domingo, 8 de novembro de 2009

Como conversar com "não-pilotos": Guia de bolso

Para os que não voam, este texto provavelmente terá pouca graça. Porém, se você voa, invista 5 minutos do seu tempo em prol do seu bom humor. Dá pra rolar de rir, principalmente por retratar a mais pura realidade vivida por nós nas nossas viagens!

O texto é de autoria de Tom Payne, e foi originalmente publicado na revista BHPA's Skywings. Hoje foi colocado no Paragliding Forum, e le voilà para todos nós!

Abre aspas...

Alien as it may seem, there are some people in the world who don't fly paragliders or even hang gliders. You probably don't meet them at weekends, unless you're lucky enough to be picked up by a Retrieve Bunny or have the misfortune of being accosted by an Irate Landowner. However, you may stumble
across them during the hazy gaps between landing and takeoff and in rare cases you may be required to interact with them. This handy guide will help you identify and understand their behaviour. Don't worry, most of them are harmless! Those that present a danger to your flying career are clearly marked.


Fresh back from his adventure holiday in New Zealand, the Sports Collector has already ticked off abseiling, bungy jumping, and zorbing and is looking for the next trophy photo of him doing an "extreme" sport.

DON'T SAY: how to get qualified. He's has zero interest in becoming a pilot and just wants to be able to brag to his mates that he's "done" paragliding.

DO SAY: how "extreme" it is, who to call for a tandem flight, and how "taster days" make great days out for him and his friends. You'll help your local school and with luck one of his mates might get hooked.


Married to a real Pilot, or at least sharing some children in common, the Long Suffering Spouse can't remember the glider being present at the wedding but it is certainly the third leg of the relationship now. However, she is still grudgingly rather keen on the pilot (or at least his salary) and tolerates his
"hobby" as a necessity for his continued presence both in the marital bed and as a father to her children.

DON'T SAY: anything about flying. 98.3% of the conversations she has eventually mention paragliding, and even though she knows the jargon and asks the right questions about your flight, her interest is feigned and only out of politeness.

DO SAY: ask about the kids' school, East Enders and gardening. Your interest in these subjects may be no less superficial than hers in flying but at least you'll be the one occupying the high ground.


I-could-never-do-that is utterly in awe of what you do and will gush and gasp about how amazing it must be "up there" while equally forcefully asserting that his lack of courage, time, money or other commitments means that he would never be able to actually do it himself.

DON'T SAY: how it's easy it is or how you flying brings perspective to other aspects of your life. This person considers their ground-based existence and over-inflated sense of self preservation to be the defining characteristics of their self-image and you must avoid anything that challenges that, for example by implying that the cost and effort required might not actually preclude his participation.

DO SAY: how amazing, expensive and difficult it is.


The Incessant Inquirer typically has a background in either a related sport, engineering, or, in the absolute worst case, both. Be prepared for a relentless barrage of technical questions exploring every little nuance relating flying to his area of expertise, from the design differences between intermediate and advanced gliders and parachutes to what computer language your vario is programmed in.

DON'T SAY: anything about the richness of the free flight experience. Stories of the magic of soaring in the golden glow of a beautiful sunset will only provoke a blank and uncomprehending stare.

DO SAY: give him the technical answers to his questions he demands.

DANGER: to escape the interrogation you may need to feign death, unless you can fob him off on to another Pilot.


Taking a short break from writing stern letters of complaint to the Times from the pilot's lounge at the airfield, the Air Traffic Warden considers himself a fully licensed professional aviator and regards paragliders in uncontrolled airspace with the same disdain he holds for mud on the gliding club carpet.

DON'T SAY: how relaxed and unregulated free flight in the UK is. The slightest hint risks to unleash a tirade on how you are a danger to yourself and others.

DO SAY: mention the superior performance of sailplanes.


Although the Incessant Inquirer's questions may be overwhelming, they are at least pertinent and hint at the presence of a functional central cortex. The Unconscious Ignoramus's questions, sadly, grant him no such favour and indeed have been known to stymie the thoughts of the most mentally agile Pilot.
Typical queries include where you "jumped" from, whether you get tired holding on, and isn't it is exciting having no control over where you are going to land?

DON'T SAY: anything complicated. Any answer requiring mental processing will instantly be forgotten and may even cause offence.

DO SAY: My hang chute is blue!


Unlike the other non-pilots listed here, you may initially be tricked into initiating communication with a Former Pilot yourself because of the paraglider bag he is sitting on or the hang glider on his car roof rack. Only after several minutes will your error become apparent when you learn that the last time he physically committed aviation was in 1998, even though he's still been regularly turning up at the hill with his gear since.

DON'T SAY: anything that implies a link between being a Pilot and actually flying. In his own mind the Former Pilot is still a Pilot who's just waiting for the right conditions. He loves the banter and the camaraderie with real Pilots, be careful not to put that in jeopardy.

DO SAY: how unsuited the conditions are to free flight and how reckless those in the air right now must be.

DANGER: the "Former Pilot" syndrome can be contagious. Be careful to limit your exposure.


Easily recognisable as he strides across the field towards you by the shotgun over one arm and the traumatised ewe under the other, the Irate Landowner, like his Gentleman's Club Congac-swishing friend the Air Traffic Warden, is a non-pilot that you really want to avoid. Bristling with rage, he is ready to hold you responsible for all damage that has ever occurred to his property, or might occur at some time in the future.

DO SAY: how awfully sorry you are, how you fully understand that grass in his field is an expensive and irreplaceable cash crop, and that the only possible reason that his animals could be scared of humans is the pretty wings floating over the distant hill.

DON'T SAY: aircraft making an emergency landing have the right to land anywhere.

WARNING: watch out for the Irate Landowner's evil sidekick, the Leaky Sheepdog who'll attempt to mark anything that lands in his territory.


Every Pilot's dream Non-Pilot, the enthusiastic and warm hearted Retrieve Bunny has stopped to pick you up and shows a genuine interest in your passion. Clearly comfortable in the presence of a Pilot, perhaps because a friend or relative is one, social interaction is easy.

DO SAY: all that's great about free flying.

DON'T SAY: I've got a tandem, here's my phone number. The long term consequences can be severe.


Instantly recognisable by the friendly wave, cheery smile and old flying T-shirt, the Free Flight Instructor has picked the only job in the world that requires him to be firmly on the ground whenever it is flyable while guaranteeing forced unpaid holiday on rainy days.

DO SAY: how the students love being up in the air and ask what essential item of gear you should purchase next.

DON'T SAY: how's the business?

Fecha aspas! Link para postagem original: . E ponto!

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