Welcome to Backcountry Pilot!
You are required to read this guide carefully prior to registering. Your registration will not be accepted otherwise. We know if you read it or not.
I am compiling this Newbie's Guide to help people who are new to the site get up to speed a little quicker, and to establish some guidelines for forum protocol. In the interest of creating both a knowledge resource, and a fun online community, I have a few tips for success. Please read this in earnest to help us create and maintain a fun and positive experience for all, as well as making the Moderator's lives easier. We work to keep information organized and appropriate to your opt-in groups.
Disclaimer of Liability
Flying is an inherently risky activity and can result in severe injury or death. Backcountry flying is dangerous to an even greater extent. The articles and forum posts on BackcountyPilot.Org are simply the opinions contributed by other readers and should be regarded appropriately. Just as often as these opinions are correct and helpful, they are also inaccurate and sometimes simply wrong. This is a discussion forum and not an official source of information regarding flying, aircraft maintenance, or lawful practices. Any and all information provided on this website is done so at the reader's discretion. The forum is not a substitute for instruction from an FAA certified flight instructor or FAA certified airframe and powerplant mechanic. BackcountryPilot.Org and its members are not liable for damage to your property or health resulting from material or statements found in this forum. This site is for entertainment purposes only.
Always be cautious, safe, and vigilant. Seek proper training and certification before emulating any of the types of flying suggested in our forums or photo gallery.
After you've read this guide completely, you'll find a link at the bottom of this page to start the registration. For both reasons of system security related to spambots and automated hackers, and to provide an orientation to our community, you are required to provide the registration keyword found within this document in your registration form. Read carefully, it's hidden somewhere below!
A note on usernames: As a rule of thumb, I think it's a bad idea to use your full name as your username. The world views this forum, and it's in your best interest to conceal your actual identity as much as possible. It's also tough for people to remember your username if it's too cryptic. I would avoid using N-numbers, as they are just as revealing as your full name and can be tough to remember for others. Politically oriented usernames are not allowed.
Please read this short guide on best practices for maintaining your privacy on the internet. Representatives of the FAA and other federal and state law enforcement agencies can and will read your posts. This site is popular and has a very large audience. Please use discretion as necessary.
I've organized the forum into...well, forums...and categories. We've got categories named Pilots, Planes, Places, and The Website. Each category contains sub-forums. If you're a reader in search of threads mainly about float flying, or you want to read for-sale ads, there's a forum for you. I've been criticized for having too much organization in this regard, but it really does help segregate topics when you're not in the mood to search.
Posting New Topics
If you are going to post a new topic, try to follow these guidelines:
1. Watch this video if you have a spare minute. I didn't make it, but it's kind of funny and helpful nonetheless.
2. Choose the appropriate category/forum. Does it pertain to piloting, aircraft, a physical place, or this website? Make sure you're within the appropriate forum before you click the New Topic button.
3. Come up with a meaningful subject that tells us what to expect in the topic. It will make it easier for future searchers to find your topic if you name it something intelligent. i.e. "Some hints for using the Garmin 496 in mountainous terrain" is much better than just "Garmin." "Merrill Field Web Cam" is better than "web cam." if we have 10 topics all called "web cam" it becomes a pain. Additionally, using prefix abbreviations like "FS:" for "for sale", "WTB:" for "Want to Buy", or "TR:" for "Trip Report." i.e. FS: 26-inch Goodyear tires $50. Please don't append the word "thread" to the subject. It's in a forum. We know it's a thread.
4. Before you post a new topic with a question about what airplane you should buy, or a link to a funny video, do a search to make sure it hasn't already been done. Some topics have already been covered several times, and it might be a better idea to join the discussion already in progress. It's not a hanging offense, it's just nice to be efficient and have the whole discussion in one thread. Likewise, do NOT post a new topic for every variant question that is related. If the discussion is nosewheel fork upgrades for a Cessna 182, one thread is enough. Just post another reply in the same thread with your subsequent question. You're muddying the waters by adding a new thread every time you have a related question.
