Gaurav with his wife Ritu Rathee, also an airline pilot, and their daughter, nicknamed Rasbhari
Gaurav with his wife Ritu Rathee, also an airline pilot, and their daughter, nicknamed Rasbhari

Influencer of the week: Meet Gaurav Taneja, the YouTuber and pilot who almost brought an airline down

The weekly award to the 34-year-old YouTuber, aka the Flying Beast for calling out his former employer. Read on to know why
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON SEP 13, 2020 07:00 AM IST

Why he’s here

Last month, Gaurav Taneja, 34, aka the Flying Beast, used his YouTube channel to call out his former employer, a major airline, question their safety standards, and pressure them into correcting the safety compromises they were inadvertently making while saving costs.

Who he is

Gaurav is a professional airline pilot who has captained narrow body aircraft for Indigo and Air Asia India. He is also a fitness enthusiast, which, he says, led him to become a YouTuber. “A friend recorded a Facebook live when I was giving bodybuilding advice to someone at the gym,” he says. “It worked and that’s when this journey began.” Gaurav now puts up vlogs of his daily life with wife Ritu Rathee, also an airline pilot, and their toddler, nicknamed Rasbhari.

Trappings of fame

“If you do something with the aim of becoming famous, you lose it there and then,” he says. “Your motivation should be your love and passion for it, like I’ve had for IIT, bodybuilding, aviation, and now filmmaking.”

Hey, I’m famous

“Once, I innocently mentioned on social media that I would be going to India Gate. I hadn’t expected the huge crowd that had gathered there for me,” says Gaurav. “Yes, fans often send gifts and I unbox them in front of the camera. But one guy used to send really expensive gifts. To stop him, I had to stop acknowledging his gifts!”

“Healthy debate on social media is good, but we don’t encourage profanity”

When fans get fanatic

During the recent controversy, Flying Beast fans tore into the airline Gaurav was fighting with. “Most of my audience is well-educated and they have their own logical views,” he says. “Healthy debate on social media is good, but we don’t encourage profanity in any form.”

On privacy

“For the last two years, I’ve been putting my wife, daughter and family in my vlogs because they are part of my life,” says Gaurav. “The thing about YouTube is that control of shooting and editing is in your hands. So I know what I am doing.”

Flying or YouTubing? What’s in the future? “Flying, working out and vlogging give me a rush and will always be part of my life!”

Who should be the next HT Brunch Social Media Star Of The Week? Give us your nominations by using the hashtag #BrunchSocialMediaStarOTW

Until next Sunday… keep social!

From HT Brunch, September 13, 2020

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