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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

‘Silent Skies’ tells soaring story of electric plane flyover

Silent+Skies+was+created+by+Serotonin+Creative+Consultancy.+%28Photo+by+Upendra+Pandey+23%29
‘Silent Skies’ was created by Serotonin Creative Consultancy. (Photo by Upendra Pandey ’23)

Last year’s Rivalry Game made history — not because of who won, but because it was the backdrop to the world’s first crewed electric airplane stadium flyover.

“Silent Skies: The First Electric Plane Flyover,” a 16-minute-long documentary about the orchestration of this feat, premiered last Saturday at the California College of the Arts during San Francisco Climate Week. 

The documentary’s title, “Silent Skies,” comes from the fact that, unlike a plane that runs on traditional fuel, electric planes make no noise.

“We titled the flyover that we did the ‘anti-flyover’ because it’s the antithesis of a large military jet rumbling a stadium because we were completely silent,” Remy Oktay ‘24 said. Not only did Oktay lead and coordinate the project, but he also piloted the plane that completed the flyover.

Two other lead members of the flyover team were Zach Fiske ‘23 and Trebor Maitin ‘24, who were in charge of logistics and social media.

“Zach, Trebor and I have been working with the editors, fine-tuning [the documentary] over the past couple of months as it’s been put together,” Oktay said.

“I’ve watched it probably eight times now,” Maitin said of the documentary.

Upendra Pandey ‘23 was part of the student film crew that recorded footage for the documentary. The documentary has Pandey to thank for much of its footage.

“I hadn’t done something that was, like, going someplace else and recording the journey of something,” Pandey said of his filming experience.

Although the team got to experience the flyover up close, they also enjoyed watching the journey on the screen all over again.

“​​It’s a cool way to see behind the scenes,” Maitin said. “Everyone was there at Laf-Lehigh — we saw the plane fly overhead, we cheered, we moved on with our lives. But the community writ large didn’t get to see what went into that, all of the labor and the travel.”

“I think it does a great job of highlighting the excitement of doing something new and of capturing the feeling of being up in the plane for the first time,” Fiske said of the documentary.

“I hope [viewers] see something really cool, something that’s been done for the first time and something that maybe can extend into the future,” Jeff Acopian ‘76 said. Acopian donated his time and vehicle to the flyover project.

The documentary was screened Monday on campus. Benjamin Risley ‘26, who attended the screening, found the viewing experience illuminating.

“It was interesting to see what Lafayette students can do when given the support and the facilities necessary to do that,” Risley said. “It’s really interesting to see the process that came behind what I saw at the Lafayette-Lehigh game.”

Ultimately, the team hopes that “Silent Skies” will inspire viewers to fly high with their own projects.

“One of the titles we bounced around was Remy’s motto for the project: ‘Whatever It Takes,’” Fiske said. “I think that’s kind of the idea of what hopefully the film can convey, is that if you have a passion or an idea for something, if you just put everything into it, then people will be excited to help and you’ll get cool results.”

“I want people to take away that us young folks can really do anything,” Maitin said.

For those who missed the screening, “Silent Skies” will be available to watch on YouTube in a few weeks.

Disclaimer: Managing Editor Trebor Maitin ’24 did not contribute writing or reporting. 

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About the Contributor
Shirley Liu, Managing Editor
Shirley Liu manages, edits, and manages edits.

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