5. Try to include relevant links and resources to whatever you're discussing, if possible. If it's a product, link to the manufacturer's product page. If it's a news story, paste the story into a BBCode quote as well as linking to the article.
6. If you have photos, embed them in the post. If you're posting a photo from a web cam, make sure you save the image in our gallery first, or that image you linked will always be the latest frame from the cam, and not the snapshot in time you wanted!
7. Take the time to format your posts so they're legible and easily readable. This means using multiple paragraphs intstead of one big blob of text. Tidy up your BBCode, making sure you don't have any unclosed tags, or else the BBCode itself will show. BBCode is meant to make HTML formatting easier without needing to know HTML, so spend a few minutes learning how to use it properly. Use the quote feature instead of typing "Zane said:" It drastically improves the readability of the post, and can avoid confusion. You can reply to a post simply by clicking the QUOTE button.
8. Put some effort into grammar and spelling. Use the Spellcheck feature. You could be the most intelligent person in the world, and poor or sloppy spelling and grammar will make you look like a dunce. Even if you're a good speller, use the right words. "Your" = possessive. "You're" = "you are." No one can hear you talk, so put your best foot forward with what you type.
9. Do not use all capital letters. In addition to all caps being annoying and difficult to read, they are the internet convention for YELLING! Save all caps for METARs, TAFs, and RAISING YOUR VOICE!!
10. Remember that you can edit your own posts . If you forgot something you meant to include in your post, just click the EDIT button in the upper right corner of the post. This is preferable to making a second post, as there's no reason to reply to your own post!
We have a free built-in photo gallery here on the site. Frankly, it's not as good as some other galleries in features and function, but it does okay.
Keep in mind that while there are a lot of General Albums in the gallery, the recommended place to put your photos is in your User Gallery. Your uploaded photos will be available immediately, and you can categorize them in your own albums. If you choose to put your photos in a General Gallery, they must be approved by an administrator, which can take several hours or days. You also lose any further control over your photos.
Start by reading the How To's for Uploading Images to the Photo Gallery and Resizing Digital Images.
You can always use another free gallery too, and just cross link your photos.
We're all adults, but if there's any place where it's easy to revert to childlike behavior, it's an internet discussion forum. You will inevitably get flamed or offended by the remarks of another, even patronized and condescended to, but the best course of action is to take the high road. Insulting someone's politics, race, regionalism, intelligence, or financial status is generally frowned upon and can result in post moderation or banishment if it persists.
The BCP community is unique in that the people you meet here online, you stand a very good chance of meeting in real life. Some of our online personas can also be quite different from our live action personalities too. For this reason, I like to reserve sharing my political opinions for the campfire. I suggest you do too. This website is about flying.
Sometimes a conflict can't be avoided, and it can feel really good to nail somebody with your most witty zinger. Take a timeout or consider that you may be alienating somebody you would normally be friends with were it not for the lack of discretion that anonymity can encourage.
Profanity is tolerated as long as it's used tastefully. That may be an oxymoron to some, but some words have their place in our everyday vernacular. Once again, pay attention to your tone if profanity is used when addressing another user.
No porn or offensive imagery. Porn does not belong in an aviation forum, at least not this one. There are a million places you can find porn on the Internet, but this is a site that should be safe to surf with your kids sitting on your lap, so let's keep this place as family friendly as possible by not posting images that are inappropriate or disrespectful to our female audience, that will make someone puke, or that could possibly cause one workplace heartache. There will always be those who try to tread this line, so if you have to wonder, err on the conservative side. Thanks.
