The Rise of Gold Finger: Meet the Pilot Behind the Iconic Mooney

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Meet Trevor Jones, the 24 year old Canadian pilot behind the famous gold & white Mooney known as the ‘Gold Finger’, and the first aviator collab from Bold Aviator.

Trevor Jones standing next to his Mooney, nicknamed "Gold Finger"

What started as an instagram page dedicated to his new airplane back in 2020 has grown into something of a celebrity following. Gold Finger’s instagram profile now boasts close to 50,000 followers and is becoming one of the most recognized planes in general aviation.

We caught up with Trevor at Falcon Field (KFFZ) in Mesa, Arizona to get to know more about the man behind the iconic Mooney, and get the scoop on his airplane, his internet fame, and how aviation has shaped his life.

What is the make & model for C-GGLL, AKA the Gold Finger.

Trevor: This is a 2000 Mooney Ovation 2, Platinum Edition. It’s got an IO-550 engine and it’s a blast to fly.

Goldfinger low pass

Give us the backstory on how you came to own the Gold Finger.

Trevor: So, growing up my dad had a ‘67 Mooney M20F and I just fell in love with the plane. It was the first plane that I took a ride in, the first airplane I ever took the controls of, the first plane that I ever took off and landed. Mooney’s have always been part of my life.

In 2005, we upgraded from the M20F to an M20K 305 Rocket, which literally was a rocket, and then in 2017 my family got a Glasair Sportsman taildragger, that I happily flew about 130 hours in.

In August of 2020, we realized that we had our fun with the Glasair and it was time to move on. We began to look for another Mooney and this airplane popped up in a small town in Saskatchewan, Canada. It was owned by an 84 year old farmer at the time, who only flew it 3 or 4 times a year.

When my dad and I saw the airplane for the first time, honestly, we were blown away. The plane was in such good condition and we’ve never seen a paint job like this on a Mooney. This is a factory paint job which I haven’t really seen since. We were sold and flew the airplane home to Kelowna, and I’ve loved it ever since. Plan on keeping it forever.

Where did the Gold Finger moniker come from?

Trevor: It’s kind of funny, my mom came up with the name. When we flew the plane home, my mum obviously came out to greet us. When she looked at it for the first time, she said, “Man, that’s the Gold Finger” and it’s stuck ever since.

Trevor Jones, standing in front of his airplane, Gold Finger

You’ve garnered quite the following on social media – how has that been?

Trevor: It’s honestly been amazing! You know, all the people that you meet and all the great experiences that come from it.

I started the page back in August of 2020 when we bought the airplane. It’s crazy how fast it blew up. It started with 300 followers for a couple months, and then I started posting reels of radio calls and just flying around, and it just took off. Now we’re almost at 50,000 followers and, you know, I couldn’t be happier.

The cool thing is people don’t really follow for me. They follow for the airplane and that’s kind of what I wanted. When I started the page, I really wanted to put the focus back on Mooney. I feel like they’ve lost a bit of recognition in the last couple years against, you know, Cirrus & Beechcraft. I just wanted to bring that awareness back because they are such great airplanes.

Trevor Jones in cockpit of Gold Finger

What got you into aviation?

Trevor: I would have to say my dad got me into flying. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be a pilot and I wouldn’t be as crazy about Mooney’s as I am. Growing up, I remember always being with my dad at the hangar. I’ve been flying with him since I was eight weeks old. That was the family car for us, and we flew it all over Canada and the US.

Trevor Jones as a kid standing in front of his dad on the wing of his dad's Mooney

How long have you been flying?

Trevor: So, I started officially taking flying lessons at 16, but I was busy with other things outside of flying so I didn’t complete my license until I was 18 years old. I have about 650 hours total time now and a lot of that has been solo PIC cross country in this airplane. 

It’s been all over North America. It’s funny, it’s a Canadian registered airplane but I spend more time flying in the US than back home. It’s just super different flying in the states compared to Canada. You know, general aviation is so expensive up North and it’s more cost effective down here.

Where are you based out of now?

Trevor: I would say I have two bases. Kelowna International (CYWL) in Kelowna, British Columbia and then Falcon Field (KFFZ) in Mesa, Arizona.

I grew up in Kelowna, just to the east of Vancouver and I’ve been coming down to Mesa, Arizona since 2008. Falcon Field has grown to become a home base for me and I love it here. Its one of the most amazing airports in North America for general aviation. There’s just such a great aviation community out here and I have so many friends that are based here. We just love to go up and fly together and it’s always a great time.

What are you currently working on, in terms of aviation?

Trevor: Right now I’m just trying to build up my hours. I never thought I would want to be a pilot for a career, because I thought I would take the fun out of it. But then I got my instrument rating and my commercial multi-engine rating, and now I’m flying a Medevac King Air back up in Canada.

I don’t really know what my plan is of yet, you know, I change my mind about it every day. But right now, I’m having a great time with it all so we’ll see what the future holds.

What does aviation mean to you?

Trevor: Aviation to me is everything. It’s such a big part of my life. I’ve met a ton of great people who, you know, become lifetime friends. There’s just something about the aviation community where everybody just kind of sticks together, you know. Once you meet someone, you’ll be friends with them for life.

How would you describe the aviation community?

Trevor:  Like I said, it’s just one big family. It’s such a tight knit group and there’s nothing like it out there honestly. Everyone’s looking out for each other, everyone wants to make sure everyone’s safe. We’re all always got each other’s backs.

And like I said before, the people and friends that I have met through aviation, they’re like my closest friends because we all understand each other. We all have that concrete thing that we share which is we love to go out and fly airplanes.

What’s your favorite airport that you’ve flown into?

Trevor: I have two. One would be Sedona (KSEZ). I mean, everyone loves Sedona. Sedona is such a cool airport and has a lot of great attributes about it. It’s one of the tougher airports as well, especially with the weather factors.

The other airport would probably be Camarillo, California (KCMA). A lot of my aviation buddies are out there and it’s another airport with a great general aviation community, like Falcon. The restaurant is also phenomenal there if you haven’t been.

If you could own any other airplane besides a Mooney, what would it be? And why?

Trevor: Like I’ve said, I love Mooney’s to death, but I would have to say a Lancair Legacy. My dad now flies a Lancair now and they’re like a Ferrari with wings. It does, what, 240 knots?! It’s pretty badass.

What is one thing on your aviation bucket list?

Trevor: I would love to take this airplane back east and go island hop in the Bahamas. That would be super cool. So I’m gonna try and get that done one day. It might not be for a while but I’ll make it happen.

Will you be at AirVenture this year?

Trevor: That’s the goal! I want to try and be there for the full week this time, though I need to try and get those days off from work.

Trevor Jones with friends at AirVenture

What is your favorite part of that week?

Trevor: My favorite part of the week would probably be the weekends when it’s the busiest. Everyone’s around and it’s great to catch up and meet new people. Also I love the warbird activity on Saturday too.

You can keep up with Trevor Jones and his adventures in the Gold Finger by following on instagram @goldfingeraviation.

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Jack Parcell