How do you casually mention that you own an airplane without coming off like a ****?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Jim K, Dec 1, 2022.

  1. Jim K

    Jim K En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I used the phrase "I'm a pilot" in an email, and I feel kind of weird about it. Actually more about the impression I feel like it gives off.

    My wife is having a health issue requiring surgery, and we're using a third party to help find a suitable provider. Knowing that she is in pain, this person was concerned about options further from home. I couldn't come up with any other way to express that we can go a couple hundred miles, provided there is a GA airport nearby.

    Every time I've told someone we own an airplane, we get the same reaction as if I told them we own a 100' yacht. I'm not going to claim we're poor, but I'd say we're solidly middle class and have made some sacrifices and some good decisions. You all know that airplanes are not cheap, but they're also not unobtainable.

    Anyway. Feeling a little weird about it.
     
  2. Baked Potato

    Baked Potato Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Tell them it's a Jabiru.
     
  3. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I don’t tell people i fly or own an airplane. Simpler that way.
     
  4. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I don't. They universally look at me like I'm the monopoly guy.
     
  5. Eric Brunelle

    Eric Brunelle Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If it comes up in conversation, I have no problem with it. After I tell them how old it is, that removes any yacht thoughts.
     
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  6. Country Flier

    Country Flier Line Up and Wait

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    I don’t either. If you tell them:

    — Every time a plane crashes, anywhere in the country, you’ll get people saying, “I thought it was you.”

    — Every time a plane flies low over the neighborhood, you’ll get people saying, “I thought it was you.”

    — Every time some schmuck violates a TFR…ah, you get the picture.
     
  7. Dana

    Dana En-Route

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    I tell them it's an old biplane that cost less than their car or boat or whatever, and I go in their eyes from Mr. Moneybags to a crazy man.

    Then there was the time when everybody saw news coverage of an airplane crash the night before a large party I attended... and it was me... just reinforcing the crazy man image.
     
  8. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Bro do you even lift
    I'm with Bill. not literally or physically, just philosophically.
     
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  9. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    How about owning a plane and a boat.
     
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  10. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN En-Route PoA Supporter

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    How do you know if there's a pilot at the party you are attending?
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    He'll tell you!
     
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  11. Half Fast

    Half Fast Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm 61. After all these years, I've grown accustomed to coming off like a **** so I don't worry about it.

    If someone seems to think I'm some sort of moneybags, I just explain that to afford the plane I had to give up sports car racing, and that my wife had to cut back to owning only one Thoroughbred.

    We have friends who keep a boat over on the Gulf coast and fish regularly. When they said, "Wow! You're buying a plane?!" I replied, "Yeah, getting a plane since we can't afford a boat." They got it, and both laughed. I paid less for my plane than we spent on the used F-150.
     
  12. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen En-Route PoA Supporter

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  13. ArrowFlyer86

    ArrowFlyer86 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I usually just say "I have a plane... but it was built back when Nixon was in office and it costs less than your BMW."
    followed by "also, it's got this wing spar AD issue that makes pilots think the wings are going to pop off at any moment"

    That removes any hint of bragging :)
     
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  14. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    Reminds me of the old joke: What’s the difference between God and a pilot…..God doesn’t think he’s a pilot.
     
  15. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I think when someone says they own an airplane, the layman is thinking they own a Gulfstream.
     
  16. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    In the specific instance, when using a consultant, I’d probably just say don’t worry about distance, who’s the best that can see us the quickest, presuming your wife’s physician says she fit to fly as a pax.

    Generally, I don’t advertise we own, but a few people know I fly and have asked; I usually just reply that we have access to a light plane and, it’s about on par with golfing as hobby cost-wise and since I don’t golf, this is my hobby.

    For the one or two who know we own, I’m very clear we’re in a partnership and our costs are less than their car lease is running them.
     
  17. flyingron

    flyingron Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Years ago I flew from Oshkosh to Broken Bow, NE, had lunch and then continued on to Ft. Collins. We were picking up the alcohol for my daughter's wedding at a mega liquor store out there. The manager came over and said "American Express would like to speak to you."

    ME: Hello?
    AX: Are you in possession of your card?
    ME: Yes.
    AX: Were you at the Hilton Garden Inn in Oshkosh Wisconsin this morning?
    ME: That was me.
    AX: And were you in Broken Bow, Nebraska at 1 PM today?
    ME: That was me, too.
    AX: And now you are in Ft. Collins, Colorado?
    ME: This is me.
    AX: And you're in possession of your card.
    ME: Yes, that was me in all those places. Would it help if I let you know I own my own airplane?
    AX: Ah, that makes sense. Sorry to have bothered you.

    It seems they couldn't figure out how I got between three towns so quickly that don't have air service anywhere near them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2022
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  18. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    [​IMG]
     
  19. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I’m with @Half Fast , but I inherited my lack of tact from my dad and my maternal grandfather (my mom says these things have been known to skip a generation on the mother’s side.) I don’t make immediate comparisons or excuses, I just wait until the conversation turns to what they do for fun, and say, “I wish I could afford to do stuff like that.” :D

    Being from Minnesota, I’ve had a lot of friends who fish. The few that I told how much I spent on my airplane annually admitted that it was less than they spend on their fishing boats.
     
