Going Wilde: Keystone Aviation’s New Chief Pilot

Chris Wilde Fat Biking

Here is an interview with Chris Wilde, Keystone Aviation’s new Chief Pilot. The interview shares an inside look at the Chris Wilde we know, not only as a pilot, but as a person.

(KA is Keystone & CW is Chris)

KA: So Chris, you were one of those kids who couldn’t get through a day without thinking about airplanes.

CW: Ever since I was four, I knew I wanted to be in aviation.  I had a model aircraft collection I would line up on my bedroom floor. You know those wooden horse heads on a stick?  I made one, but it was an airplane instead of a horse.

KA: It seems you grew up with it and you kept up the pace as an adult.

CW: I managed a flight school, and I’m still a current flight instructor. I also flew with the airlines for 8 years.

KA: I suspect it may have been sort of a family affair.

Chris and his motorcycle

CW: My brother is an A&P and my father owns an Ercoupe.

KA: Most people know you like the outdoors, but your list of activities takes “like” to a whole new level.

CW: Rock climbing, canyoneering, fatbiking, mountain biking, road biking, snow skiing, wake surfing, running, backpacking, hiking.  Oh, and I’m learning how to paramotor right now

KA: Pretty strenuous stuff. You’ve had a few close calls.

Chris Wilde Mountain Climbing

CW: There was a few times where I was mountaineering where I wished I were on the ground. It’s not really a function of being able to get back down, but rather more so of being miserable in inclement weather.   Your metal gear hums with static electricity when you are climbing if you’re stuck in a rain/snow storm with strong winds.

KA: Would you consider yourself an adrenaline junky?

CW: I just like to be in motion.  Relaxing on the beach isn’t my idea of a fun vacation. I like to ride the mountains behind my home on my ATV. Oh, and a kayak, I guess you could add that to my outdoor activities. I like kayaking. I’ve also been skydiving with my fellow Keystone pilots.  That was memorable.

KA: When you do stop moving you’re pretty musical.

CW: During college I played in both a jazz and SKA band, we even got some airplay.  I play the drums.

KA: And to top it all off, you grow your own food.

CW: I like to garden, it’s very therapeutic for me. Tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, parsnip, kale, peppers, broccoli, all sorts of squash… There’s about two months out of the year where I eat straight from my garden.