Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

Pilot Stripes & Pineapple Rings?

Fri Mar 21, 2003 3:02 am

Hi guys.

I have a question about the pilot's uniforms in the photos below.

Both the Captain and First Officer's shoulder flashes have the usual stripes, however, they also have a gold circle as well. I'm just curious as to what the gold circle stands for?

Does it have something to do with rank, qualifications or ratings? I've seen it on both Delsey Airlines and VG Airlines flight crew's shoulders so far. Are there other airlines that use this emblem too? I've never seen this type of "pilot stripes" before (it looks like a ring of Pineapple!).

Here's a good view of them.


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Photo © Joe Pries



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Photo © Joe Pries



Chris  Smile




"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Pilot Stripes & Pineapple Rings?

Fri Mar 21, 2003 3:19 am

Just my 2 cents worth, but I think it's just a difference in style, perhaps relating to nautical origins where there were more than just two ranks. I mean, with, say, 10 or 15 different navy ranks, there's only so much you can do with stripes alone, and other shapes or schemes have to be used in combination with the stripes. (Can you imagine a 15-striper?)

One place you will often see a difference in uniform ornamentation is in the pilot wings, specifically, captain's wings. Most will have just have plain wings, but a few others will have the same wings but with a star within a circle in the middle of the two wings. Those represent that captain as a check airman.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: Pilot Stripes & Pineapple Rings?

Fri Mar 21, 2003 3:45 am

Hello OPNLguy.

Yes Sir, a 15-striper would sure look interesting. That many stripes would stretch down to the pilot's elbow!  Wow!

Perhaps it's just a different style, as you mentioned. If that's the case, more than one airline is using it.

Maybe it has to do with the type of aircraft the pilots are rated for. In both of the photos I posted, the pilots are flying an A330.

I'm just curious.


Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
A330
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Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 12:31 am

RE: Pilot Stripes & Pineapple Rings?

Fri Mar 21, 2003 8:03 am

The "pineapple" ring is in fact called a Nelson Curl and comes from the Navy tradition.
It means that the person who wears it is a Navigation officer, so a pilot in aviation, bridge officer in the maritime world.
All Belgian (exept TC), French and Tunesian airlines have this tradition by the way.

Oh and one more thing: Delsey was the same as VG-airlines...

Greetings from too near Bagdad...

A330
Shiek!
 
Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: Pilot Stripes & Pineapple Rings?

Tue Mar 25, 2003 6:05 am

Hello A330.

Thank You, for your info about the Nelson Curl. That's a nice little piece of history.

During the past weekend, I was watching "Saturday Night Live" (a comedy show), and there was a funny skit where a bunch of guys were stranded in the middle of an ocean in a lifeboat. There was only one officer among them, and his uniform had the Nelson Curl with his stripes on both his shoulders and the bottom of his sleeves.

I thought that was neat to see, especially after posting this question.

Take Care,


Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"