AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 84

P&E 

EDUCATION

leap will be asking them to fly those scenarios in a sim. For training and proficiency
purposes, that would make each lesson so
realistic-especially for IFR flying. "
PilotWorkshops has already tested the
waters and had CFII and content producer
Ryan Koch work remotely via the internet
with an instrument student on a personal
computer elsewhere. The two did an entire
IFR training course online. Then Doug
Stewart, an FAA examiner, administered
an online IFR mock checkride, just as he
would have done in person.
" The student has done everything on
the simulator that he'll be required to do
on a real IFR checkride, " Robidoux said.
" And all of this has taken place before
the IFR student even gets in an airplane
with a CFII. I've got to think the rest of
his IFR training will go smoothly because
he already understands so much about the
IFR system already. "
PERSONAL JOURNEY

Thorne of FlightChops is a filmmaker
whose more than 230 videos offered free
on YouTube focus on his own aviation
learning. They show his not-always-pretty
transformation from low-time private pilot
in 2005 to multiengine, seaplane, aerobatic,
and tailwheel pilot today.
Thorne takes pains to point out that
he's not a flight instructor, and his videos highlight his own gritty and sustained
efforts to become a better pilot-including
candid assessments and documentation of
mistakes that can be helpful to fellow pilots
learning similar material.
" I started on this path by making the
kind of aviation videos I wanted to see, "
Thorne said. " There was no ad revenue
and no real plan at first. I had a day job
and made aviation videos on a home editing suite at night. "
Thorne learned to fly in the 1990s, then
set aviation aside for several years for the
normal reasons: marriage, starting a family,
a demanding career as a videographer mostly
making reality TV shows and music videos.
With his wife's encouragement, he
resumed flying in 2009 at the same time
that tiny point-of-view cameras and online
video sharing were changing the way people share information. Thorne started
84 | AOPA PILOT May 2021

recording his flights with a GoPro camera,
then reviewing the images alone in postflight debriefing sessions.
" On a sightseeing flight around
Toronto, I wondered why the air traffic
controller had seemed annoyed with me, "
he said. " It wasn't until the GoPro debrief
that I realized I had missed a few radio
calls because my passenger was talking at
the time. I learned from that experience
and that changed my passenger briefings
ever since. "
Thorne launched FlightChops in 2013
as a sideline to contract videography. The
advent of YouTube and online ads made
it possible for Thorne to get paid for aviation videos, and he jumped into it fulltime
in 2015.
" It was a real case of 'build it and they
will come,' " he said. " POV cameras made it
possible for me to record and share what I
was learning about flying-and I was genuinely surprised to find out there was an
audience for it. "
Thorne's video about a flight in Fifi, the
Commemorative Air Force B-29 bomber,
has more than 8 million views. Other videos chronicle his tailwheel training in
the Piper PA-18 Super Cub, multiengine,
seaplane, and instrument training, Coast
Guard swim training, and flights in vintage aircraft and warbirds.
Thorne, the grandson of a World War
II Spitfire pilot, also flies a North American
T-6/Harvard in Canada, and he's considering becoming a flight instructor.
To T h o r n e 's s u r p r i s e , m a n y
FlightChops viewers are professional
pilots, not the fellow hobbyists he expected
to attract.
But Thorne says his perspective as a
student of aviation won't change-and
he'll keep including his foibles, setbacks,
and the unexpected twists and turns that
take place in learning about new aspects
of aviation.
" I'm still the same guy I've always
been, " he said. " I'm a weekend warrior
who wants to become a better pilot,
and I'm a storyteller with the skills that
allow me to share what I'm learning
along the way. " 
AOPA
EMAIL dave.hirschman@aopa.org

AOPA RESOURCES
Check out our online
aviation content
The AOPA Air Safety Institute offers in-depth resources, podcasts, Accident Case
Studies and Real Pilot Stories, quizzes, and hundreds
of brief educational videos
that touch on a wide range
of safety and training topics.
airsafetyinstitute.org
AirSafetyInstitute

AOPA Live videos focus on
the fun, unusual, and emerging topics in the aviation community-as well as tips and
techniques for better flying.
aopalive.aopa.org

The Training & Safety section on aopa.org provides
a wealth of information for
pilots, including those who
dream of taking their passion
for aviation and making it
into a career.
aopa.org/training-and-safety

Flight Training's home page
points you to thousands of
articles designed to help you
earn your pilot certificate and
continue with lifelong learning. You can search Technique illustrations and How it
Works articles on a range of
training topics.
aopa.org/ft

As premier and supporting
partners, PilotWorkshops
and Sporty's Pilot Shop offer
some of their online training
content free to AOPA members. You also may recognize
AOPA staffers such as Dave
Hirschman, Tom Haines,
and Richard McSpadden as
expert panelists in PilotWorkshops productions.
aopa.org/pilotworkshops
aopa.org/sportys


http://www.airsafetyinstitute.org http://aopalive.aopa.org http://www.aopa.org http://www.aopa.org/training-and-safety http://www.aopa.org/ft http://www.aopa.org/pilotworkshops http://www.aopa.org/sportys

AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Intro
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Cover1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 4
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 5
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 6
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 7
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Cover4
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