Style Guide

This style guide is neither exhaustive nor definitive. Please follow its instruction where possible, but at times personal discretion must be used. The editor’s judgement is final.

Acronyms:
– Acronyms should be displayed in block capitals, with no periods (eg. “NATO”, “RAF”). On the first use of such acronyms, a longhand transcription should be provided in brackets (eg. “ACC (Air Combat Command)”). The sole exceptions to this rule are: USAF, RAF, NATO, FAA and CAA.

Aircraft designations:
– Aircraft names upon their first mention should be in the format manufactuerer-name-model (eg. “Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IV”), manufacturer-designation-model (“Lockheed Martin F-16C”) or designation-model-name (“F-35B Lightning”). For subsiquent mentions within the same paragraph, either the designation, designation and model or name should be used.

Dates:
– Dates within articles should be written in longhand in the format day-date-month or date-month-year with no superscript (eg. “Monday 23rd September” or “10th May 2016”).
– In the case of calendars or schedules, dates should use only the first three letters of the month, with no ordinal indicators, in the format month-date (eg. “Jun 3-4”). Each one should be bullet-pointed and on a separate line.

English dialects:
– British English is to be used on all general pages of the site, and any articles written in or aimed at general audiences. Articles written in the United States for a predominantly American audience are permitted to instead use US English.

Exclamation marks:
– These should be avoided except in rare occasions where they are clearly appropriate.

Images & video:
– All images and video should be entirely under the copyright of the author and should not be watermarked. A personalised This is Flight watermark will be applied.
– A certain level of photo editing is expected before submission. The editor does not expect to be involved in editing individual images.
– Under 16s should not be appear identifiably as the subject of any image without parental consent.

Legal points:
– All text must be the reporter’s original work. Copying from any source is not acceptable, with the exception of brief, clearly referenced passages where necessary.
– In the case of an ongoing legal proceeding or investigation, guilt or innocence should not be assumed or implied.
– Under 16s should not be identified without parental consent.
– In the event of an accident, victims should not be named unless their identities have been released by the authorities. However, aircraft type, operator, registration and location may be mentioned.
– Under no circumstances should libelous or false content be submitted.
– Due respect should be given to the copyright regulations of individual performers and events.

Measurements:
– Measurements and scientific readings should always be written in numerals, even if they are below the number eleven.
– When denoting horizontal distance, either inches, metres, miles or kilometres may be used. A conversion will be made between an appropriate metric and imperial measurement.
– When measuring altitude, feet should always be used. Feet are the standard measurement of altitude worldwide. No conversion will be provided.
– Degrees Centigrade should be used in all cases. For US articles, a conversion to Fahrenheit will be provided.
– Units should always be displayed, and always in shorthand (eg. “50km”, “300ft”)

Names:
– Upon the first mention of an individual, both first name and surname should be used. Only the surname should be used thereafter, except on occasion if the reporter is aiming for a colloquial and informal tone, in which case only the first name may be used.

Numerals and numbers:
– In body text, numbers up to eleven should be written in longhand, and the numbers 12 and higher should be written in numerals. Measurements, currency and statistics should always be written in numerals.
– Numbers with over three digits should generally be rounded to three significant figures. Before a decimal point, numbers should be broken with a comma every three numerals.
– For the numbers one million and higher, number names may be used (eg. “one million”, “130 billion”). For currency, they should be abbreviated (eg. “$1.5m”, “$130bn”, “$15tn”). Abbreviated currency should be accurate to two significant figures.

Plural vs. singular:
– Aerobatic teams and organisations are generally considered to be plural when named (eg. “the Red Arrows are…”, “the US Air Force are…”). However, when a non-specific noun is used, an organisation is usually written about in singular (eg. “the aerobatic team is…”, “the air force is…”).

Ranks, honours and titles:
– The first letter of each component of an Armed Forces rank should be capitalised, with the following letters in lower case. Each component should be followed by a period (eg. “Lt. Col. Chris Smith”).
– Honours should be used upon the first mention of an individual’s name, and omitted thereafter. They follow the same guidelines as acronyms where applicable.
– Only official titles, such as Sir, should be included. These should be omitted after the first mention of an individual’s name.

Taste and decency:
– All text, images and videos submitted should be suitable for uncensored public consumption and should not cause offence to readers/viewers.
– Profanities should not be used – and should not need to be used – in any circumstances. Their use in a direct quote will be at the editor’s discretion.
– Controversial topics such as religion, culture and politics should be avoided. Such topics may only be touched upon briefly and in an uncontroversial manner if they are directly relevant to the topic and are handled with due respect and sensitivity.
– A political stance may only be taken if it is solely and directly related to airshows or aviation.

Tenses:
– Always use the past tense for airshow reviews/reports.
– Be careful not to switch between tenses at any time, especially when dealing with quotes.

Quotes:
– Always clearly introduce the source of a quote immediately, before or during the first quotation.
– Within articles, doubt quotation marks (“) should always be used. Single quotation marks (‘) should be used in titles and headlines.
– Punctuation should appear outside the end quotation mark in the case of a pull-out quote, and inside the end quotation mark in the case of a lengthier sentence.
– Ensure quotes are entirely accurate. Where meaning is unclear, additions or alterations can be made using [square brackets] only.
– Never use non-attributed quotes from films, songs, TV/radio programmes, books, other websites etc., or any form of copyrighted work.