I met Chris through Instagram, yes I did! The potential to connect with other rad people through Social Media is almost limitless! I've found through our exchanges that Chris is high octane super sonic about his passion for flying. Good vibes coming from this aviator who shares interesting posts on two websites he manages, check them both out:
skydiverdriver.com and caravanpilots.blogspot.com
What I like about Chris and his sites is he has a genuine interest in learning and sharing in the excitement and love in what he does for his profession ~ flying! I find his posts educational, informative and entertaining. I respect, agree and like his attention to safety, all while enjoying what he loves to do, which is aviate.
Mr. LBC (he's from Long Beach, CA) has been living an adventurous high flying life. Even so, I get a sense he's a real down to earth guy. I look forward to meeting at an FBO one of these days! It is a small special aviation world, indeed!:-). Speaking of, I actually flew my very first in my life small aircraft flight in LBC! It was a R-22 with the doors off and I loved every moment!
Side note for Chris ~ Dude, no joke when I hear the Katy Perry song E.T. I think of the video I saw of you piloting the plane voodoo jumped out in his birthday suit, but that's a whole other story. The coolest part of the video was your razor focused, not jostled flying! A true professional. The average bear would have been Neanderthal jostled.:-)
So, without further delay I give you part of his story & some excellent pictures he shared! I hope you learn something new, his words spark some excitement or perhaps remind you of some great experiences! His answer to #1 shows me just how much one person can impact the exciting future of another... To introduce someone who may have never thought of this being a possibility and showing that it IS done! Awesome. :-) Actually, I enjoy all his answers because I learned more, especially places to add to my list to fly in person!:-)
Keep flying safe & enjoying your amazing adventures, Chris. I'll be reading your posts & checking out your pics!:-)
- Question 1: Tell me about how you fell in love with aviation - where & when was your first flight?
I started working for a man that would change my life forever. Cal Grotewold was an older gentleman that needed help around his large home and acreage. I did various chores such as painting, tree trimming and mowing his lawn with his sit down mower. On one of those days over on Silverette Avenue on one of my lunch breaks I was admiring all of his family photos that were lined on the mantle of his fireplace. I noticed that one of the many pictures was not of a person but of an airplane. "A picture of an airplane in amongst photos of his children?" I thought. An observation that would lead to a question and a life changing experience that I will never forget for the rest of my life.
My simple question was, "Cal, what's this picture of this airplane?", to which he answered, "Oh that's one of my other babies". I was instantly intrigued and asked him question after question! He told me that he owned that airplane and that it was in a hangar at the local airport and that he used it for business trips. After exhausting him with questions about airplanes and flying he finally asked me if I wanted to go flying with him, to which I excitedly said "YES!". He told me that he would be flying to San Jose California in a business trip in a few days and that I could be his "Co-pilot" if I would like, but I had to ask my mother if it was okay.
Well, after much convincing she agreed that I could go with him. I was so excited the night before the trip I didn't sleep much. The next morning we arrived at the small airport, he fired up the small twin engine Piper Seneca and down the runway we went! To this day, almost 20 years later, I can still see the image of my mother looking up at us and waving as we lifted off. That image has made me smile a hundred times and will forever continue to. I am so happy that I was able to share part of that day with my mother... the day I found my absolute passion in life... flying. That is the day that I discovered what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Soon there after I started pilot school at the local airport, attending on the weekends because I was still in high school. Less than a year later, at the age of 16, I earned my Private Pilots license. After that I earned an Aviation Science degree, continued pilot school, got an Instrument rating and Commercial Pilots license. Most recently I have been flying skydivers at various drop zones all over the country as a contract pilot. I still find it hard to believe that I get paid to throw people out of "perfectly good airplanes". Life is good! I truly believe that everyone is born with a passion for something in life, it's just that they do not all find it. If you have not found your passion in life, your goal should be to go out and find it. I was blessed to have found mine early in life and now I help people to find theirs, if they have not already.
- Question 2: What is the best advice you can give to fellow pilots?
- Question 3: What is your favorite part of being a part of aviation?
- Question 4: What are the best eating spots you've found in your aviation travels?
- Question 5: What are your favorite airports you've flown into and why?