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Five Questions: Deon MittonFive Questions: Deon Mitton

Seaplane storyteller

Are you missing travel while under COVID-19 restrictions? Then tune into Deon Mitton’s YouTube channel for inspiring, awesome views and seaplane flying stories of such faraway spots as Alaska, Africa, the Arctic, and Europe.
Five Questions
Five Questions

Mitton’s soothing South African-accented stories of watching black bears cavort in Alaskan streams, dipping Cessna Caravan floats into clear Caribbean water, and wandering in wilderness areas across the world will help quench your wanderlust and start your planning for flying post-COVID. A professional photographer with a commercial certificate and seaplane rating, Mitton has taken his passions for travel, photography, and flying and become a social influencer of the highest order; his high-quality videos are excellently produced without taking away the charming personal touch that is his forte.

How did you get started in aviation? My curiosity about flying started at a young age. Nobody in my family was in aviation, so I had to do it myself. I completed my postgrad in mathematics, computer science, and physics, and only after working a few years, I was able to save enough to afford a private pilot license.

What were your biggest challenges? I completed my initial fixed-wing PPL in a very short amount of time, because I removed the obstacles of time and money by using my savings. I found the most frustrating and challenging part were the waiting to complete my instrument and commercial checkrides. The Los Angeles FSDO, where I trained, was understaffed, and I had to fly to an out-of-state DPE just to complete the commercial checkride.

What’s your favorite aircraft? Cessna Grand Caravan EX on floats. The de Havilland Beaver DHC–2 on floats is, of course, a very close second.

What is your favorite aviation activity? Accessing and enjoying the unspoilt natural beauty of wilderness beaches and lakes by floatplane. Also high on the list is spending time with aviation friends at fly-ins and get-
togethers. This is an industry where one can create any lifestyle you can possibly imagine—and I think that pilots have a huge opportunity, as well as a responsibility, to give back and inspire the next generation.

Do you have any advice for new pilots? I’ll quote the words of my initial DPE: “After every flight, always ask yourself: 1. Did you learn something? and 2. Did you have fun? If either answer is no, then stop what you’re doing, and take the necessary corrective action.”

Instagram: @deonmitton, YouTube: deonmitton

Julie Walker

Julie Summers Walker

AOPA Senior Features Editor
AOPA Senior Features Editor Julie Summers Walker joined AOPA in 1998. She is a student pilot still working toward her solo.

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