10 March 2014


Yes... "Springbutt".

Not familiar with the term?

You may not be familiar with the term, but you certainly have seen "Springbutt" in action.
Let me set the scenario for you:
You're at a seminar or class you MUST take. You may be an expert in the subject matter.
No matter, you have to be there for whatever reason. Some would call it a "ticket punch"...
The fact you've attended the class clears the way for you to either continue, or progress. Maybe even be promoted.

Pro pilots have to do this all the time. FAA requirements force them to constantly train. Annual check rides. Semi-annual refresher rides. Computer-driven academics on survival, weather, instrument flying procedures...
Sometimes the work you have to do is the same work you did last year, the year before that, the year before that, the year...
You get the idea.
But ya gotta do it for whatever reason in order to keep the paychecks flowing.

So I was in this class devoted to keeping me and my fellow pilots SAFE.
There were about 40 in the class. I was sitting next to a contemporary I had known for 25 or so years.
Up front, in the second row, was Mr. Springbutt...
An enthusiastic new CFI who had just accrued enough time to get a job with one of our local helo companies.

Every chance he had, Mr. Springbutt would raise his hand and interrupt the person providing the information most of us were being "refreshed" with, because we had heard it a thousand times.
Mr. Springbutt wanted to share "How his company was now doing it", or a method he had learned that might improve the way the rest of us were doing our jobs.
Each time he'd raise his hand, I'd glance at my friend seated next to me, just in time to see him roll his eyes.
As hours droned on, the rolling of eyes began to be accompanied with a sigh.
There was no question, my buddy was beginning to be tired by Springbutt's interruptions...
The sooner we got outta here, the sooner we could have an icy-cold brewski in our hands!

But the information from the second row continued to be forthcoming. Springbutt was VERY impressed with himself. More eyes rolled. Sighs throughout the class started to be more audible.

At the break before the last hour of class my peer had had enough. When I saw him working his way toward Springbutt I followed along in his wake.
My buddy introduced himself to Springbutt with a smile and asked, "How much time ya got in your logbook?"

"1600 hours".

"My friend, I have more time in my log than that at night, in a 30 degree right bank, in a light mist with 1 mile visibility! Please, no more questions or suggestions."
I had difficulty stifling my guffaw.

Springbutt stayed seated the next hour.
And the cold beer tasted wonderful.