Tell others about your flight experience!
David Brown

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Tell others about your flight experience! — 129 Comments

  1. Absolutely amazing experience. I flew last year during The Stearman Fly-In and again this year. Flying in this Stearman has definitely been a highlight in my life.

  2. I bought a gift certificate for an hour of “The Ultimate Barnstormer” for my fiancé, Marks, for Christmas of 2018. Obviously he had to wait to use it until it was warm enough to fly in an open cockpit airplane like the Stearman.

    With our summer looking pretty busy, it took a while before Marks availability to commit to a time for the flight. Once it looked like his schedule and the weather would align, he reached out to David via email. David replied and within hours they had the flight scheduled! David gets back to you very quickly with options that fit your needs!

    Marks left the house this morning with an idea of what to expect but that was about it. His flight was at 2pm and at 3:35pm I got the best series of texts that you can get when you give someone a gift like this. It’s way better than “holy crap! I didn’t know I could throw up that much!” Needless to say, it was a kick ass gift, he had an awesome time, and I’m at a loss as to how I’ll top that next Christmas!

    Although I wasn’t there, I was told that David was an excellent pilot and incredibly professional. I can confirm that the process for purchasing the flight was very easy and that David provided the gift certificate very quickly, even though it was right before Christmas.

    I can’t thank David and Stearman BiPlane Rides enough for providing an experience like this. It’s a bucket list item and I can’t wait to check it off my list as well!

  3. I’ll start with, anyone with even the slightest appreciation or interest in aviation should take a flight with them. Even if aerobatics isn’t your thing, you should take a scenic flight. The aircraft is gorgeous and well maintained, the views are gorgeous and there’s nothing like the sound and smell of that big radial putting away out front in an open cockpit. Unforgettable!

    Thank you David! I had an absolute BLAST on my 1 hour aerobatic flight with you! Thank you for letting me fly so much! You are one heck of a good pilot and you fly such a lovely plane beautifully! I look forward to many more flights with you! Never thought I’d have Stearman time in my logbook and it certainly won’t be the only entry now.

  4. It was awesome and David Brown is the most gracious and knowledgeable host to this incredible adventure!! A definite must ….I will do this again.

  5. Well I have done it again! Monday, August 5, was my second flight with Dave Brown and his truly authentic Stearman biplane. My first ride (May 2018) was a one hour sightseeing flight, which was highly enjoyable. The second ride was the 30 minute Aerobatic flight that was exciting, exhilarating and downright unforgettable. Furthermore, Dave was able to show his marvelous abilities as a pilot while also being very informative during the flight. As I told him after Monday’s flight…”I will be back.”

  6. Cannot believe I waited fifty years to try this! I had always heard stories of people taking their first flying experience and being hooked. Now I know why. I had the privilege of experience firsthand the thrill of riding in a 1941 Stearman #3 Biplane for the first time and I was Impressed. The flight was smooth and exciting. David Brown was skilled and knowledgeable pilot who walked me through everything he was doing. I felt completely safe in his care. His experience was evident it the meticulous attention to detail he displayed in all facets of the flight. Nothing could have been better on a warm summer afternoon than cruising to 1500 feet with the wind blowing in my air and the Blue Ridge Mountains rising in the distance. The perspective on the area was mind-blowing. Dave’s knowledge of the history and geography of the area was top notched. I am grateful for the experience and heartily recommend his services to anyone looking to experience flying with a true professional.

  7. Acrobatic flight was an anniversary gift from my wife. Dave took me up and gave me not only the best 60 min of flying I have had in many years but he taught me a lot about the history of the plane and some of the systems. Dave was professional, friendly, and a very good pilot. This is something that should be on everyone’s “bucket list”. Highly recommended..

