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I Love Flying but I Hate Organized Aviation

Flying is an amazing experience. You just can’t beat it if you want to get anywhere far away in a hurry. The early history of flying reveals the glory days and shows us what flying should be. The planes were made by individuals or by small groups of craftsmen who learned by tinkering. They were free to tweak the design of their aircraft according to their own creative intuitions and then fly them wherever and whenever they wanted to. There was no FAA, there were no big airlines, and there were no licenses.

It didn’t take long for the purity of early aviation to be corrupted. As soon as some men figured out how to use the science of flight to dominate other men, that was the end of simple flight. A priestly class developed that insisted they and only they could properly interpret the physics of aerodynamics. Legalism reared its ugly head. The Federal Aviation Administration with its bureaucracy and hierarchy multiplied the requirements for getting off the ground.

Instead of home-based air travel with a small plane made in a garage shop, aviation became big and commercialized.  Airplanes are now required to be built and maintained to the legalistic specifications of the FAA – they even regulate the amount of torque on every bolt and have inspectors to force the mechanics to do it their way. Mechanics even have to get their certifications in airframe, power plant, or avionics from the FAA and get their training in FAA-certified schools.

In order to fly an aircraft, you are required to get a pilot’s license from — guess who? — that’s right, the FAA. And when you fly, you have to go through the ritual of filing a flight plan and submit your conscience to direction by the air traffic controllers who are also certified by the FAA. You also have to fly in and out of airports which are under the control of the FAA, a behemoth that reaches its tentacles into every aspect of flight, crushing spontaneity and creativity and wringing every bit of joy and freedom from the experience of flying — and we haven’t even touched on airport security.

Just try to do anything in aviation without going through the channels of the FAA and you will find yourself persecuted, even martyred.

Is this what the Wright brothers intended? I don’t think so.

Of course defenders of the FAA and all this legalism will claim that it is for “safety.” They argue that if you want to get off the ground, you need to be sure that you are doing so with all the best equipment and that you are in capable hands. You will want to have certainty about things.

But we know it is all about power.  It is about using the gift of flight for personal gain. It is about oppression. There is nothing complicated about flying. The same spirit resides in all of us that resided in Orville and Wilbur. All the FAA does is quench that spirit. Only if we break free from the shackles of organized aviation can we experience wonderful simplicity of pure aviation like that first generation of air pioneers did.


Mary Kochan, former Senior Editor of CatholicExchange, is Editor-at-Large  of CatholicLane.com.

Raised as a  third-generation Jehovah's Witness, Mary worked her way backwards through the Protestant Reformation to enter the Catholic Church on Trinity Sunday, 1996.  Mary has spoken in many settings, to groups large and small, on the topic of destructive cultism and has been a guest on both local and national radio programs. To arrange for Mary to speak at your event, you may contact her at kochanmar@gmail.com.

  • GuitarGramma

    AB-SO-LUTE-LY *BRILL*I*ANT*! Thanks, Mary, for an a good belly laugh this morning!

  • http://www.casorosendi.com/ Carlos Caso-Rosendi

    Mary,

    I’m afraid we are gone past the point of rejecting organized aviation. Some are already asking to be liberated from the constraints of gravity.

    :)

  • ronthomski

    Right on, and don’t forget that aviation is all about big money and controlling people. You know, “please power down all portable devices upon closing of the cabin door” and “all trays and seat backs must be in the upright position for landing”. As if one-size-fits-all. My God is too big to fit into one set of regulations.

    Also, how dare hypocritical organized-aviation preach to us about innocuous little things like “tray tables” when it is well known that all pilots are raging alcoholics! Yes, remember that spate of headlines back in the 70’s when it surfaced that some pilots FWI/FUI? Well, the aviation hierarchy has been engaged in a massive conspiratorial cover up to hide the fact that ALL pilots are alcoholics. Aviator hierarchs simply shuffled these alcoholic pilots from one airport to another when passengers fell victim to same pilots over and over albeit it at different airports. Just ask any member of SNAP (Survivor Network of those Abused by Pilots). Organized aviation cites to all the good it does in the world (getting millions of people from point A to B), but that is no excuse for the pandemic problem of alcoholic pilots.

    Moreover, and importantly, organized aviation is just a mechanism to oppress women. When is the last time you saw a woman pilot? Women have no power in organized aviation, but rather are cloistered in the passenger cabin of the airplane when they have the “privilege” of serving drinks and pretzels. Meanwhile, men are given the real power to fly the plane, command the control tower, and make the decisions. Way to go misogynistic organized aviation.

    Organized aviation reinforces these misogynistic tropes and stereotypes via mass media. Remember ABC’s “Hogan’s Family” (it was the father who was a pilot) and NBC’s Wings. What motivates organized aviation? Well, you have to look at the history. From a mainline or evangelical protestant perspective, we know that the early aviators were free in the Lord, and not bound by all the legalism of organized aviation, which came later after aviators tried to assimilate lots of non-aviators into aviation. The no-turning-back point happened when the Roman emperor, Constantine-nental Airlines, converted to Christianity which is when the Roman Aviation Church was started. From a Jack Chick or secularist perspective, we know that organized aviation derived its rules and rituals from earlier pagan aviation religions, notably Mithraism, Babylonian mystery religions, and Zoroastrianism. Egyptian funeral rites and rituals played a significant role in modern day baggage rules including weight, stowing, and baggage claim policy, as well.

    • Mary Kochan

      Great riff on this, Ron. :-)

  • John

    I am an instrument rated commercial pilot that had my pilots license before my driver’s license. I quit flying and sold my plane after 911 for exactly the reasons Mary cited. She wrote this article in jest, but she is dead on. I gave up my passion due to overregulation.

  • http://www.casorosendi.com/ CCR

    John: many of us have done the same in various ways. There is more than just over-regulation going on. There is an bureaucratization of nearly everything. In the old days I could have a meeting with a manager and walk off with a contract in which I would provide a useful service to the company hiring me. Now there are several layers of human resources, certifications are required for the most insignificant things, we must jump through all kinds of loops, etc. But now that has just extended to the exercise of religion, more so or a “certain” religion. That started almost 500 years ago with the German Reformation. Luther (who was a priest if I am not mistaken) and then others institutionalized disobedience and started the ever growing trend of creating more and more rules. We are now buried in rules of every kind, they come from the left and the right. Let us remember now that the one that created all of these trillion dollar bureaucracies to “protect” us from a poor old man living in a compound in Pakistan and proud owner of a small color TV set was after all a Republican president. The poor old man in Pakistan caused perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars in damage BUT his unwitting accomplice inflicted us with trillions in debt and expenses to “protect” us from a bunch of turbaned loonie tunes. In the same way Luther et al saw that their followers were free of the papist oppression but their disobedience eventually dissolved the European order of their day and brought about the French Revolution, the Wiemar Republic, Fascism, Communism, and the unbridled Capitalism that sunk the world into the Great Depression and WWII. What a bargain compared to the alleged selling of indulgences! I say bring back that [really] old religion any time! :)