Here is some interesting trivia that I stumbled across recently, that is only slightly related to todays comic strip. You know, whenever somebody wants to make English sound old in a cartoon or movie, they use “Y” instead of “th”, e.g. in “Ye Olde Shoppe”. I always thought that that was because they really pronounced it as a “Y” back then, but nay! It actually turns out that, in the old days, there was an additional letter, called “Thorn”, which came from the Nordic languages and was pronounced “th”. It looks like a combination of a small p and b: þ. But the first printing type fonts were imported to England from Germany and Italy and didn’t contain that letter, so it they used the “Y” instead. Interesting, huh?
Seems like Chuck has passed! Well, obviously he can’t be that bad of a pilot after all, or the FAA would have pulled his license long ago.
And thanks again Drew for the idea!
For all of you not flying commercially, “the FARS” stands for “Federal Aviation Regulations”. These are the rules all of us fly by and Chuck SHOULD as well. When you start your flight training, your instructor usually doesn’t start teaching you the regulations and about how much you actually need to know until a few lessons in as to not discourage you right away, HAHA!
I remember being somewhat shocked about how many rules there actually are. And I continue shake my head every now and then since the rule books keep getting bigger.
This strip actually came from a time when I was training a new 135 pilot for our company while an FAA inspector was observing me. The AC was not working that day, or just not very well, and we didn’t have our conference room available. So I conducted the training in one of our little offices. I actually got in trouble for doing that since the rules apparently state that the company needs to provide a comfortable environment for classroom training. Of course you have to really look for those rules as they are buried in training manuals and the FAA’s own bible, the 8300 Inspectors handbook. I had never even thought about any of this before since after flying fires in the woods and the desert, ANYTHING with a chair and a little shade is already what we would consider “comfortable” in the helicopter business. But the inspector came from a United Airlines background and wanted me to conduct my training for one guy in a 3-helicopter-company exactly as United does for their 100,000+ crew.
I forgot the exact issue and how it was resolved but it was probably by making sure the inspector didn’t break a sweat next time he came to inspect us …
This strip was conceived after I told Stefan about the last strip I wrote down (the previous strip). After telling him the background story and showing him my scribbles and sad attempts of drawing Chuck running, we suddenly had two great strips that are “classical Chuck”.
It’s always better when you can bounce your ideas off another writer and toss thoughts back and forth. It sure works for us, I believe.
This one came from a conversation with the chief pilot of one of the local fire departments here in the greater LA area. He had one of their helicopters at our ramp for some overhaul work and Nobu and him were standing around and catching up. I walked over and joked “Hey, there is an FAA guy here. I think he’s looking for you!” and he jokingly did the exact same thing we have Chuck do in this strip.
Good times were had and a new strip was born.
The FAA doesn’t visit my office that often, but Mike may be able tell a story or two about his interactions with them. But I know how Chuck feels to some extent, because I think similar things whenever I see a police officer. I always think “Wait, did I bring my registration? Do I have my drivers license? What was the speed limit here again? Did I download something illegaly recently? Is the nuclear bomb material still in my trunk or did I remember to put it in the basement?” Things like that.
I am not sure how much I can say to this strip without hurting my position at my day job
Of course this one is totally invented and FAA inspectors and operators work together very closely and professionally to make aviation a safer place for everybody. And of course politics and budgets never get in the way when it comes to operating aircraft safely and efficiently. And of course the FAR’s are totally written for pilots and mechanics to guide them while doing their job and help them without overwhelming them with paperwork…
Ok, let’s see some stories and opinions!
The FAA actually IS here to help. But then, the road to hell is often paved with good intentions (such as helping others, hehe). Mike sometimes complains about how he spends more time in the office on paperwork than actually flying. I think we already did a strip on that at some point… If you fly, I am sure you have at least one FAA story you could share in our forum!
Plug of the day: Todays shout out goes to the guys at Delta Bravo Sierra, an Army related comic strip. They just did a tribute strip to Charles Schultz. Those of us who read our books will know that we like to do that too!
Well, here I was, sitting in my office during my day job as chief pilot looking over yet another set of rules and regulations that just came out. Then I started fantasizing about how the good old days must have been when aviators were truly free. Then I was wondering when the first FAR’s came out and how they looked liked. Then I asked myself why the rules came out and what sparked this new step towards regulating airspace.
Then I wondered how people must have reacted to it and THEN I thought of this cartoon…..
(….and then I got busted by my boss for drawing little chickens on company time )
Another great thing about our new website is that now we can upload comic strips in different sizes. So rejoice, people! From now on, you’ll be able to enjoy one of our double-sized comic strips every now and then, like this one today! Todays is actually one of my favorites. Strips like this one, where you see a lot of planes, and the background isn’t the usual ofice or ramp setting, are quite a lot of work, but those are usually the one’s I’m most proud of.