Home » VFR » How do you Slow down a Rocket?! Intimidated Flying Solo in the FASTEST Plane I’ve Flown

How do you Slow down a Rocket?! Intimidated Flying Solo in the FASTEST Plane I’ve Flown

In this episode of Flight Chops, we’re again putting the new FlightChops #VansAircraft RV-14 through the paces, logging more break-in time on the Lycoming Thunderbolt engine. We use CloudAhoy’s precision scoring and the Tracklog Import features to import the day’s flight data from the Garmin panel. Dave and I score our take offs, traffic patterns, and try to manage and perfect our descent profile for #Landing at CYQG.

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The system works by auto-recognizing many VFR and IFR maneuvers. The updated landing scoring features in CloudAhoy are insanely detailed, to help debrief, analyse, and improve with a concentration on target airspeed, rate of descent, and centerline alignment. The system was able to significantly improve my score by looking at the speed at 50 feet AGL rather than over the threshold as it had done in the previous iteration. (This works for visual approaches ending with short and long field landings). The score for the same flight went from 63 before the update to 92 with the enhancements applied in the latest debrief. This was home base on a big runway with fairly easy conditions, so I’ve still got a lot of work to do to become proficient and efficient at managing energy in the #VansAircraft RV-14.


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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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