In person, he’s surely taller and more animated.
Since March, the tiny toy has become the alter-ego of a London-based pilot – a first officer in his mid-20s – who for now won’t share his real name and the name of the airline he works for, but via email was willing to share some details about his real life and the adventures of the Lego figure he’s been photographing at work and play in, so far, more than 20 cities around the world.
The real pilot told me that about two years ago, he was a given a Lego plane set with a Lego pilot as a joke present from his parents when he got his first commercial airline pilot job. “The pilot was to be like a lucky charm in my flight case,” he said.
That original Lego pilot got lost, but once the Lego Pilot photography project was hatched, the real pilot purchased a new figure.
“I guess he does resemble me. A happy coincidence when building the Lego mini-figure in the Lego Store,” he said.
Finding locations for the Lego Pilot to have his picture taken hasn’t been a problem, but there have been strange looks and some challenges in setting up scenes, “especially outside, the wind tends to knock him over,” said the pilot. “Also I do get worried about losing him.”
The pilot said he hasn’t heard from the Lego company’s lawyers yet, but he has posted a disclaimer on his site alerting fans that the project is not an official Lego project. He’s also being very careful about not revealing his identity to honor his company’s rules about social media.
“If the airline doesn’t like [the project] I could face disciplinary action and that would bring an end to the Lego Pilot,” he said. “I have worked very hard to get where I am and I do not want to lose my job. But at the same time, this project is fun and my new hobby gives the world a little bit of an insight into a pilot’s life.”
(All photos courtesy of the Lego Pilot)