While I’ve always maintained that physical ability — better known as stick-and-rudder skill — should take a back seat to “judgement” when determining where a pilot is worth his or her salt, there’s no denying that some of us are aviators while others are simply airplane drivers.
That’s not to denigrate those who pilot simple aircraft, aren’t instrument rated, or don’t get into the air that often. On the contrary, I’ve witnessed truly artful flying from low-time pilots who didn’t have two nickels to rub together and were as far away from, say, formation aerobatics as you could get.
But it’s hard to argue with beauty and skill demonstrated by groups like Team Aerodynamix. Check out this video, for instance. Not only are they zipping around in formation, but they’re performing formation aerobatics, at night, in exceptionally large groups, in airplanes that they built with their own hands. I don’t care where you’re from — that’s impressive.