A couple of months ago, Matt and I took a long weekend and visited Los Angeles, CA. It was the first time to LA for both of us. We had a blast. This trip will take a few posts to get through, but I’m probably most excited about this first post.
We both took a biplane ride. This was really the whole purpose of the trip. Yes, it was nice to get away, yes it was a romantic weekend, but the whole reason for the trip was to do this biplane ride. It was my idea, I admit. I have wanted to do this since college. I actually looked for biplane companies nearer where I live, but they really don’t exist in the northeast. The weather is too volatile. Southern California is THE place to find these. After researching several companies, I settled on Sky Thrills, located in Fullerton, CA. Fullerton is about an hour southeast of LA, in Orange County. They did not disappoint.
For those of you unfamiliar, a biplane is a two seater plane that can perform aerobatics. The experience is really like a roller coaster on steroids. So amazing! And what was even more amazing is that we actually got to fly the plane, with the exception of take-off and landing! On their website, we were told that we would do about 70% of the flying. “Yeah, right.” I thought. You know the opening montage of “The Simpsons”, where Maggie is sitting in the passenger seat and Marge is driving, and Maggie has her own little steering wheel? I thought it would be like that. I was wrong! We really did fly the plane, taking instruction from the pilot. It was so much fun!
Our instructor/pilot was Michael “Rocket” Blackstone, and he was awesome. He really made us feel safe, and gave great directions for all the maneuvers. You can check out their website, which has a video of our biplane, the Pitts S-2C, at http://www.skythrills.com.
Now for the aerobatics! We flew out over the Pacific Ocean, getting good views of the shoreline, Catalina Island, and Knotts Berry Farm along the way. We did rolls, which is where the plane rolls in a 360 circle horizontally; loops, which is where the plane does a loop like on a roller coaster; we flew inverted, which is basically flying upside down; and my favorite: hammerheads! A hammerhead is where you fly the plane straight up in the air, and the rush of air stalls the engine. You then turn the plane so it is doing a nosedive, and the rush of air restarts the engine. When the engine restarts, you right the plane again. This whole thing takes less than sixty seconds. Such a rush of adrenaline! And just to be clear, we really did all these maneuvers.
If you are ever remotely interested in doing this crazy stunt, I cannot say enough good things about Sky Thrills, check them out! Message me if you have questions. Here are some pictures, enjoy!
The biplane we both flew!!
Me and Michael “Rocket” Blackstone before I took off. If you think I look a little nervous, that’s because I definitely was! (And the straps around my midsection? A parachute that we had to wear, in case of plane failure and we had to jump out!)
And here I am after landing!!!
Matt is about to take off!
I hope you enjoyed this post. Flying a biplane was a dream come true for me, definitely crossing something off my “bucket list.” I’m so happy I did it! And a huge thank you to Matt for being such a good sport and indulging me in my insanity! 🙂