Home » Best Of » Flying VFR into IMC – a top KILLER of pilots – My close call!

Flying VFR into IMC – a top KILLER of pilots – My close call!


POV – FLYING – Watch in HD!
This is by far the hardest flying video I’ve had to make.
It was a very difficult story to tell about a pivotal flight from my more than 15 years of VFR flying experience. Luckily I had 2 GoPros along for the ride.
I tried to tell the story in a thorough yet engaging way; thus, it was the most work I’ve put into editing one of these; (~20 hours!) so I hope you enjoy it!
I am sharing so that others can learn from my close call, and avoid falling into the trap of “get-home-itis”.

How did a safe and conscientious pilot such as myself get into this situation?
This “should have” been a routine flight, but the lesson here is that there is no such thing as a “routine flight”.
Many variables contributed to the chain of events that lead to this flight going the way it did.
I try to explore them all and share the lessons I learned in doing so.
Thankfully, the outcome was good.

This flight inspired me to finally start IFR training which I’d been considering doing for years.
I still plan to fly privately for fun, and don’t intend to do much “actual” IFR flying…
(I’ll do my best to maintain IFR currency and practice, but I won’t be shooting approaches to minimums on a regular basis).


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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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