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Skywriter Do you love to fly but hate the thought of joining the military or living the life of a perennially jet-lagged long-haul commercial pilot? If you’re looking for a sign about which career to pursue, then look to the heavens because skywriting might just be for you. From advertising brands of ice cream to emblazoning marriage proposals, skywriters all over the world take to the skies to bring messages to the masses. Hitting the scene in England back in the 1920s, skywriting was reportedly invented by a World War One veteran who recruited ex-pilots and taught them the art of flying planes not for dropping bombs, but to write messages in the sky for paying advertisers. The ideal job for a pilot who doesn’t want to commit to being in the military or being overseas for long periods of time, skywriters tend to work in one city, only working during the day (because no one has invented glow-in-the-dark skywriting vapours yet). Yes, skywriters have the best of both worlds in that they get to experience the thrill of flying regularly, but can go home to their own beds each and every night, jet-lag free. Most skywriters tend to run their own businesses so, apart from having the ability to operate an aircraft and the technical knowhow to use a small airplane to form letters and words in the sky, skywriters need to have the business acumen required to run a forprofit enterprise. A commitment to safety is also essential, as is the ability to adhere to aviation and environmental regulations. Once all the above is covered, the fun stuff can happen. Soaring up into the sky to make shapes with vapour pouring out of the plane, skywriters write messages with an unbelievable amount of precision and accuracy. Writing a message upside down and backto-front thousands of metres off the ground requires a steady hand,

calm outlook and a commitment to quality. Cutting corners just won’t work in this profession. In fact, cutting corners could result in a fatal accident, so only the most responsible and diligent of people can take on this type of role. Running a skywriting business isn’t a walk in the park considering how niche the industry is, but with large companies usually possessing huge budgets for advertising, skywriters can grab a piece of the pie if they’re able to market themselves well. Sure, television, radio, print and online advertising may have scuttled the golden age of skywriting, but the novelty factor of trying to guess what the word or message will be, still captivates onlookers below almost a hundred years after the art of skywriting appeared. Many people might be perplexed by the life of a skywriter, but the best part surely has to be having the ability to take to the skies and write messages seen by thousands – perhaps even smack downs to people who laugh at your career choice?

The lowdown

Education or qualifications: Must have a licence to operate an aircraft. Experience required: Experience flying small aircraft is essential. Training: Most skywriters learn the trade in an apprenticeship environment. As a very specific process, there are no official training courses to attend. Restrictions: People with some medical conditions are restricted from flying aircraft.

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I can get paid for that?  

NOTE: This e-gallery is for press purposes only. No images or other copyrighted materials seen here may be reproduced. Contact patrick@smi...

I can get paid for that?  

NOTE: This e-gallery is for press purposes only. No images or other copyrighted materials seen here may be reproduced. Contact patrick@smi...