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Total Electrical Failure at NIGHT – Low time pilot – POV Flying

This pilot’s abilities are tested as he faces a serious situation trying to land at night with an electrical failure.
Watch in HD – Cessna 172

General note regarding Electrical Failures:

Most airplanes are designed in such a way that all major systems (such as primary flight controls and engine(s) will continue to function fine in the event of an electrical failure.
In fact, many airplanes that do not need to operate near controlled airspace, do not have electrical systems at all.
However, things like radios, lights, transponders, electronic flaps, and so on, are obviously going to be unavailable in the event of an electrical failure, so it is a serious if not dire situation – especially at night.

As for the specifics of this situation, I got the following additional info from Steven:
There was a dead cell in the battery that obviously caused some sort of electrical short when the load became too great. Pretty sure they just replaced the battery and the system was fine.

EDIT: There is a great comment thread on reddit about this, and it links back to an older thread discussing the raw footage.
– most questions that come up have been answered in one the threads:

Thanks to Steven Martinet for sharing this footage and being willing to be “Flight Chopped” 🙂
More of his flying videos can be found here:


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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.

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Steve Thorne, aka "Flight Chops"

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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.

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