New people, new rules.

The Tastiest Local Flying Field Gets a Sour New Flavor

Years ago when I was looking for good safe places to fly, I discovered the best local flying location in Sonoma County. I wasn’t the first one or only one to enjoy it, but the folks who used it on a fairly regular basis enjoyed each other’s company and got to know each other a little bit. The amazing part was the way that everyone seemed to fall into natural agreement on a fairly simple set of common sense rules for use of the area. The rules were basic, unwritten, and rarely even spoken. If someone explained them to a new user, it was in the way of just sharing some sensible guidelines and general best practices. Nothing too restrictive, just enough to keep everyone safe as we all pursued our hobby.

Recently several new people have joined the ranks of those who fly the field on a regular basis and it’s changed the whole mood. Don't get me wrong, I love to meet new people and fly with them, talk with them, and see what they have to fly. Unfortunately, there are newbies who I personally don’t care for. They’ve brought their own set of rules and restrictions and try to enforce them on everyone who flies when they’re around. I want to ask them, “Who are you to come to this public field - an informal venue that isn’t controlled or organized as a flying site by ANYONE - and tell me or anyone where can and cannot fly?”

I realize the importance of certain safety rules, however infringing on the "freedom" of flight is a sensitive and controversial topic not to be taken lightly. If someone comes trotting in on their authoritarian high horse and starts telling others how it’s going to be, well, this someone needs to find a private field all to themselves. Who are they to come and tell us what to do? I've always thought if you join a group, you go by the existing rules. I think it's gratuitous dictatorial egotism to come in and start mandating what is and is not to go on - and simply rude.

The things I’m writing might seem a bit like a personal attack, and I guess they are. But I think I have a valid point to share, and here it is; when you join a group, investigate the existing culture, be sensitive to current behavior guidelines, make yourself aware of the accepted procedures. Don’t jump in and start trying to take control. If you do, you’ll most certainly be stepping on some toes. The group might be polite enough to let you get away with it for quite a while, but they won’t like it and eventually I bet someone will get frustrated enough to stomp on yours in return. I’d like to hear what you think. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts and opinions with the world.


Bring More People

Well, you'll just have to bring more friends who like your rulesCool