The "Royal We"

Jim K

Final Approach
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I did it again today. Actually I do it every time I fly, although I was more conscious of it than usual today. I was solo and referred to myself as "we" when speaking to ATC. I don't understand how I started doing it. Maybe it's primacy from learning the lingo while sitting next to an instructor?

It used to bother me, and I made an effort to stop doing it. Then I bought my plane and it struck me as appropriate to speak for both of us...me & her. Yes, I anthropomorphize my airplane. So I gave up and embraced the "royal we".

I think most pilots do it.... right? I'm not a weirdo? I also feel like we've had this discussion before, but "we" is too short to search.
 
Is that the singular “you” or the plural “you”?

The thread is about The "Royal We" and/or he may have a split personality (as in the Three Faces of Eve) so we can't answer that question ... ;)
 
In the very old days royalties were saying "we" with the implication being that they speak for themselves and for God. All you have to do is get a "God is my co-pilot" sticker and you're good to go.
 
I was on my long student solo cross country (Z98 MKG LAN GRR Z98) in a 152 and after I did my landing at MKG, I had the urge to go. I didn't know the where the FBO at Lansing really was and figured I could make it to Grand Rapids. I'm straight in for 26L and all is good. Thn tower gives me a 2 minute 360 so a jet can land on 35. I comply but now it's getting urgent. Lined back up, about a minute from touchdown and tower asks my destination on the field. Having no shame, I respond, "wherever the nearest bathroom is." Tower laughs on the air, and lets me know where.

And that's my "royal wee" story.
 
Huh - never thought about it. If it's just me, I say 'I'. Otherwise I'll use 'we'.
 
I did it again today. Actually I do it every time I fly, although I was more conscious of it than usual today. I was solo and referred to myself as "we" when speaking to ATC. I don't understand how I started doing it. Maybe it's primacy from learning the lingo while sitting next to an instructor?

It used to bother me, and I made an effort to stop doing it. Then I bought my plane and it struck me as appropriate to speak for both of us...me & her. Yes, I anthropomorphize my airplane. So I gave up and embraced the "royal we".

I think most pilots do it.... right? I'm not a weirdo? I also feel like we've had this discussion before, but "we" is too short to search.
I started a similar thread on the red board years ago about this very same topic. It’s quite interesting. I think because everyone else on the frequency is a we, it just becomes the de facto pronoun choice when communicating on the radio regardless of how many are onboard. And if there’s a question, as you mentioned, the anthropomorphic plane gets a vote too, so of course it’s “we”.

Related, do pilots of single seat fighters say “I”?
 
I started a similar thread on the red board years ago about this very same topic. It’s quite interesting. I think because everyone else on the frequency is a we, it just becomes the de facto pronoun choice when communicating on the radio regardless of how many are onboard. And if there’s a question, as you mentioned, the anthropomorphic plane gets a vote too, so of course it’s “we”.

Related, do pilots of single seat fighters say “I”?
Only if they can chase away all the voices in their head.
 
I say "we" a lot even outside the plane. I always thought it was a Midwestern thing.
 
I started a similar thread on the red board years ago about this very same topic. It’s quite interesting. I think because everyone else on the frequency is a we, it just becomes the de facto pronoun choice when communicating on the radio regardless of how many are onboard. And if there’s a question, as you mentioned, the anthropomorphic plane gets a vote too, so of course it’s “we”.

Related, do pilots of single seat fighters say “I”?
Been flying single-seat airplanes almost exclusively for almost 40 years, and don't use "we." Might be because of a lack of poetry in my soul, might be because I consider the airplane something I wear rather than ride in.

Richard Bach, in "Stranger to the Ground", doesn't use "we."

Ron Wanttaja
 
Just don't say it's because you have a split personality, or the FAA may get into your business.
 
I think we were talking about this a few days ago…
 
Per the AIM, “we” should only be used when flying royal Beech aircraft, like a Duchess or a Baron or a King Air.
Mitsubishi Marquise?
Cessna Chancellor?
Duke? I'd look good in a Duke....
 
I had one instructor that encouraged me to talk to the plane. Sometimes I still do when I get frustrated:

 
I’ve been saying “we” for decades. I don’t know where I picked it up, but probably from others on the radio.
 
So I gave up and embraced the "royal we".

I think most pilots do it.... right?
I’m not so sure, your majesty.
:princess:
50.gif
 
I always assumed it came from airline crews, who supposedly, both cockpit crew members agreed on a course of action.
 
In my 28 years as an aviator so far, only about 150 hours has it been just “I” in the aircraft. All other times, there’s a “we.” So yeah, I get it.
 
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