Friday, 8 March 2013

Our pathetic flying documents

With my licence revalidation due soon, I had an almighty search for my medical certificate yesterday. Took me two hours to find it. I was looking for the old style pink card, forgetting that the current one is an online download. I don't know how it slipped out of my licence's wallet, but because it is now just a flimsy bit of A4 it ended up with a load of receipts in a paperwork tray. 

What a relief to find it. But it does highlight for me how flimsy our paperwork is. Just look at our pilot's licences. After all our hard work, you'd expect a document that really looked the part....something like an old fashioned, crested passport would be about right!

When I researched my dissertation on Raoul Hafner, looking through his private papers I found his autogyro licence, issued in 1933 and it was hard bound with fine scrollwork: Federation Aeronautique Internationale British Empire....lots of fine writing both in English and French, with personal details and on the page opposite, Hafner's photo and large, proud signature. It was a worthy document, unlike the pathetic thing we carry - and are forever in danger of losing.

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