Skytypers Air Show Team

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The Skytypers performing in 2004

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. Known as skytyping, the aircraft perform low-level flying maneuvers and also create aerial smoke messages. The smoke puffs were originally controlled by a manually wired rig, then by paper punch card messages, and eventually a computer-controlled system able to handle 50,000 messages that could be reprogrammed in flight.[1] [2]

In April 2007, the GEICO Skytypers performed the missing man formation in a special tribute to Kevin "Kojak" Davis who was killed in the 2007 Blue Angels South Carolina crash.[3]

In May of 2016, the Skytypers performed a missing man formation a 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. This accident is still under investigation.

2007 accident[edit]

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.[2][4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dennis Meridith (August 1986). "Ghostwriters in the Sky". Air and Space Magazine. 
  2. ^ a b Pilot killed in stunt plane crash at Virginia Navy base, CNN.com, updated 10:31 p.m. EDT, Fri September 7, 2007
  3. ^ Lowcountry Mourns Loss of Fallen Blue Angel, The Jet Stream online, USMC, April 27, 2007 pdf edition
  4. ^ Pilot Lost In GEICO SkyTypers Accident At NAS Oceana, Aero-news.net, update as of September 7, 2007 1635 EDT

Great Tennessee Air Show Blue Angel Accident

External links[edit]