Frequently Asked Questions:
What should I wear for the flight? Is it going to be cold up there?
It depends on the season of the year. In the summer a short sleeve shirt will be fine. In the winter you might consider a jacket.
Comfortable footwear is recommended. You will climb up on the wing root of the airplane and climb into the cockpit. Women should not wear high heels; they can damage the plane’s fabric and not match the rudder pedals well. You will not need headgear because we will furnish you with a cloth “snoopy helmet” and headphones. Sunglasses are highly recommended, and sunscreen is a good idea.
When should I arrive for my flight?
Please be at the airport no later than 15 minutes before your flight time. Flights are often booked back to back, and the schedule is tight, so we appreciate you being on time.
Where do we go when we get to the Albert Whitted airport?
Go to the Sheltair lobby, which is in the same building. We are on the ground floor. The top floor is the Hangar restaurant. As you enter the building, you will see our kiosk ahead of you on the right.
We usually park the 1941 Stearman plane right out front on the ramp area. Your pilot will meet you there. Spectators can wait in the airport lounge area or outside viewing areas during the flight or head upstairs for lunch or coffee.
How many people can go up at a time?
Our aircraft seats the pilot plus one passenger at a time. You cannot place small children on your lap during a flight. You can book flights back-to-back, however, to better share the experience.
Is there a weight or size limit for passengers?
The precise weight depends on the air temperature and density for the day of the flight, but generally, we can take anyone that is 300 pounds or less. The seat is adjustable in height, and the cockpit is pretty roomy compared to most training aircraft of the day.
Is there an age limit? Can children fly?
There is no age limit. I have taken passengers in their 90’s that have greatly enjoyed the flight and children of all ages. It depends on the child’s maturity and whether they can sit by themselves during the flight.
We can only take one passenger at a time. The seat is adjustable, and additional seat cushions can also be used to make sure that children can sit high enough in the seat to see out and enjoy the flight.
There are two-way communications between the pilot and the passenger, which usually helps as we have found children have lots of questions! Children under 18 need the signed consent of a parent.
Can friends or relatives watch the flight?
Absolutely, the more, the merrier! Anyone attending will be able to view the aircraft taking off and landing and some of the flyings, depending on the nature of the ride and how far we are venturing out for the day. Chairs are available for anyone waiting at the hangar area, and there is a climate-controlled lounge area with restroom facilities.
There is an excellent restaurant with a view of the airport upstairs. Also, there will be photo opportunities before and after the flight with the aircraft. We want everyone to enjoy the day and the experience and have a great time!
Do I get to take the stick and fly the Warbird?
Once you are away from the airport area, the pilot will let you fly the plane. If you are not comfortable taking the stick, no problem….sit back and enjoy the ride and spectacular scenery of the white sand beaches below.
Should I tip the pilot and if so, how much?
While it’s not required (but certainly always appreciated), a tip-in recognizing a service well performed. You might want to consider the same percentage that you tip the server in a nice restaurant. You can add your tip to the credit card payment or follow the traditional method of handing the pilot some love in the form of cash.
How safe is this flying adventure?
Everything in life has risks. Quite simply, however, your most significant risk will be driving to the airport. Safety is the only thing that takes priority over having fun. Your pilot is an FAA-certified commercial pilot with thousands of hours of experience.
Our airplane is very safe. Airplanes, unlike motor vehicles, must comply with stringent maintenance and inspection requirements of the FAA. Every aircraft must be inspected annually by certified mechanics and inspectors. If an airplane does not meet airworthiness standards, it is grounded until it does. In addition to the annual inspection, our aircraft are inspected every 100 hours of flight time.