Harmless April Fools Joke Moves A Whole Glacier
Opinion Editorial written by Jason J. Baker – All of us in the aviation news and media business face a conundrum of sorts. You see, its our job to try and choose (halfway wisely) which advertising laden marketing text disguised as “News” we wish to, should or must show you. Lots of them come hailing into my mailbox.
Welcome to General Aviation, Inc.
Really blessed are those blind order-takers, who simply copy and paste the drivel put out by some of the robotic – legal disclaimer sporting – multi billion dollar corporations, who don’t give a damn for what you think or know. Hands down, all that really matters is moving product, closing sales and making the kill. No more and no less – little human element involved.
The government mandated ADS-B Equipage Money Grab is no exception to the rule. Seemingly, a bunch of lobbyists got together and decided that its time to get those electronics sold and installed in airplanes. Did you know that the FAA considers your aircraft “actively flying” – just as soon as it logs more than 1 hour of airborne time per year? The pressure is on to get an otherwise repulsing, foot-stomping, protesting and downtrodden fraternity forced to “upgrade” with technology they haven’t needed in 100+ years and really don’t need today. All in the name of “progress” that will not only prove useless to the average general aviation or sport pilot – it is widely spread rumor, that the camels nose has entered the tent with news about a complete corporate takeover of our national airspace system.
The upset about being forced to buy the often overpriced equipment which is required to comply with the ADS-B mandate is visible, audible and; if you put your ear on the ground, you may feel the rumble of the many pilot boots galloping for the exit – trying to get out of the industry – before total insanity takes it by storm.
The Impossible Is Possible
A good friend and mentor for many years (who has more to do with motivating me to keep raising this little website about seaplanes than many in the very industry we serve) known by the name of Paul Bertorelli wrote a funny article on April 1, titled: FAA Extends ADS-B Mandate To 2040 .
Without knowing, he made the impossible possible! Within 3 days of his article the FAA quickly threw together the educational video below, assuring general aviation pilots that remaining bent over and ready for “The Act” was and remains absolutely serious business. If you do feel a certain tingling sensation in your face or notice red cheeks upon seeing this, please don’t call your psychiatrist. Being deeply embarrassed causes these sensations in many of us.
No kidding, the January 1, 2020 ADS-B deadline will not change. Equip now! #Equip2020 bit.ly/2GViO0R
Posted by Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday, April 4, 2018
The issue that requires some venting here is that the whole shebang triggered a shit-storm par excellence in making particularly serious people believe that the FAA had in fact done the impossible and extended the timeline.
Please don’t think that the elephant in the room would be better acknowledged now – Paul’s joking article pointed smack at it and peoples reactions are picture perfect proof of it being there. What was accomplished, was to show in very clear terms that the press isn’t always blessed with particularly sophisticated readers and that switching the brain on isn’t or should not ever be optional, when reading news. Maybe we news editors just tend to overestimate our readers, from time to time?
Asinine & Cynical Commenters
Commenters like Bruce Postlethwait rushed forward in battle and went as far as calling the article “as funny as unloading a truck load of dead babies with a pitch fork.” Other characters (some are really legends in their own mind) immediately busy-bodied ahead by commenting in embarrassing style to Paul’s dutiful and humorous rebuttal on the story (published here). All we need now is Fox News or CNN picking it up and suddenly a whole bunch of “experts” will quickly continue to saw off the very branch of the aviation tree that affords them the vantage point.
All this further highlights just how screwed up things are right now. We ought to be deeply ashamed and embarrassed for having let it go this far. Rest assured, those of us who are trying to capture the passion and fun of flying are struggling, not with the enthusiasm of the news makers, but with the realities within our own community.
What We Really Get To Witness Here
I personally believe that we have arrived at a crossroads of having lost most of the people who are capable to read and comprehend text and the painfully apparent loss of our ability to discern OBVIOUS jokes from facts. April Fools day has been around since 1508, folks!
Lots of bitterness mixed with an almost pathological incapability to display basic style and tact while hidden behind a computer keyboard just isn’t helping our cause. This aviation scribe (for one) extends a heartfelt apology to those newcomers out there who must be wondering how sad it is to fly general aviation airplanes, these days. Its really tough when you have to get over all the naysayers and negative Nellie’s out there. Let me promise you, these bitter few, who’s behavior barely surpasses that of angry Crocodiles, are far outnumbered and on their way out. Its just a matter of time…
Soon we will see a change in how we communicate among each other and the days of having embarrassing moments like this will be inglorious past and sad history. I for one can’t wait for this day. I promise (go ahead and bet the ranch on it) I won’t be editing, removing or profusely apologizing for this opinion editorial. Thanks for reading. I really hope you like the large print!
Dear FAA: I wish you had spent your time reaching out to those you regulate and (once again) measured and evaluated just how useless the ADS-B mandate is perceived by Joe the Pilot. The attempt to sell it to people has officially failed, brought to light by the fact that people would prefer to believe April Fools stories, rather than the FAA’s reasoning for ramming it down everyone’s throat. #NotTheFutureOfAviation
Jason Baker works as a marketing & advertising consultant, translator and freelance writer with a focus on the aviation and automotive industry. He holds a commercial pilot certificate (SEL/SES/MEL), instrument rating as well as advanced & instrument ground instructor certificates. Jason has owned and operated Seaplaneforum.com for 8 years and is the owner & managing editor of Seaplanemagazine.com. For more information about consulting services offered, visit Baker Aviation Consulting & Services via: jasonjamesbaker.com