fascinating, enlightening and fun. Can we please have more of them? Can we please have more of the old adverts such as the Cirrus (September p.91) and BA Swallow (July p.33)? They are humorous and delightful and offer a view of GA that’s different from the Piper and Cessna GA of today.
Congratulations on fifty years of Pilot. I think I’ll go for a rummage in my attic and see how many issues I have from those fifty years. Am I a still a happy reader of Pilot? Yes I am! Thank you. Ian Brothwell, Nottingham