Are you thinking of becoming a contributor for This is Flight? We can’t wait to see your application. However, before you do, it’s very important that you read the following page and agree to our Contributors’ Guidelines.
On this page, you will find:
- What we’re looking for
- Style guide for written submissions
- Contributors’ Guidelines Part 1: Your conduct
- Contributors’ Guidelines Part 2: Our conduct
- How to apply
WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR
We try never to publish anything unless it is of the highest quality, and meets one of our existing formats. These are:
- AIRSHOW REVIEWS: A critical analysis of public airshows, including detailed descriptions of the air displays and insightful, perceptive feedback on the event as a whole (such as the showground layout, crowd and traffic management, and value for money). The goal is to help readers to imagine what a specific airshow/performer was like, and help them to decide whether they would like to go to that show or chase down that performer in future. Reviews are typically between 1,000 and 2,000 words, and must be accompanied by at least 20 images, featuring most of the aircraft that took part in the flying displays. They should be detailed and useful; assume that your reader is very familiar with airshows. They should be left with a vivid picture of what the show was like, from the showground queues and catering through to the quality and individual manoeuvres of the rarest flying display participants, and they should have a clear indication of how it compares to other airshows globally. Think of it like a film review: remember that you are reviewing the event, not giving factual information on the aircraft or pilots.
EXAMPLE 1 | EXAMPLE 2 | EXAMPLE 3
- FEATURE ARTICLES: Lengthy, magazine-style articles which should tell an original story, usually through original first-hand reporting and interviews. These are usually around 2,000-3,000 words. If the subject matter permits, the reporter should be able to provide images. We also accept event guides to particularly large, interesting and complex airshows (ask for a seperate set of requirements for these).
EXAMPLE 1 | EXAMPLE 2
- AIRSHOW DISPATCHES EPISODES: Raw video footage for our popular Airshow Dispatches series. Footage should be sufficient to produce at a documentary of at least 30 minutes in our usual format (ideally 60 minutes), featuring all of the flying display aircraft at any given event. This programme will be edited centrally.
EXAMPLE 1 | EXAMPLE 2
In all cases, it is your responsibility to find opportunities and travel to them, at your own expense. In return, we will provide support you in obtaining improved access beyond what the general public can obtain. Therefore, it is essential that your primary motivation is to get close to aircraft and share your passion; this is not a paid job.
As is probably obvious from the above list, we’re very unlikely to accept applications from writers who are not also photographers, and vice-versa. It goes without saying that the quality of your photography or videos must be excellent (we would not accept images showing frozen propellers, for example), a detailed knowledge of the global airshow industry is essential and you must be able to write fluently in English to a very high standard, with interesting and detailed descriptions, precise and insightful vocabulary, good grammar and varied sentence structure.
STYLE GUIDE FOR WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS
This is a non-exhaustive style guide, intended to give a brief overview of the format and tone we prefer for written submissions.
- Contributors should use US English for reports from North America and British/International English in all other cases.
- Acronyms and anacronyms should be displayed in block capitals without stops (eg. “TIF”, not “T.I.F.” or “Tif”). Abbreviations should be followed by stops (eg. “Flt. Lt.”, not “Flt Lt”).
- Numbers up to twelve should be written in full. Numbers 13 and higher should be written in Arabic numerals. Aircraft marks should generally be written in Roman numerals whenever the manufacturer chose to do so (eg. Spitfire Mk.XVIe).
- Altitude should be given in feet only. In the case of reports from North America, all other measurements should be given in their Imperial form, with a Metric conversion in brackets. In all other cases, only Metric must be used.
- Double quotation marks for direct speech (“…”) should be used at all times, unless showing speech within headlines/titles, or recounted speech within speech, when single quotation marks (‘…’) should be used. Aircraft names must use double quotation marks (eg. P-51D Mustang “Miss Helen”).
- Aircraft types, on first usage, should generally follow one of the following formats:
- Type designator, type name, airframe name (eg. P-51D Mustang “Miss Helen”)
- Type name, mark, unique airframe identifier (eg. Spitfire LF.IXe MH350)
- Manufacturer, type designator, type name (eg. North American P-51D Mustang)
- Military operator, type designator, type name (eg. US Air Force C-130E Hercules)
- Military operator, type name, mark (eg. Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR.4)
- In-service military aircraft should always specify mark/model. Never refer simply to an “Apache”, “Typhoon” or “C-130”, for example.
