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Flight Chops at the 2020 Montebello Winter Fly-In, Hosted by COPA

Steve has just returned from Montebello Quebec where the 29th annual winter fly-in was being held at the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello hotel, which is considered the largest log cabin in the world.

Steve was both a participant and keynote speaker at the Saturday evening gala. This was a challenging event due to a major snow/rain system that came in later in the day; however, some amazing flying got done in the morning, including filming a Flight Chops episode about flying the only (that we know of) Van’s Aircraft RV-8 on skis.

The Thorne girls got up to some winter wonderland activities while Steve was geeking out with the pilots!

Excerpts from the FLYING Magazine article about the weekend:

“The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA)-sponsored event this year was held on January 24 to 26, and reports back show another successful gathering, with a short window of weather and temps cold enough for a good landing surface on the frozen Ottawa River—but not so bitter as to require extra pre-heating.


A cadre of aviation experts shared their experiences with the group, with a series of talks during the day on Saturday, and a fireside social later in the evening. One presentation, given in English and again in French, was on transitioning between different types of aircraft, while another one covered aviation medicine.

And one featured Steve Thorne, who started with a Q&A to the group, asking the pilots “What does ‘being current’ mean?” Is it 1 or 2 hours a month? From that point, Thorne transitioned into asking what was the debrief, if any, for those flights last flown? There’s value for that debrief in general aviation—Thorne said that’s what Flight Chops is all about: showing the learning moment within any given flight.”

The Next Winter Fly-In

The Montebello Fly-in is always the last week-end of January, so that falls on January 29 to 31 in 2021 – mark your calendars!

Visit their website here.


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The Finer Points

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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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