Backcountrypilot.org features the writing, photos, and videos of many community members, who are responsible for making everything you see here as exciting, entertaining, and educational as it is. It's a lot of work, but thanks to certain individuals who have taken the time to commit their stories, knowledge, and experiences to text, everyone benefits. We have some of the most interesting and adventurous pilots on the entire Internet, and I am constantly amazed at the proof I see posted.
If you're interested in sharing something for public consumption, there are a number of ways. The best way is to tell the story you want to tell, whatever you're enthusiastic about, as long as it's somewhat related to backcountry flying or grass roots aviation. We only ask that you put in an honest good effort and strive to create something worthy of magazine publishing. The forum will always exist for informal sharing, but if you'd like to contribute an article, spend some time to achieve your best quality. As always, an editor will assist with proofreading and formatting.
Here are a few possible ideas to pursue:
We enjoy the most amazing aviation experiences of anyone in general aviation, and the tales should be told. The "trip report," or travelogue format, is perfect for inviting the reader into your cockpit to recount your journey. All good stories have a main character (you or your plane) and an objective, and how you meet that objective is the interesting part. The characters we meet along the way; the obstacles and hardships we overcome; these things all make for a stories that captivates. Here's a great example by Jamee Wallis about her first ferry pilot gig.
Include photos with captions, a video or two, and appropriate detail to help readers feel like they were there.
Everyone has an opinion, and opinions seem even more plentiful in this hobby. An opinion piece is simply an article that is written in your own unabashed view, without the burden of facts or justification. Often, and especially nowadays, opinions tend to be negative or critical of the way something is done, but that's not always the case. Sometimes you can share an opinion that is very complimentary or praising of something is very right-- in your opinion, of course. It's a pretty broad and deep well of possibilities for an article.
I believe that good pilots stand on the shoulders of other good and lucky pilots. They say that good judgement comes from experience, and that experience comes from surviving bad judgement, or something to that effect. Well, many of us have survived a near-miss, a harrowing flight, a bent airplane, or a full on traumatic crash. Other pilots can learn from your experience and add that to their own personal flying knowledge. I know that I've filed away many tales of this sort that can kept me safe from harm when I would have otherwise blundered ignorantly.
If you can share something like this in great enough detail to benefit pilots, without incriminating yourself, please do so.
The history of aviation manufacturing and the origin of some products is simply fascinating. The stories of Cessna, Piper, Maule, et al span many decades herald the enterprising spirit of aviation people. The modern stories may lack the romance of the golden age, but are likely even more triumphant given the challenges of the modern economy.
If you're one of the entrepeneurs behind a general aviation product, and care to share you origin, history, and opinions, it could be of great interest to the readers here, as well as a spot of free advertising.
Stories of airplanes are the lifeblood of a website like this. We love the beauty of backcountry aircraft, and we hunger for information about how to make them better. Our Featured Bush Planes section is a good example of the format for profiling our flying machines. It doesn't have to be limited to a full aircraft either, it could focus on a particular modification or interesting use of aircraft.
Unfortunately, not every article submission we receive will be published. Authors whose articles qualify for publishing have their choice of a BackcountryPilot.org t-shirt, a ball cap, or a $25 donation made in their name to an aviation interest group such as the RAF. At this point in time we're not offering cash compensation, but in the future, possibly with the support of advertisers, that will be an option.
Email [email protected] with your idea or completed article.