Political discussions are tolerated only in a specific forum, called "Hot Air," which is viewable as an option (see How-To and Tutorials section.) Consider why you have come to this website: To talk about flying. A political discussion is a surefire way to sour the experience, so engage with caution. All topics of an obvious political origin or subject matter will be moved to the Hot Air forum to distinguish them from actual flying related content, and to spare readers who enjoy the escape from political media the annoyance. After a period of 180 days the system automatically prunes Hot Air topics from the database.
Be respectful of the discussion. Many topics are started in earnest to seek answers or information about a flying topic. Though it may seem funny, please refrain from derailing or hijacking the relevant discussion. This goes for Marketplace postings too-- Please respect the fact that members are just trying to sell or buy something, and refrain from criticism of price or quality.
Trolling. Users who continually engage in the practice of "internet trolling" by posting intentionally inflammatory statements, or mockery of the forum to elicit emotional response will be deactivated. Our mission is to maintain a genuine, constructive, and positive community, and trolls are a waste of everyone's time.
Content Moderation Policy
First and foremost, Backcountry Pilot is an aviation website. All topics submitted, and especially those outside the scope of aviation, are subject to evaluation, moderation, or removal at the discretion of moderators. Administrators and moderators reserve the right to move, edit, or delete user-contributed forum posts and images.
Politically oriented topics are discouraged, but will be allowed in the opt-in forum "Hot Air." All topics that are political nature or origin should be started in, and will be moved to, Hot Air. Any topics that are objectively determined to have become politically inflammatory, or unfit for viewing by non-members and indexing by search engines (your comments cached permanently by Google) will be moved to the "Hot Air" forum at the discretion of moderators, regardless of which forum the topic was originally submitted to. This is often seen as a punishment or censorship, but that is not the case. It is a courtesy to people who wish to read a forum free from today's seemingly unending barrage of politics and controversy in the media. See the "How-To and Tutorials" forum for more information on how to gain access to "Hot Air" after you have registered.
The purpose of moderation is to maintain this forum as a superior backcountry flying resource, surrounded by a community of aviators. Controversial ancillary and unrelated topics appearing in Google search results often attract registrants who may not be interested in aviation at all, and they are not welcome in the discussion. Moderation decisions are sometimes unpopular, and it only makes our job more difficult to be criticized. Repeated comments about moderator actions will eventually piss us off enough that you will be warned and eventually banned. Thanks for understanding.
Solicitation and Promotion
It's considered poor form to join, drop in, and immediately spam us, even if you're a pilot. If you sign up, and your first post is promotional, your account will be deactivated. If every single post you make is an effort to pimp your wares, it's going to hurt you more than help, because I will deactivate your account like I would any spammer. Go ahead and post about your product or service, but make an effort to stay involved and answer questions that members may have. Be real and be modest. The secret to success in selling to our community is to simply put your link in your signature, and then genuinely interact with us. Be one of us. Continued disingenuous plugging of your wares will only garner contempt.
If you satisfy the requirements of being a personally engaged member of the community, you may engage in limited promotion of your business or services. If you're posting to promote your business, you get 1 dedicated thread. Additional promotional threads added will be deleted, but you may continue to update your 1 promotional thread.
Solicitation of donations without an official organization is frowned upon. We require that you either represent an established advocacy group like the RAF or a localized pilots association. The power of our small army of aviators on this site is great, and we can effect nearly immediate change on focused efforts like airport and airstrip facilities. The r.egistration k.eyword is "alpha hotel." However, history of fraud and abuse in similar scenarios make it something that we are forced to scrutinize. The first time someone collects a bunch of donations and then does not follow through on their promises, all future campaigns are tarnished and I personally will be hearing from those who consider themselves defrauded.
If you plan to buy/sell/trade items in the Marketplace forum, please read this thread prior to doing so. Improperly formatted posts will be deleted automatically.
If you have suggestions, PM me or MountainMatt with them. If you dispute anything, PM me. I do my best to moderate fairly and to keep the focus on flying. I have zero patience, however, for disputes over moderation of anything else.
Enjoy our community and please fly safely.
Click here to start the registration.