Home » Best Of » 1st ride in a small plane – AWESOME reaction – This is also my “Most IMPORTANT Passenger”!

1st ride in a small plane – AWESOME reaction – This is also my “Most IMPORTANT Passenger”!

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Beautiful sunset flight over Toronto – and a great reaction from a lovely lady!

We’re in a 172SP flying out of Toronto City center airport (CYTZ)

I’ve been a pilot for over 15 years, and have been with this girl for nearly 10, yet I’d never taken her flying.
There are several complicated reasons.
I wasn’t current when I met her, and then when the relationship got serious we bought a house and got married and such.
Before I knew it over 3 years had gone by and I hadn’t been flying!
Then we had a baby. Jill is incredibly supportive, and realized I was feeling sad about my flying muscles atrophying.
I managed to get a pile of re-currency training done during the “baby year”.
I was keen to get Jill flying with me, she’d put it in my head that we’d be risking orphaning the little one.
So, we got wills in place (had to do it anyway)
And then as I was kind of tripped out about the whole orphaning thing, I still put off flying with her for a couple years.

In all seriousness, I still think flying is safer than jumping on the high way with all the other unsafe drivers right beside you, with your life in THEIR hands…
However, with flying, you’ve got your life (and that of your passengers) in your OWN hands; so it is not as much about an external force biting you (assuming you did your homework in terms of checking the Wx and the plane).

Anyway – tonight was the night – her birthday is coming up, she had just completed her first triathlon and we were due for a date.
And the kid is 4 now, I’m sure she’d manage on her own 😛
(EEEESH – it is hard to even make that joke! I take it back 😉

The conditions definitely remained ideal tonight, so it was a GO!

We took off about 30 mins after sunset, so it was “official night”,
but still magical in the sky with the last remnants of the sun set painting the sky in pastel purple and pink.

Jill loved it and was emotional as we climbed out and the city lights came into view.


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I’m a Private Pilot, doing my best to stay current and learn. I fly for fun and might just be the least cocky pilot on the internet! My self analysis videos can seem self deprecating at times, but I am trying to learn from the small mistakes to avoid making a big one; I’m happy to share and find it rewarding to help other pilots or aspiring aviators in any way that I can. How does the saying go? “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards”. And in aviation, not all tests are survivable.

My virtual “ride-along” flying videos are aimed and sharing my experiences and giving back to the aviation community which has been so helpful to me. I shoot multi-camera angles, get detailed real time instrument panel shots, and have radio intercom audio. I respect people’s time, so I put a fair bit of work into editing to keep the videos concise and engaging; I add animations and further graphics and voice overs where needed to add context and explanations.

My hope is to continue to grow and evolve the “Flight Chops” project with input and support from the aviation community!

Steve Thorne, aka "Flight Chops"

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Flight Chops Disclaimer

I am a “weekend warrior” private pilot, I fly for fun with no intentions of going commercial. I have had my PPL for over 15 years, but still consider each flight a learning experience – I generally take detailed notes after each flight to remind myself what went well or what I could do to improve…. Having the GoPro cameras to record flights like this is invaluable. I find these self analysis videos very helpful in my constant quest to improve, and am happy to share.

Feedback is invited; however, please keep it positive.

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