For the last couple of years there has been an ill-conceived movement among some members of the Pprune community to close all or part of it to anyone other than professional air transport pilots. (Or something like that.) The former proprietors and, I believe, all or most of the moderators are against the idea - but the idea keeps bubbling up again. You really do have to have a deep misunderstanding of Pprune and the web to think it would be a good idea - but there you are. So today the mods are having a bit of fun with a spoof - and it worked beyond their wildest dreams.
Sadly Ozgrade 3 is going to take a while to live this down - but he's actually a bit of a hero for putting his head over the parapet. Guddunya mate!
There's a serious message there though - the spoof neatly illustrates the futility of the idea. The Pprune community, of which I'm proud to be a part, self-polices itself with great success.
Pprune, it need hardly be said, is an extraordinary phenomenon. I think it's no exaggeration to to say it's been one of the most important channels ever for educating the world about the reality of aviation.
Perhaps the single biggest irritant to the group favouring a closed community is speculation about what happened in accidents. As I mentioned in the previous post - there's a fine tradition of doing precisely that, going back to Wilbur Wright in 1909. Of course he was talking to Flight, there not being a Pprune at the time, for obvious reasons. I do rather think though that Wilbur would have been an avid Ppruner had he had the possibility. The difficulties of sharing knowledge with the rest of the aviation community must have been a major drag on the early development of the industry (for want of a better word). Of course, that's where we came in.
Incidentally, even as I've been writing this, Ozgrade 3 has been joined by OldChinaHand. God bless both of them.