We founded Twin City Barnstormers for one reason - to Share the Miracle of Flight. By going aloft in an open cockpit biplane, viewing the lush landscape below framed by two bright yellow wings, our passengers gain a unique perspective of three dimensional movement through space. There are no TSA security lines here. No staring out a tiny porthole window at 30,000 feet. This is the Golden Age of Flight, exemplified by the historical significance of both the airplane we fly, the airport from which we operate.
Our PT-17 (Boeing Stearman) is the real thing - a beautifully restored 1941 training aircraft. Except for the electronic equipment required for flight under the Minneapolis Class B Airspace, this airplane is all stock - from its 220HP Continental 670 Radial Engine to the wood and fabric wings and tail section. Painted in Army Air Corps colors, our Stearman represents the thousands built in the early 1940s to serve as primary trainers for Army and Navy pilots. With its rugged airframe, simple design, and highly responsive dual controls, the Stearman proved itself as the perfect airplane for new pilots to hone their stick and rudder skills. It is a hero of sorts because it played a critical part in creating our nation's greatest generation of WWII Sky Warriors.
Our base of operations - Historic Stanton Airfield - also played a role in training up those pilots who went on to battle the enemy in both the European and Pacific theaters of war. Carleton College, along with other universities across the country, joined the war effort in the early 1940s to help the Army Air Corps train up thousands of pilots. The school bought the land, created an airport, and began teaching pilots in its classrooms and airplanes. Today, with the original 1940s hangar still standing, and its original grass landing strips, Carleton Airport (now Stanton Airfield) holds a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.
THE PILOTS AND CREW
Jeff Peterson - Pilot
While not a WWII relic, Jeff can at least claim VFW status. He is a retired U.S. Air Force pilot who served over 20 years on active duty and in the reserves. This includes one year as an air advisor to the Afghan Air Force. As an Air Force Instructor Pilot, Jeff enjoyed taking his many students through the complex process of pilot training. He would have been in his prime training WWII student pilots in the Stearman. Today he continues to share his love of flying as an Instructor Pilot at North Star Aviation (Minnesota State University's contracted flight school), an adjunct Professor of Aviation at MNSU Mankato, and of course as a Barnstormer Pilot for Twin City Barnstormers. Jeff is a FAA certified flight instructor with CFI, CFII and MEI ratings.
Jay Biggs - Pilot
As a young lad, Jay spent countless hours at Los Angeles International Airport watching the airliners take-off and land which he says was the spark that ignited his love of aviation. After obtaining his pilot’s license, while in high school, he knew he wanted a career in aviation. During his aviation journey he has had the privilege to fly as a flight instructor, airfreight pilot, corporate pilot, scenic pilot flying tours over the Grand Canyon and lastly an airline pilot. Jay’s 45+ years as a pilot has provided him the opportunity to fly a multitude of aircraft ranging from gliders to “wide-bodies”; however, some of his fondest memories were the years he flew scenic rides in a Stearman along the Pacific coast, Disneyland and the Queen Mary.
Paul Skjeveland - Pilot
In Paul’s 27 years of flying he has flown over 40 types of airplanes from the Cessna 150 to the Boeing 747, however his love of flying is rooted in the A75-N1 Stearman! From the first time seeing a Stearman as a young boy, he knew that he belonged in one. Paul is currently an Instructor Pilot for a major airline flying the Boeing 747, works with Minnesota State University as a flight instructor and is a FAA Designated Pilot Examiner.
Mike Willey - Crew
Although Mike won't be flying you in the Stearman, he has been flying many airplanes for over 50 years and is active in supporting vintage aviation activities at Stanton Airfield. He is an active Land, Sea Plane and Glider pilot. As a member of the Twin City Barnstormers team he rebuilt the 1947 Jeep that is used for moving the Stearman around the field. Mike also helps with the day to day operations of the Stearman group and supports the many customers who come for their Time Travel rides.
See Our Rides and Rates Page to
BOOK YOUR TIME TRAVEL
(Rides sell out fast. Don’t miss out on the memory of a lifetime!)
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