- Dates should generally be written in long hand in the format day-date-month-year or date-month-year with no superscript.
- Use an appropriate tone – usually past tense and reasonably formal, without being stuffy. Use complex, active sentences. Avoid using exclamation marks.
- Humour, sarcasm and irony is acceptable (and, indeed, encouraged) in moderation.
- The reporter must allow for some reasonable changes to be made by the editor.
CONTRIBUTORS’ GUIDELINES PART 1: CONTRIBUTORS’ CONDUCT
- Contributors should not expect to be paid or to have expenses covered for any contributions to This is Flight.
- This is Flight usually expects airshow reviews to be submitted within ten days of an event having taken place whenever reasonable. However, there is no obligation to provide material unless the contributor used a media pass supported by, or provided by, this website.
- When a media pass has been obtained, either supported or provided by this website, reporters must avoid cancelling their participation to avoid reputational damage to This is Flight. Both us and the event organiser must be notified immediately if cancellation is necessary.
- When a contributor is conducting activity for This is Flight (including if you are using a media pass made in our name), we accept no responsibility for any loss or damage caused as a result of your attendence or activity. Contributors conduct themselves entirely at their own risk at all times.
- Photographs sent to This is Flight must not be watermarked. A This is Flight watermark will be applied by us. However, they remain the photographer’s own property and the photographer may use them elsewhere as they wish.
- We would expect to retain all material submitted to This is Flight in our archives, for future use on our website, YouTube channel and/or social media pages*.
- Reporters must expect and allow for the editor to make reasonable changes to their work. The editor’s decision is final and works that do not meet the desired quality, content or format may be declined.
- Contributors are not employed by This is Flight, and cannot claim to represent it unless permission has explicitly been given by the editor.
* For example, this could include the use of video clips in highlights videos or documentaries and the use of photographs in website headers, Facebook posts, articles and This is Flight promotional material.
You MUST explicitly state that you agree to the Contributors’ Guidelines, as written here, before your first work is published on This is Flight. If you are not satisfied by the terms as written, new terms may be negotiated on a one-on-one basis.
CONTRIBUTORS’ GUIDELINES PART 2: OUR CONDUCT
- This is Flight does not own any work you contribute. All work submitted remains the property of the creator and they can use their work as and when they like, including for other websites.
- We will never take money for contributors’ work, nor give permission for others to use it without prior expressed permission from the copyright holder. If we receive a request to use or purchase material, it will be forwarded directly to the contributor.
- Articles and full-size images will be credited as far as reasonably possible, in accordance with our usual formats. This includes: stating author names above airshow reviews/features, stating camera operator names in video credits or YouTube descriptions, and stating photographer names via a digital watermark (unless images are cropped for the purpose of montages, headers or other digital artworks).
- This is Flight will assist in obtaining media accreditation for regular contributors when possible*.
- Individual work will be removed from our website, usually within 48 hours, upon request from the contributor, should they decide to cease contributing to This is Flight**.
* Approving accreditation requests is the responsibility of third parties. This website will only support requests from proven contributors with a good track record. We cannot promise that applications will be successful.
** Work produced in collaboration with other reporters will not generally be removed. Social media posts and YouTube videos will also not generally be removed.
HOW TO APPLY
If you’d like to contribute, please email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org, remembering to give examples of your work. It’s also helpful to know a little more about you, such as where you are based, roughly how many airshows you attend each year, and how far you travel to do so. A history of attending major airshows in multiple different countries every year is highly desirable.
If you are applying as a writer/photographer: Please send us a sample airshow review of at least 500 words in a style similar to the ones published on This is Flight. Your review should demonstrate a high standard of written English and should offer genuinely useful, honest, critical analysis of the show in question. The event you choose to review should have occured in the last two years. Please accompany your review with images. As a forewarning, sending us two or three of your best ever photos is not especially useful; we would ideally like to see around ten images taken by you at the event you are reviewing, including a mix of high-speed jets and low speed prop-driven aircraft if possible (to demonstrate a wide breadth to your abilities). This should be as an email attachment or WeTransfer download link.
If you are applying as a videographer: Please send us an uncut video of a single air display performance with a run time of at least five minutes; a fast jet solo display or powerful solo warbird would be preferable. This can be as a WeTransfer download link, or as a link to an unlisted or public YouTube video. The video must have been recorded in Ultra High Definition. You must not apply any digital stabilisation.