At the 2014 SAFECON competition kick-off Monday, the prestigious ground events room and its vicinity revealed some shocking fashion statements, some of which were acceptable, while others should have never left the FBO. It has become blatantly obvious that pilots have a very unique skill-set, strictly limited to flying aircraft, and therefore simply have no sense of what is right or wrong with their outward appearance. To counteract this most-unfortunate shortfall, we have compiled a list of fashion dos and don’ts for competitors to comply with during the remainder of SAFECON 2014.
1.) Fanny Pack, featuring Princess Sticker: DON’T
In the past, ‘fanny pack’ may have been the first thing you put on your annual SAFECON packing list. You hunted one down on the shelf at Walmart and perhaps even decorated it with a lovely princess sticker. “There is no better way to keep all my pens, pencils, highlighters, expo markers, and fold-up plotters together for the triple-threat ground events!” you once thought. Well, NOT ANYMORE. Grab a rubber band, slide them in your E6-B case, or even hold them in your dependable, airplane-flying hands; it’s your choice. All of the above will work splendidly, and you will not have excess baggage haphazardly strapped on, deterring from the supreme coolness of your embroidered polo during competition.
2.) Bedazzled Belts: DON’T
Belts can be boring, we get it. But please keep them that way.
3.) Teams Matching Other Teams: DON’T
“See and avoid” should be your motto after observing what other teams have come up with for their competition attire. It will be beneficial to you and your teammates to be easily distinguished from other teams. In other words, don’t be like Mankato. This team is back at SAFECON for the 3rd year in a row, and have not learned a thing. They still show up to practice week wearing golden-yellow t-shirts that are virtually identical to Daytona’s, and during competition week, out come the purple polos and black pants, eerily similar to K-State’s uniforms.
“I was practically scarred for life when I almost sat down by the wrong team at breakfast one morning.” said a Mankato competitor. “Daytona stays at the same hotel as us, and with everyone wearing the same yellow shirts, it’s a living nightmare. I don’t have a problem sitting by other teams, but in the morning? You just don’t know who is a morning person, and who isn’t…horrifying thought.”
Another Mankato native boarded a Daytona van one fateful morning, and didn’t even realize the coach was not Mankato’s until several minutes had passed, and the van had become filled with Daytona’s team.
Don’t allow yourself to be thrown into these disturbing situations. Get your own uniforms.
4.) Giant Watches and Aviators: DO
If there’s one thing every person at this competition knows how to do, it is fly airplanes. And everyone knows that it is impossible to do so without aviator sunglasses and a humongous watch, possibly even equipped with stealth E6-B capabilities. Keep up the good work, men! (And all 6 of you ladies too.)
Fashion is an icy runway, and if NIFA SAFECON apparel has taught me anything, it’s that embroidered polos are definitely around to stay.
~ Penelope Yak-Kamov, field reporter
Madame Katrina Storm, consultant