Week One of "Blogging in Formation" was a GREAT Collaborative Effort

10:17 PM

By Dan Pimentel,
Airplanista Blog Editor

Last week, I participated in an awesome new aviation blog series called "Blogging in Formation," six bloggers, one topic, all week. The project was initiated by Brent Owens of iFlyblog.com, and while simple in design, the formation blogging concept was nothing short of brilliant.

These days, it is pretty obvious to everyone reading Airplanista that we all need to step up and do something extra to promote aviation. For the six "Formation Bloggers," that extra effort means using our writing skills to band together and see if we can cross-promote ourselves enough to get noticed and cause a little blogging ruckus on the Interwebs.

What is so great about this formation blogging concept is the ease by which we six bloggers can shake things up by using the normal social channels we have available. On the days when we are not the featured blogger, we were tweeting on Twitter, posting on Facebook, squawking on Flightaware and submitting to Reddit. That means when one formation blogger is featured, he or she gets five times the buzz. It is a true collaborative win, a home run for those of us who live in a digital world where it is quite possible to make our stories go somewhat viral with the click of a mouse and a bit of luck.

If you somehow missed the other five Blogging in Formation pieces from this last week (mine is here), here's a link and excerpt from each of them...enjoy:

The first writer was Karlene Petitt, who blogs frequently at her "Flight to Success" blog. Here's an excerpt of this must-read piece:
"42 years ago I was sitting on my bedroom floor playing the game Careers with my girlfriends. This was a game where we spun the wheel to land on the career of our choice. Yes... we could become a stewardess, librarian, teacher, nurse, or model! A stewardess was the career of the times. And as luck would have it, all my friends landed on the magic spot securing the job of their dreams. Not me. As hard as I spun that wheel I could not fall on the Stewardess spot."

I proclaimed, "I don't care if I can't land on that spot. I don't want to be a Stewardess anyway. I'm going to be the pilot!"
My friend said, "You can't be a pilot."
"Why not?"
"You're a girl. My Dad's a pilot, and girls can't be pilots."
"Yes they can!"
"No they can't."
"I can!"
"No you can't. You're a girl."
 And since Karlene is a professional airline pilot type-rated in about everything big and heavy flying internationally, it's a great story to see how she ended up in that left seat.
Cap'n Aux

If you're not reading Eric Auxier's "Adventures of Cap'n Aux" blog, you should be, as he was the second formation blogger to tell his story last week, and his blog has a kind of edge to it, a bit off-center, full of life, a spunky, well-written romp. Here's a taste:
"Ask any pilot how they started flying, and you will hear a love story. From age 5, I dreamed of flying. Scanned the skies. Built model airplanes.  Along with my buddy Alan, doodled WWII dogfights during math class. Thrilled at the occasional trip to the airport, and practically peed my pants to actually fly. To this day, I remember verbatim the conversation I had—at age 8—with the Hughes Airwest pilots in the magical cockpit of their Boeing 737."
A young Ron Rapp at the controls of a TWA 727
Ron Rapp writes the mature and very good House of Rapp Blog, and as one of the six "Blogging in Formation" writers, his first formation post was great. Blame this ticket on the Blue Awnings...
"It was 1998. I was driving down the street one day on the east side of John Wayne Airport for a reason I cannot recall (except to say it had absolutely nothing to do with aviation), and noticed a series of sky-blue awnings that said ‘Flight Training’. Sometime between where the awning started and where it ended, I made the decision that yes, I was going to do that. Not “that looks interesting” or “maybe I’ll check into it”. No, whatever clicked in my brain that day, by the time the car traveled the next hundred feet, it was a foregone conclusion that flying was the new focus."
Andrew Hartley of SmartFlightTraining.com added this last week as a "Formation" blogger, and it was a must-read:
"My dad passed away two years or so after the crash. He had a massive heart attack due to a blood clot, probably latent and caused by his injuries from the crash. He was 45. I was not quite 14. Needless to say, my mom was less than happy when I decided to pursue aviation as a career – I graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2000 with a B.S. in Aviation Management.  It was Mom, however, who re-sparked my passion for flight when arranged for me to fly with her boss’s husband.  He owned a homebuilt aircraft – I don’t even remember what kind – but as soon as the throttle went full for takeoff, I knew that my passion and love for aviation was still there. I got my Private Pilot Certificate in 1999 at Ann Arbor airport."
Brent Owen's RV-8, with his "day job" ship
a Falcon 2000 in the background
Brent Owens of the IFlyBlog.com wanted to be an astronaut. He ended up flying corporate jets. His contribution to the "Blogging in Formation" series last week was well worth a look.
"That proved to be a lesson in life. If we would have just hung around we would have most likely been able to sweep floors and wash airplanes for an occasional lesson or two. I guess we thought if we weren’t paying customers we couldn’t go onto the property. A couple of years later we did muster up the courage to ask if we could barter for lessons, which is how we got all of our primary training."

As upperclassmen in High School it was awesome training and getting our licenses  - we thought we were studs! I didn’t end up flying airliners, I fly corporate jets. And I didn’t end up with a Pitts Special, rather I have an RV-8 that I built. I guess my crystal ball was just a tad off. If you have seen my RV you’ll recognize that it’s my defacto fighter that I dreamed about in my youth."
This series will continue during the first week of each month, with the same six bloggers writing about the same topic. I really enjoyed reading them all, one each day, and as the week progressed, I found myself anticipating the next "formation" blog post. So look for the official series hashtag #blogformation on Twitter the first week of June as these bloggers will surely deliver more great content.

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