A short while ago I posted an article ( March 1st ) entitled " So what gets under your nose then ? ", which told the story of " a flying bridgemate ". The pilot in control unfortunately swept it right under the nose of a player who was never going to be amused by such theatre. These two characters had, as it turns out, a long history of encounters which often led onto complaints and counter-complaints about each other. Not surprisingly, the aeronautical demonstration was interpreted as a threatening and intimidating act, and consequently a formal complaint was lodged.
Well, the outcome of all this.....would you believe.....was the that pilot received a life ban from the club ! Despite the complete lack of evidence that the flight path was intended to commit an assault, it was regarded within the context of the kangaroo court as " offensive and aggressive " behaviour. However, the reality behind the flight path chosen ( a crucial piece of evidence that was never sought after or investigated ) was.... to show the keeper of the bridgemate that if others were to see the score, then the object in question needed to be moved into a more accessible position. Sadly, for the errant pilot, who had a habit of causing alarm by flying into all sorts of forbidden zones, this was going to be his last skirmish.
So my advice to all you budding pilots of the bridge world is as follows:
1. Never take control of a bridgemate if you are not the registered keeper
2. If you do feel compelled to move the bridgemate ( because the keeper insists on keeping it close to his/her chest ) then you must only move it across the surface of the table very slowly, gently turning it around for you or your partner to read the display
3. At no point must you lift the bridgemate off the table pretending that the object is an aircraft, which can swoop and dive as it arcs round the table for all to get a close up view
Because remember, should you fail to heed this advice, then not only will your pilot's licence be taken away from you, but you might end up being jet-tisoned from your club.