Choosing the right medium for a message is important. Trying to explain complex concepts and information is a science in itself. Mix both intentions and you have a real challenge on your hands.
In 2018, EASA set out to do just that.
Dominique Roland, then Head of General Aviation (which is aviation for private transport including sports) and an aerobatic pilot himself, had an inspiration for a way to share information with stakeholders in an easy-to-understand visual way. He assembled a team to develop a cartoon concept.
During the AERO exhibition in 2018, EASA introduced the cartoon titled ‘Sunny Swift – Flight Instructor’.
Who is Sunny Swift?
Sunny Swift is an intrepid 32-year old pilot, who has already found herself in a number of tricky flight situations. She has the vocation to teach as an instructor.
She takes safety very seriously, and encourages students to stop for a moment, reflect and learn about important safety issues.
Sunny is very knowledgeable, but even she makes mistakes from time to time and her main objective is to present the key aspects of an issue and to trigger a discussion among pilots, both rookies and experienced flyers.
Over 30 issues published so far
Since the launch, over 30 issues of the cartoon have been published and translated into EU languages.
All work is done at EASA, with two colleagues making use of their artistic skills to draw the cartoon pictures. Translations to up to 24 EU languages are also done in-house at EASA, with the help of staff who undertake this task voluntarily, alongside their other work.
Take a look at the issues we published in 2021 so far (click on each image to get to the issue):
What topics are addressed?
EASA listens carefully to the needs of the General Aviation community and responds to recurrent accidents and incidents as well as suggestions received for new topics that could be addressed by Sunny Swift.
In addition to suggestions coming from the community, EASA staff look at the European Plan for Aviation Safety (EPAS) for pointers to establish where additional explanations or easy to understand guidance should be given.
In a cartoon format, stories have to be concise, but at the end of each chapter there is a “Related Content” section with links to more information and references, for those who wish to go deeper and learn more.
If you are interested in General Aviation, and would like to exchange practical information with other pilots and EASA, have a look at our General Aviation Community site and see first-hand what is discussed in the online forum.