FlightChops in 2017 and the evolution of YouTube channels

One of the things on my bucket list, is my PPL – that is private pilots license.    Well, between Rally, and other hobbies, I have neither time – nor funds.    Like my other hobbies, I may need to take some time away from them to get this done.   My friend Steve is really inspiring me.    Making it worse was thanks to Spectrum Aviation, I was able to get a rare ride in the same Boeing Stearman made famous by Steve in many Flight Chops videos.     Nothing will get you addicted to wanting your PAL like an open cockpit flying almost upside down.


Photo Courtesy of Flight Chops

Until then I have been vicariously living through my friend Steve Thorne @flightchops from Flight Chops.   As a professional in the video media business, Steve started a great channel a few years ago over on YouTube, filming some of his flights so he could review what he did wrong – so he could get it right.   The big bonus was with Steve’s professional capabilities he could actually put some professional production value to his channel so things quickly took off.     Once the channel got serious, Steve made this quick video to show more of what was to come – and wow was it great.

It helps that Steve is super humble guy and has no fear of sharing, even entire videos of him screwing up landings over and over, or not being able to figure out IFR (he keeps saying he will get his IFR rating, but we are all still waiting Steve!).  Here is the 2017 preview.

Where is this all going?   Steve is proving in a manner similar to the likes of, Stevo1Kinevo, Live From the Flight Deck,  MrAviation101 and MZeroA that you can actually (almost) make a living on YouTube and while the content is focused on the aviation community, getting mass appeal like someone like Casey Neistat would be difficult when focused on a topic like Aviation. Steve is still proving that with sponsorship and Patreon (yes, I am a patron) that getting enough revenue to make this a real “job” is attainable, and while he is not quite there yet, the time might be soon.   The bigger things get, the most they cost, with full production budgets going into the channel now, air to air camera work, travel, extra camera crews (Brock does get himself into some interesting places!)

Justin’s Opinion

The bottom line is – YouTube is changing content creation in a big way, and to quote a talk from Kevin Spacey at Cisco Live! – “If you give people content they want, the way they want it at a price they are willing to pay, people would rather pay for it rather than steal it”.    Content creators are finding ways to make a living online without the big studios, with smaller budgets and niche producers, like Steve and FlightChops are able to finally spread their wings (pun totally intended) and create the show they really want to, and I am super happy for him, not just because he is creating amazing content, but because he is also able to realize his dream of doing what he wants to do every day.   Even if you want to build a channel about a unique topic, you can build content on YouTube and attain revenue, something that topics with less universal appeal could not do easily before.

To help out Steve and FlightChops, subscribe to his YouTube channel, check him out on Patreon if you wish to help the project and of course his sponsors are always worth a look.



Bose Aviation

iCloth Avionics:

Scheyden Precision Eyewear


The Finer Points of Flying – Jason Miller:

Spectrum Airways Flight Training:

And thanks to PIVOT case!

Nonin Medical, Inc.








Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s