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 foot wear 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 fabric of the plane and do not match well with the rudder pedals. You will not need headgear because you will be furnished with a cloth "snoopy helmet" with 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 prior to your flight time. Many times flights are 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 airport? – Go 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. You can't miss it. Your pilot will meet you there. Often we park the Stearman right out front on the ramp area. Spectators can wait in the airport lounge area or one of the 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 a size limit for passengers? Yes. 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 fairly roomy compared to most training aircraft of the day.
Is there an age limit? Can you take children? – There is no age limit. I have taken passengers in their 90’s that have greatly enjoyed the flight as well as children of all ages. For children it really depends on the maturity of the child and whether they are OK to 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 so this 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 as well as some of the flying, depending on the nature of the ride and how far we are venturing out for the day. Chairs are available for anyone who is waiting at the hangar area and there is a climate controlled lounge area with restroom facilities. There is a great 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!
Should I tip the pilot and if so, how much? – While it’s not required, (but certainly always appreciated) a tip is recognition of 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.
What happens if the weather is bad on the day of my flight? There are a number of reasons we may cancel your flight due to the weather. Simply put, we will not take you up on a day where you will not be thrilled with your flight or if it is unsafe to fly. Your pilot has the authority to cancel, change, or shorten a flight due to weather or other variables. If we have to cancel your flight due to inclement weather we will gladly reschedule your flight for the next best date.
How safe is this? Everything in life has risk. Quite simply however, your biggest risk will be driving to the airport. Safety is the only thing that takes priority over having fun. Your pilot is a FAA-certified commercial pilot with thousands of hours of experience.
Our airplane is very safe. Airplanes, unlike motor vehicles, must comply with very strict maintenance and inspection requirements of the FAA. Every airplane 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 is inspected every 100 hours of flight time.