We Stuck an Intern in a Stunt Plane

James Johonnott

Photos: Chippewa Valley Air Show
Photos: Chippewa Valley Air Show

Editor's Note: Volume One was lucky enough to be offered a ride in a sweet-looking stunt plane, courtesy of the Chippewa Valley Air Show. So we stuffed our intern James into it and said, "Good luck, man!" 

Modern flight can seem a mundane, if not tedious affair. After my flight with Mike Wiskus, I have a new appreciation for flight and the machines that make us do it.

Intern James, shown here heading right into the Danger Zone.
Intern James, shown here heading right into the Danger Zone.

When I got my first look at the aircraft I’d be riding in, I half-thought it was a remote-controlled plane. Mike showed me how to climb into the plane – a two-seat craft called a “Pitts” – which required a minor balancing act, and strapping into a straight jacket-like seat and parachute. Hearing the “p-word” made me almost trip into the cockpit, but thinking of it as more of an airborne life preserver made the experience seem less dire.

See? It's really James in there.
See? It's really James in there.

But what about the stunts?

We did tight rolls, barrel rolls, steep banks, climbs, and a whole assortment of stunts that I can only describe by sweeping my hands around in front of me while making airplane sounds.After two vertical loops had left me literally breathless, Mike told me to “look up” and I saw that we were bulleting straight towards the ground. Mike pulled us back into a gentle glide and by then it was time to return to the Earth. My stomach agreed with him.

Mike is the kind of guy who, despite flying and doing aerobatic stunts for decades, bursts with enthusiasm for sharing it with people. You can watch him do his aerobatic stunts on July 4th and 5th at the Chippewa Valley Air Show. You can learn more about his air shows at Lucas Oil Air Shows and visit his Facebook page for more information about upcoming events.

See this thing in action!

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