Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Aviator's Guild

As a teen I read countless science fiction and fantasy books. Some of my favorites were set in worlds where guilds, masters and apprentices were common. In these worlds, an apprentice would be assigned to, or choose a guild, or school. From there they would be assigned to journeymen and a master to learn their craft. From musicians, to clothiers, to smiths, to bakers, to technicians, to fighters and thieves. Some apprentices compete to be apprenticed to well regarded masters. Other apprentices seek out masters who are easy or more lenient. The apprentice, when fully accepted into the guild becomes a journeyman and they become part of the lineage of their master and their master's master, and their master's master's master.

I see a bit of that world in the world of aviation. We don't have a guild per se but we do have apprentices (student pilots), journeymen (CFIs), masters (Gold Seal and Master CFIs and DPEs), etc, etc. Each student is very much the product of their CFIs and of their CFI's CFI and so on. A lineage going back as far as aviation itself. We don't formally track a lineage but it is there. You can tell who was trained by whom from the way they do their radio calls, how they start and shut down an engine, how the pull into the run-up or perform a normal landing. Yes, we all evolve what we were originally taught, based on our experience and learning from the experience of others. However, at our core, we reflect the lineage of those who taught us and continue to teach us. We are all representatives of the Aviator's Guild.

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