  8. I chose David to give my 13-year-old granddaughter a unique flight experience. We had a beautiful sunny day for seeing the Virginia countryside from his Stearman – including some hands-on time with her on the controls. David has a great sense of people’s airborne comfort zone, and he never put her in a situation in which she was uncomfortable. Naturally, I had to go with the full acrobatic ride – which also was a GREAT experience. The Stearman is a gentle aircraft, even in its acro maneuvers. David is a superb and friendly pilot. It’s good that the cockpit doesn’t have a credit card reader, or we’d have flown all day. You really should try this experience; you won’t regret it.

  9. David was a great pilot and guide and the aircraft is truly unique. I had an amazing time. I strongly recommend for anyone regardless if you’re a first time flyer or a seasoned pilot

  10. Phenomenal experience. Dave Brown is a great instructor, a wealth of knowledge on his aircraft, and a great guy to speak with. Recommend this experience to anyone who is even remotely interested in planes or history.

  11. One of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve ever had. If you’re a fan of aviation his knowledge will blow you away and even if you’re not, its just flat out a great time. The Stearman is so smooth its like flying in a Cadillac. I wish I could go up with Dave every day it truly is an absolute amazing time. Thank you so much! If anyone is reading this post please do yourself a favor, contact Dave and get in the sky now!

  12. Dave Brown is a class act! His Stearman Biplane ride was an absolutely amazing experience and the day could not have been better! Flying with him and on a treasure of a plane is SO WORTH IT! His sweet assistant was the perfect addition to getting us all safely in/out of the plane and she even took the time to play with the kids!!

    Hanging out with family and friends in Dave’s airplane hanger will be a very special memory for us to have, especially the kids!!! They LOVED IT!! And we all felt so safe and at ease while we and the kids flew around in a piece of history!! Go BOOK YOUR FLIGHT!!

  13. This was an absolutely great experience. The aircraft is in outstanding shape inside and out. The pilot, David, is great, as he gives you easy to understand instructions. The aircraft is fun to fly and really maneuvers like a dream. David even took the controls and did some flying of his own, demonstrating how nimble the Stearman is to fly. No wonder the Army Air Corps used these planes as trainers. I would recommend this experience because you get to fly, look over the beautiful area of Warrenton, and just get a bit of history about WWII aircraft training. Big thanks to David!!!!

  14. Took a one hour sightseeing flight yesterday. The word I would use to describe it: AWESOME! From the history of the aircraft to the inflight descriptions of sights seen, it truly was a unique experience. I would recommend flying with Mr. Brown unreservedly. If you want to see the beautiful hunt country of Virginia from a different perspective, you’ve come to the right place. I wish you CAVU if you go!

    • Thanks Bob. And for those that may not know all of the aviation acronyms, CAVU translates to Ceiling And Visibility Unrestricted!! I agree with that. Thanks again for flying with me.

  15. An amazing, phenomenal experience! David is equal parts professional and friendly, and he’s not just there to give you a plane ride; he’s there to give you an excellent learning experience as well. Dave was very accommodating of my tight travel schedule, as I don’t live in the lower 48, and kept me up to date with the weather in the days before the flight. I picked the Acrobatic Flight, and I’m very glad I did; I recommend it highly!

    It had been years since I’d taken the controls of an airplane, and Dave helped rekindle that dream; the Stearman is definitely no Cherokee! Also, it’s not just Dave; do yourself a favor and come in a little earlier so you can shoot the breeze with the locals at the airfield. Everyone’s friendly, and it’s nice to be able to just sit and chill at the airport, especially if you’ve only experienced the cold sterility and crowding of big-city, high-volume airports.

    Dave, I can’t thank you enough for the experience, and I’ll be definitely be coming back for a flight the next time I’m in VA!

    PS: The biplane has a camera mount facing the cockpit; bring a GoPro or similar to take home a video of the experience!

  16. David, thanks so much for a once in a lifetime experience! It was a perfect day including the breeze. The flight was a birthday gift from my wife and I could not have been happier. The flight, scenery, talks before and during the flight made it truly memorable. I have always loved historic planes and cars, but flying in one and going back in history was truly amazing. I will definitely be flying with you again! Thank you.

