Your Pilots

David Brown

Winner of the 2011 National Stearman Fly in “Masters Aerobatic Contest”

David Brown is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and is currently retired from the Air Force Reserve.  He has over 46 years of flight experience and has logged over 4000 pilot in command hours in Stearman aircraft and over 10,000 take offs and landings!  David has a Commercial pilot’s license with single and multi-engine aircraft ratings and is also a Certified Flight Instructor. 

“I enjoy this business because I get to share the experience of flying these historic military aircraft with so many people.  It is my challenge with each customer to tailor the experience so they get the most enjoyment from their flight.  I love to hear their comments after the flight, as well as reading the comments posted on line by our passengers.  Everyone is amazed in some way.  The experience is usually way over the top from anything they have done before.  This is the joy I get from this business!” – David Brown

Brian Rosenstein

Winner of the 2015 National Stearman Fly in Aerobatic Contest

Brian Rosenstein is a commercial airline pilot with more than 11,000 hours of flying time and has been flying for more than 25 years. He has been flying Stearmans and aerobatics since he was a teenager. He has an Airline Transport Pilot’s license with single and multi-engine aircraft ratings, as well being a Certified Flight Instructor to teach in both Single-Engine and Multi-Engine airplanes. He is also an Instructor and Check Airman for his airline.

When not flying his airliner, Brian continues to teach new students and also specializes in tail wheel, aerobatic, and Stearman specific instruction.

Flying the jet is my job, flying the Stearman is my passion. Nothing brings me more personal satisfaction than to share the fundamental joy and beauty of flight with people, and there is no better way to capture that than in an open cockpit biplane. This is also a tangible connection to part of our country’s great history, an era when flying was still grand, adventurous and classy. My goal is to give each person the experience that they want to have, whether it is a gentle, straight and level sightseeing ride, or a looping and rolling aerobatic experience. My aim is to see them smiling ear-to-ear when we land.”

Andrew King

Andrew King is a self employed vintage aircraft specialist, whose activities include aircraft restoration, flying vintage airplanes on cross country delivery trips, and doing biplane and AT-6 rides. He has been flying since 1978 and has over 5,000 hours in 155 different types of aircraft. He has a Commercial pilot’s license with Instrument, Single and Multi-engine, Glider, and Gyroplane ratings.

“We do these airplane rides as a vocation, but we wouldn’t do them if we didn’t first of all have a love of flying, and also of course we enjoy sharing the excitement and fun of seeing the sky and the land from an open cockpit or from the unique vantage point of the World War 2 era AT-6,” Andrew says. “Each passenger is unique and experiences flight in their own way, and the joy we see on the faces of our customers after a flight makes it all worth while.”

R. J. Gritter

The son of a test pilot dad and a flight instructor mom, RJ has been in the cockpit his entire life. Growing up around the airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, he started flying before he was tall enough to see over the instrument panel! He soloed on his 16th birthday and got his private pilot license on his 17th.

RJ developed a passion for aerobatics through radio-control (R/C) flying. He started competing in R/C aerobatics at age 16 in national and international events, representing the US in indoor precision and freestyle aerobatic championships. R/C flying gave him a strong background for “full-scale” aerobatic flying.

RJ earned his bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University. After graduation, he moved to northern Virginia, just down the street from the Bealeton Flying Circus! He got his Decathlon at the end of 2015 and has since flown over 800 hours in the airplane, flying his first airshow in 2016. Since then, he’s flown hundreds of performances and has loved every minute of it!

RJ is SAC certified for surface-level solo and formation aerobatics, comedy, wingwalking and circle-the-jumper.

Joseph Bender

Joe Bender works in the local agricultural industry as his main profession but when he is not farming, he is flying. He is a pilot at the Flying Circus airshow in Bealeton, VA on Sundays, May through October each year. In addition, he is also a wingwalker at the Flying Circus and for Third Strike Wingwalking performing in airshows in the US and Canada. In addition to excelling as one of our biplane ride pilots, he also flies passenger rides in Stearman and Waco biplanes at the Flying Circus and provides cross country ferry service to aircraft owners who occasionally need their vintage aircraft moved.  Joe holds a commercial aircraft rating and a low-level waiver card for flying wingwalking acts and aerobatics at airshows.