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Old School Rules

We are all “old school”

Its pilots I’m talking about. Whichever era you started flying in, you will have been taught routines and practices that your instructor recommended because that was how he/she was taught. Therefore they were “old school”. My understanding of “old School” is to use tried and tested routines that have stood the test of time and are valued as being of practical and safe in their usage.
We’ve all (probably) memorised our pre-take off and landing checks, and don’t have to look at an ipad or phone to see them. We modify the lists in light of experience to keep up with changes in equipment or regulation. For example “Transponder on” before takeoff.
It’s natural for the young person to be sceptical of the older person if he/she sees a better way of performing a task in a more efficient or “modern” way .
When I was young and I wanted to progress in my flying, I decided to go for the IMC rating, as it was then called. This was carried out at an airfield equipped with VDF (VHF Direction Finding) where you would call the controller and request a QDM. Then you fly to the overhead and request QDM’s to commence, once cleared, the VDF landing chart as printed. This was quite difficult, flying the plane accurately and mapping your position in your head. This was old school writ large. Anyway I passed the check ride and was duly given an IMC rating. What nobody told me was that a week to ten days after receiving the rating, the whole curriculum changed. VDF was out and replaced by NDB and VOR procedures. I could have waited for the change and trained in the new procedures had anybody told me!
Another example of Old School, was a pilot friend of mine who had been out of flying for 15 years plus, and decided to get back into it so presented himself at his old flying club for re-training. The first hurdle was his old brown CAA licence that the younger, new generation of instructors had never seen, and caused gales of laughter and comments like “what’s that”? The second hurdle was the young instructor insisting he waited for 65 knots on the ASI before “rotating”. My friend could feel the aircraft was ready to fly at 50 knots, so this source of friction between the two resulted in him leaving that instructor for a more mature instructor who was “old school” so he duly got his licence back after about 5 hours. If you go back to the very beginning of your pilot training, you were taught “old school” methods of navigation, which if everything electronic in your flying kit, packed up, you could still get to where you are going.
Even the most modern aircraft fitted with all the latest glass cockpit equipment, still has a 1930’s era piston engine up front. Perfectly adequate, reliable and with decades of evidence to back it up. But it is supremely “Old School” to the modern minded and to those that can afford a turbine engine.
Now we enter the era of net zero and are to be persuaded that our petrol/diesel cars are not to be tolerated. Obviously the eco-zealots have no conception of the remarkable advances in combustion technology achieved in the last 15 years, and are prepared to ignore all the negative effects of producing battery powered vehicles. If this obsession ever sets its eyes on GA, then we can say goodbye to private flying. Pipistrel have their Velis electric powered aircraft, primarily for training, but after training has finished, what then? Le touquet for lunch. Fly to the coast, stop to re-charge the battery for the channel crossing and the same for the return? Not practical. So we re-train to fly an Old School aircraft that is fit for the mission.
Whichever angle you look at, you have to admit “Old School rules”.

Nuthampstead , United Kingdom

All this sounds familiar to me
We have quite a few threads on here surfing the same waves, but a sum-up would be the only too famous saying nothing lasts for ever…

ain't the Destination, but the Journey
LSZF, Switzerland

Sir Kenneth Clark had some things to say on the subject, among them (paraphrasing) that the definition of civilization includes a sense of permanence, and that a civilization can be destroyed from within by self doubt and lack of confidence in basic rational principles. There’s a lot of that about these days.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 19 Sep 14:21

Silvaire wrote:

and that a civilization can be destroyed from within by self doubt and lack of confidence in basic rational principles. There’s a lot of that about these days.

Not more than before. Not even close. Think: Religion and tons of other superstitions

This summer when I was on Iceland, I bought this cap

I just had to buy it, partly because it gives me the perfect answer to any “not fully rational” decisions and actions I don’t believe in any religion, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the very concept of “honoring the Gods” is an explanation all by itself. The psychology of having a reason, no matter how stupid or irrelevant that reason is, is rather amazing. People accept the weirdest things, just by giving a “reason”. Besides, the Gods haven’t been honored all that much the last 1000 years. I feel sorry for them

The elephant is the circulation

GA is very traditional

But also it is a good thing that not much changes. Over past 20 years we’ve had so many changes in FCL that only hardcore followers understand the various things. I am quite glad that flying itself has not changed.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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