Traditions are sometimes strange and, even after centuries of forgetting where the traditions came from in the first place, we still carry them on for tradition’s sake. This includes carrying a bride over the threshold, eating turkey on Thanksgiving, and blowing out candles on a birthday cake. The same is true of aviation! We have our own traditions to keep alive, as well.
Aviation Traditions to Keep Alive
Below are three fun traditions for pilots to carry on:
The Water Salute – Airport fire equipment is brought out for a special display called a water salute. This is done when a new airplane is brought into service, or a captain is retiring. After the plane has landed, fire trucks on both sides of the plane spray arcs of water into the air for the aircraft to pass through.
Cutting the Shirt – The first solo flight for pilots is a huge milestone. The student will be doing everything on their own with no intervention from their instructor. After the flight is complete, it’s tradition to cut the tail off of the flight student’s shirt. Sometimes the date and the words “first solo” are written on the shirt and it’s hung proudly!
Pancake Fly-Ins – Lastly, a pancake fly-in is a typical pancake breakfast… but in another town, you’ve just flown to! This is also a great excuse to gather with other pilots. It’s a great excuse to do some flying, socializing, and networking, all while eating some amazing pancakes!
Since flying is only a few generations old, many of the traditions are still held up and fresh in the minds of pilots. We have the power to carry on the traditions and even create some of our own!