Frequently Asked Questions

What should I wear for the flight? Will it be cold up there?

We recommend that you bring a jacket just in case. It can get chilly in the open cockpit plane depending on the season of the year and the day’s weather. During the summer months a short sleeve shirt is usually comfortable, but most other times it is best to wear a jacket.

You also may want to wear some light gloves, especially if you sign up for the “you fly it” flight as you will have your hands on the controls and not in your pockets for the flight!

We also recommend that you wear comfortable shoes such as sneakers. Climbing in and out of the plane can be challenging in high heels!

We also recommend wearing sun glasses to protect your eyes from the wind and of course, the sun!  You will be furnished a cloth helmet with earphones to wear during the flight so no additional headgear is required.

When should I arrive for my flight?

We need you 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?

Please go to the airport office. Your pilot will meet you there and usually 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.

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.

What are aerobatics and what can I expect?

Aerobatics are the maneuvers that you might see an aircraft do at an air show. They have also been described as tricks or stunts. One thing for sure, they are fun. We will not just take you up and start flipping you over and upside down.  The maneuvers are done with increasing intensity depending on each person’s input and desires. The pilot will talk you through it.  Once you get comfortable with this new experience we can pick up the pace.  It is difficult to adequately describe what aerobatics feel like, but here are a few points worth noting:

  • It is very smooth and graceful, not jerky like a roller coaster.
  • The open cockpit keeps people from getting sick 99% of the time and most of the passengers who take an aerobatic flight say it was better than they expected.
  • One of the greatest thrills in life!

Can I bring a camera or a video recorder on the flight?

Yes, as long as you can keep control of the device so it does not blow out! I once had a passenger lose their camera overboard during an aerobatic flight and it was found in a field some months later by a farmer and I returned it to the customer but this is rare. She was able to recover the photos from the disc but the camera did not survive the impact. So it is best to use a wrist strap if you are planning to take photos or video while on your flight.

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 I 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. I 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 I have found children have lots of questions!

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 at the airport office with restroom facilities and snack machines.  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? – While it’s not required, (but certainly always appreciated) many of our customers are so thrilled by their flight, they just can’t resist a small contribution to their pilot’s favorite charity – his airplane maintenance fund!

Do you offer group discounts? – Yes. Call David at 540-219-3259 to discuss.

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. We give hundreds of flights each year and your pilot is a FAA-certified commercial pilot with thousands of hours of experience. We follow the rules to the letter and maintain a perfect flying safety record and our aircraft is maintained to meet the highest FAA maintenance standards.

Call:  540-219-3259
Email: david@brownsbiplanerides.com