Friday, July 13, 2007
When British Pilots Were All Jolly Good Chaps
In the post war years it was the pilots that created the illusion of glamour that the airline business has traded off ever since – it certainly wasn’t the aircraft of the late 1940s and early 1950s. Dashing ex-military types became civilian airline pilots who wore their caps at a jaunty angle, had a devil-may-care attitude and gave the illusion of having the most interesting of lives to many who were stuck with their feet firmly on the ground. In the late 60s when I started in the airline business I remember one such pilot - he even had a name to go with the image – ‘Flash’ Phillips. He was every inch the ex-RAF officer; debonair, he wore white cotton gloves to land the aircraft and was fond of playing the harmonica on the boring bits of long haul flights – although this was for the ‘amusement’ of those on the flight deck not the passengers. This advert from June 1950 typifies how the image was nurtured. Click on it to enlarge it for ease of reading.