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Webcomic / Chicken Wings

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"The secret of running a successful charter operation? It's all about the staff, let me tell you! First you need a reliable pilot, with discernment, smart, well dressed and above all, capable. Then a mechanic that's quick, savvy, resourceful and a team-player. And last but not least, you need a dispatcher and assistant with great people skills, who's dependable and quick on the uptake. I know this all from first hand experience, of course. Because, believe me, I wish somebody would have told me the secret before I hired what I am stuck with now!"

Chicken Wings is a webcomic by aviation enthusiasts Michael and Stefan Strassers. It focuses on a small air company Roost Air staffed by anthropomorphic flightless birds. The central characters usually are Giftedly Bad overenthusiastic pilot Chuck and the mechanic Julio, who ends up cleaning the mess. The third employee is a secretary Sally, who ends up doing dispatcher job despite knowing nothing about aviation (or any machinery except coffee maker). The owner is woefully incompetent obese miser Hans. Other characters include clients clueless enough to deal with Roost Air and employees of neighboring (somewhat more efficient) air companies. Most strips are self-contained gags, but occasional storylines may last a few weeks.


Contains examples of:

  • Ace Pilot: Chuck. At least in his own mind.
  • Acquainted with Emergency Services:
    • No matter what situation Chuck's ineptitude has gotten him into this time, whoever he calls will immediately guess who is responsible for it.
    Any Air Traffic Controller: Chuck, is that you?
    • He also “participated” in Civil Air Patrol search and rescue missions.
  • The Alleged Airplane: Roost Air's Cessna C172 seems to spend a LOT of time in maintenance. Then again, this is probably due to Chuck's Piloting.
  • Always A Bigger Idiot: Chuck's student Jason is even more enthusiastic and obnoxious than Chuck is. Chuck is the only pilot who can stand him.
  • All Just a Dream: This day was just too good to be true.
  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: Chuck and Julio are bored and get an opportunity for some dangerous and irresponsible experiments. Guess what they do? Wrong, they are lazy.
  • Author Avatar: Chuck is Michael Strasser, Julio is Stefan Strasser as seen here and here. With a large dose of Self-Deprecation.
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  • Captain Crash: Chuck. While his crashes are never severe, he constantly makes terrible landings, runs the wingtip into the hangar door, collides with signs on taxiways, and makes other embarrassing mistakes that cause minor damage to Roost Air's trusty C172 that Julio has to fix.
  • Duck!: Poor Ray should have learned by now that the correct answer to "Duck!" isn't "Yes?" Especially in the Roost Air hangar.
  • Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal: The entire cast.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The Experimental Aircraft Association will let Chuck join as Director Of Recreational Kitplanes. They even made a shirt for him.
  • Furry Webcomic: Er... feathery, technically.
  • Informed Ability: Despite Chuck's... unique approach to piloting, he is apparently qualified to fly both multi-engine airplanes and helicopters, and he never actually fails his FAA examinations.
  • Myth Arc: Building a Corsairnote  probably qualifies. It started in the printed comic, predating the web strips. By the start of the web version in 2009 Chuck had a single piston (out of 18). As of mid-2013 he also has wheels, a canopy, a seat, a fuselage, a rusty toolset and 2 right wingsnote .
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: FAA tends to end up like that. Ditto OSHA.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Hans. Although he isn't evil, and obtained the company by unexpectedly inheriting it.
  • Punny Name: Roost Air.
  • Running Gag: Chuck has reached Phrase Catcher status through notoriety.
    (Chuck says or does something stupid)
    Radio: Chuck, is that you?
  • A Strip In The Limelight: Occasionally the focus shifts from the Roost Air staff to a peripheral character like Captain Ed, who usually appears only to contrast the small and large air carriers. This allows to set a strip outside Cessna range.
  • Tastes Like Chicken: Referenced here. Julio is impressed by Chuck's Halloween costume and tastes the fake blood, to find what he used to make it look so real. The blood tastes like chicken, because Chuck is one, and that's no costume, the injury is real.
  • Technobabble: Or just aviation slang. Or technical terms. Or abbreviations and acronyms. Neither Hans, nor Sally would understand anything. Chuck and Julio often (ab)use it, but it creates problems just as often.
  • Write What You Know: Currently Mike Strasser is a fire helicopter pilot. Much in the strips relates his experience in previous aviation jobs.


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