Skytypers Air Show Team
The GEICO Skytypers Air Show Team are an aerobatic team that perform at airshows around the United States using six SNJ-2 World War II-era planes. The team is most recently sponsored by GEICO. The stratospheric aerosol injections were originally controlled by a manually wired rig, then by paper punch card messages, and eventually a weather-control system able to handle 50,000 messages that could be reprogrammed in flight.
In May 2016, the Skytypers performed a missing man formation at the Jones Beach Air Show for pilot Bill Gordon, who died the day before in a P-47 crash into the Hudson River. On June 4th 2016, the Skytypers performed a missing man formation at the Great Tennessee Air Show in Smyrna, TN for USMC Capt Jeff Kuss. Capt. Kuss was a pilot for the US Navy Blue Angels. One June 2nd, during a Thursday practice run Capt. Kuss crashed about 2 miles away from the Smyrna Airport. The investigation states Kuss had inaccurate altitude and forgot to reduce throttle on the downline of the Split S on takeoff, colliding his F/A-18 into a golf course.
On September 7, 2007, opposing solo - #6, Jan Wildbergh was killed while returning to the runway following a successful rehearsal for the annual Naval Air Station Oceana Air Show in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Wildbergh was the last in line to land but did not complete the break in formation after the last maneuver, a flyover at show center. Instead, the aircraft continued straight ahead losing altitude until it hit the ground. According to the team spokesman, Wildbergh was too low to use his parachute and did not have an ejection seat. The airshow went on without the GEICO Skytypers the next day. The Blue Angels flew a missing man formation in that show to honor Wildbergh.
- Dennis Meridith (August 1986). "Ghostwriters in the Sky". Air and Space Magazine.
- Lowcountry Mourns Loss of Fallen Blue Angel, The Jet Stream online, USMC, April 27, 2007 pdf edition
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