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Use your smarts, get current charts

Posted by on October 1, 2009 12 Comments Category : Flight Instructor Blog Tags :

About a week ago, I purchased 78 copies of “FAA Aviation News” from the 1970s on eBay. My wife was home when I opened the package and she asked why in the world I ordered all these old magazines. “They’re cool” I said. “Well, where are you planning on putting them?” “In the basement” I replied.

On my way downstairs, I happened to flip one of the magazines over and there on the back cover, was this cool aviation cartoon with a rhyming caption above and below the art. The drawing was absolutely brilliant. I started looking at the back covers of all the magazines and sure enough, each one has a cartoon with a rhyming aviation truth like, “Use your smarts, get current charts” or “A casual pre-flight check, could mean an inflight wreck.” In the lower right hand corner there is a small credit given to the individual that came up with the rhyme. The artist’s name is Osborn and I’ll have to do some more research on the artist. If anyone has some more information about the artist or the cartoon, please let me know.

I scanned in about 15 of the cartoons this evening. If you guys like them, I’ll scan in the rest.

Here you go. Enjoy.


  1. Curdle1 on Oct 01, 2009

    Those are pretty good! It’s weird to think that just about all of those can apply to flight in today’s times.

  2. Bill Colton on Oct 01, 2009

    These are great! thanks for posting them.

  3. Paul on Oct 01, 2009

    Glad you are enjoying them. After I posted this late last night, I scanned in about 30 more and I totally agree with Curdle1. These are still VERY applicable to flying today. I guess that really shouldn’t come as a surprise because statistics show that in general, pilots are still ruining perfectly good airplanes for the same reasons they always have…poor judgment. These cartoons, although simple, really hit home in a humorous way the importance of good aeronautical decision making skills. Glad you like them. I’ll put up some more this weekend.


  4. Melissa on Oct 01, 2009

    I think they’re great. And amazingly still relevant. If I had a flight school I’d see about blowing them up and using them as framed prints around the school. Thank you for sharing these with us!

  5. Paul on Oct 01, 2009

    Hey, that’s not a bad idea Melissa. Glad you liked them.

  6. Burny on Oct 01, 2009

    Great work, PLEASE, keep them coming.

  7. Sylvia on Oct 02, 2009

    These are wonderful!

  8. Best of the Web — Golf Hotel Whiskey on Oct 05, 2009

    […] Check, Could Mean an Inflight Wreck. On an interesting note, Paul who is the blogger behind the Ask a Flight Instructor blog, recently purchased 78 old copies of “FAA Aviation News” from the 1970s on eBay and while […]

  9. Jason100871 on Oct 20, 2009

    Robert C. Osborn also illustrated for Navy training division during WW2 drawing Dilbert the Pilot and Spoiler the Mechanic. Over 1000 posters, I’ve seen poster #964 in Dilbert and only #244 in Spoiler. He also drew for Grampaw Pettibone.

  10. Todd on Oct 23, 2009

    I love these. Please do post more of them!

  11. Paul on Oct 29, 2009

    Glad you guys are enjoying them. Finding more illustrations and documenting them has turned into a part-time job over the last few weeks. I have nearly 100 of them scanned in right now. I have also tracked down more of Osborn’s aviation work including some books like “Dilbert – how not to fly” “Safe to Solo” and “Best of Gramps” Robert Osborn was really an amazing artist who was passionate about all things aviation. Stay tuned for more info.

  12. Jaap de Moor on Nov 13, 2009

    I was a Dutch aircraft carrier pilot in the sixties.
    We still had the WW 2 Dilbert posters on the squadron walls.
    I am currently writing articles about this carrier.
    There was one particularly interesting drawing, describing what almost
    happened to me one day in the Carebean in ’64!
    A puzzled Dilbert flying over an empty sea, empty except for two jumping
    fishes. They wonder: ” Haven’t seen a carrier all day!!”

    If you would be able to find that particular one, or any other carrier related
    poster I would very thankful if you could mail me one, or two perhaps?

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