A couple of days ago we were inteviewed by Phil Hampton from the Comic Academy, and he asked us if we don’t alienate a lot of readers by using a lot of technical lingo and aviation terms.

I guess we do! But we really try to make a comic that is enjoyable for aviation nuts as well as the uninitiated public. It’s a balancing act, obviously. I sometimes even run into people who don’t even grasp the basic concept of aerodynamics, why planes fly and what a fin or an elevator does. I’m sure people like that won’t get our comics, but then you can’t please everybody anyway.

Having a pilot as brother and having drawn this comic for ten years now, I think I know much more about aviation than the average Joe. Not as much as most of our fans, I guess, but still quite a bit. Aviation is so full of abbreviations and technical lingo that it’s sometimes hard to follow when listening to insiders. So I totally sympathize with Sally in this strip!

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3 comments on “Gobbledygook
  1. Geoduck says:

    So at my folks FBO my mom was filling out a form. Dad would write them by hand and mom would type them up. She had been doing this for many years and knew what all the jargon, DME, ADF, ILS, VOR/GS, MB, and such meant. One day she was typing away when she stopped and asked dad “What’s an OF?” He looked over her shoulder, chuckled, and said “That’s of. The Needle of the VOR indicator”.
    We’ve laughed about that for years.

  2. mike says:

    I just realized, we haven’t added most of those terms to our pilot lingo page, so here a quick overview:
    POI – Principal Operations Inspector, the FAA guy who is assigned to your charter operation and who is “there to help”.
    VOR/DME is a navigational aid, used less and less since the invention of the GPS, more on that later in the lingo section
    INOP means inoperative or “broke” but I hope everybody knows that one…..

  3. JKelley says:

    That’s okeh – nearly any trade or field of specialisation develops its own language over time.

    I used to joke that I “spoke a dozen languages fluently – and half of them were English.”

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