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Stephanie ‘Stevie’ Triesenberg

TikTok makes a video star

Each social media platform has its own personality; for the young millennial and Gen Z favorite, TikTok, it’s fast-moving, in-your-face streaming videos, and every interest, activity, genre, and avocation seems to have a subset.
Pilots
Courtesy Stevie Triesenberg

In the aviation section, Stephanie “Stevie” Triesenberg— @planegirl—commands a remarkable presence. She has more than 1.3 million followers and has amassed that following in less than three years since getting her pilot certificate. She is 23 years old.

Want to know how she records her videos? Watch 54 seconds of video during which Triesenberg explains the merits of GoPro cameras and how to use them. Nervous about your own radio voice when speaking with ATC? Watch @planegirl talk to ATC in a flight from her home base in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to the 2021 EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. She peppers her fast delivery with admonishments and advice: “Never let filming compromise safety,” she tells her viewers in her radio video. “Have a good one,” she repeatedly says to ATC as she crosses the country in her 1952 V-tail Bonanza on her way to Wittman Regional Airport (OSH).

She looks as young as she is—and these video shorts are uncompromisingly close up—but in spite of her age she’s an accomplished pilot. Her YouTube interview with FAA Administrator Steve Dickson earlier this year is entertaining but all the more interesting and evocative because of how articulate she is. Watching her explain the fuel system on her Bonanza to Dickson is informative, but more fun because you get the sense that she’s explaining something that maybe he knows a lot less about than she. Triesenberg is a commercial pilot and CFI and works full-time as a mobile software engineer. “Every flight is a learning experience,” she says, encouraging her followers to have fun while exposing them to the world of aviation, one video at a time. There are more than 50 videos on her TikTok account.

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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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