  20. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    My wife was a very, very early employee of a start-up company, when they got good stock options in lieu of higher salaries. About five years later she was working in the HR group, and people compared their start dates. They were astounded when they found how long she'd been with the company.

    "I bet you own an airplane," groused one of her co-workers.

    "Yes...yes, we do," she replied. Didn't show them a picture, though....
    fly baby rainier lowres.jpg
    Ron Wanttaja
     
  21. Ventucky Red

    Ventucky Red Pattern Altitude

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    When I was single I had made it a point to my mother to lunch at least one Sunday a month. Somehow she always managed to let the waitress know I was a pilot and owned an airplane. It actually worked once!

    Good ole mom...
     
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  22. GaryM

    GaryM Pattern Altitude

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    Don't tell them. Let your giant watch and the epaulets on your shirt (on every shirt, T's included) speak for you.
     
  23. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    In the cooler weather period here, I (of course) wear my leather flying jacket, complete with Fly Baby patch, everywhere.
    rons_jacket.JPG
    Literally just came back from having supper out, where I got compliments on the jacket from two people. Usually whip out my phone and show them pictures of the airplane.

    Ron Wanttaja
     
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  24. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    The people that need to know what I do for work and recreation already know, so I don't waste my time talking to others about it. I don't hide what I do however, so if I plan on flying somewhere and I'm making arrangements I'll tell people that's what is going to happen. In my experience, people's responses are at least somewhat related to how you tell them that you are a pilot or own an aircraft. If you just say something nonchalant like "yeah, I'll probably fly in" I rarely get questions about aircraft ownership or being a pilot. Only the people with a genuine interest seem to probe at that point.
     
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  25. nauga

    nauga Administrator Management Council Member PoA Technical Administrator

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    It starts that way for me sometimes, so I tell 'em I built it. They move away slowly and without making eye contact.

    Nauga,
    who also had that problem before he had an airplane.
     
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  26. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Living on an airport in a hangar house is a giveaway.
     
  27. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

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    In OP's situation, I'd just lie a little. "I have a friend who has an airplane." They don't need to know that you are your own friend, and I think most people are aware of angel flights and such.

    Or, you could have a little more fun with it. "I have my own plane. Back in the 90's, I used to run cargo from Central America. Now I just fly for fun."
     
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  28. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I usually make a joke when asked.
    “ as a physician assistant I can’t afford to own my own plane, I am in a club so I own pieces of a plane, two cylinders, one of the smaller wings, a seat, two instruments and a tire. “
    Which is a true joke lol. it usually deflates that awkwardness imo
     
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  29. Racerx

    Racerx Pattern Altitude

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    If I tell someone, it's "I have a small plane." After the weird look, I qualify it by saying they probably paid more for their car than I did for my plane.


    My best wishes to your wife.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2022
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  30. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    As long as they bow when I approach, I don't find it awkward.
     
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  31. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Why…just why?o_O
     
  32. Jim K

    Jim K En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Lol good stuff. I'm with you guys who don't advertise. I never really understood the joke about pilots always telling you they're a pilot. Probably a holdover from the halcyon days of GA when every 4th guy was a private pilot. On that point... I've had conversations with a couple guys of my dad's generation who remember when owning a plane was as common as owning a boat, and they don't bat an eye... they'll ask what year it is, I'll say, "'76", and they'll say, "oh yeah that's when they were popular. "

    I always wind up entrapping myself accidently:

    T:"You guys do anything fun this summer? "
    M: "yeah we went to yellowstone"
    T:"oh cool; that's a long drive, huh? "
    M:"oh we flew..."
    T:"oh where'd you fly into? "
    M:"uhhh, Cody Wyoming...."
    T:"there's an airport there? Who flies into there? "
    M:"uh, yeah, so...."
     
  33. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen En-Route PoA Supporter

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    That’s what your second plane gets you. :)
     
  34. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    I prefer not discussing it, but since I get paid to be in planes, it's often difficult. I've found myself just saying I'm a photographer, but even that gets weird. They ask what I take pictures of, and honestly, most of that is from airplanes, and that makes it hard to stay off the aviation topic. So usually, to avoid the "I have a secret game" it's best to just be straightforward.
     
  35. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    You're not bragging, you're just stating a fact that may impact where your wife gets care, and could impact for the better. Don't worry about it or what others might think - people are going to think what they'll think and you won't do a lot to change it.

    Most importantly, best of luck to your wife, I hope that surgery (when it happens) goes well and she recovers quickly.
     
  36. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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    This works for me as I did build mine and have pics to prove it.

    My neighbor of several years asked me a few months ago if I owned a plane. I have no idea how he found out but he wanted to go for a ride. We did and he loved it but he agreed to keep this to himself ... :)
     
  37. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    I have friends with biz jets and turbine helicopters. I don’t feel any pressure to apologize for what I’ve earned. This is the land of opportunity. Go get it.
     
  38. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Easy there, moneybags. No need to humblebrag in here.
     
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  39. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard En-Route

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    This’ll fix it….
    41479F7B-0209-4384-894C-201809090997.jpeg
     
  40. Southpaw

    Southpaw Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    How about a plane , 2 boats , 2 sports cars,2 Jeeps, 2 motorcycles , 2 cars,2 trucks , 2 wives .......
    I kid about the wives . ;)