  17. David showed me a great time during my You Fly It experience in the Stearman.
    It was a beautiful Spring day, and I was able to check a couple of experiences off my bucket list.
    I’ve wanted to ride in a Stearman for a long time, and getting to fly it was icing on the cake!
    I highly recommend taking a ride with David if you’re an aviation fan, and have never ridden in an open cockpit aircraft; and don’t be afraid to take the stick when offered!

  18. This is one of the most exciting rides I have ever taken. Being in control of an airplane and the experience of yanking and banking, hard turns from left to right are better than any roller coaster ever invented. HANDS DOWN!!! Thank you David Brown for such an awesome aviation adventure that will always be remembered!

  19. Once in a lifetime experience! I gifted a piloting lesson with David to my boyfriend, a big WWII fan, who had an incredible flight and can’t stop raving about it. Thanks, David!

  20. Incredible experience. I’ve flown in small aircraft before but nothing this classic and beautiful. David was an excellent host and clearly loved making each ride the perfect experience! Thank you David, this was worth every penny and I’d come again in a heartbeat!

  21. David, Thank you for taking me up in your bi-plane and allowing me to be a pilot for ten minutes. We had a chamber of commerce weather day for the flight with blue skies and beautiful white clouds. Your knowledge and pride of ownership made for a great experience. It was a bucket list item I can check off that I didn’t even know I wanted { thanks to my wife ]. I would love to come back and do the acrobatic flight. Thanks for a wonderful experience, Gary

  22. This experience was first rate in every aspect. The aircraft was meticulously maintained and in excellent condition. The pilot was early, was waiting on us, was friendly, gave an excellent tour of the aircraft and overview of what we were going to do. He has over 5000 + hours in the aircraft and it surely shows. He was engaging, affable and courteous. The flight was even better than I had anticipated and was worth every penny. Even though I have had my private pilots license since age 16 and have flown Apache helicopters for the Army, I had always dreamed of a ride in an open cockpit biplane. For me, it was an experience of a life time!!! Book this experience, you will enjoy every minute of it!!!

  23. AWESOME!!! SUPER!!! FANTASTIC!!! WOW!!! This was one of those experiences of a lifetime. My kids got me this ride as a birthday present. I used to fly as a non-pilot for the Air Force. I’ve flown with friends a few times in small aircraft. I have many years of flying computer flight simulators. This was a crowning experience to be able to take control of a real plane and do some basic maneuvers. The plane just gleams. It is a testament to Dave Brown’s love of flying and his love of sharing that with others. Compared to others it is a Cadillac (or Mercedes) – very solid. Dave is very personable and provides history and stories of his flying this historic aircraft. He goes into detail on the controls, instrumentation and flight characteristics based on his perception of your flying knowledge. He exudes the love of flight. This experience is more than well worth it for anybody that has the slightest love of flying!

  24. This was a truly memorable experience. The conditions were perfect. David inspired confidence as a pilot and instructor. He was knowledgeable, patient, and helpful. Getting to actually fly the plane for a while in a controlled manner was nerve wracking but tremendous fun; the wing-overs, low passes, stalls and dives that David then did were an exhilarating bonus. It all went by too fast. Highly recommended for anyone who likes planes or WWII history. Or Both!

  25. What a fantastic experience! The airplane is awesome and David is a great pilot! The ride and the views are amazing. David is great with information about the history of the airplane, and very much like a tour guide, pointing out interesting views and sights on the ground. Would definitely do this again. A bargain!

  26. My sister and I gave our mom the 30 minute aerobatic flight as at 56th birthday gift and it was worth every penny! David was a great historian and even better pilot. His passion and insight for aviation and his vintage stearman added to the overall experience. David was very accommodating as we booked only a week prior to our flight. There were no hidden fees or added prices which was a huge plus for us. Flying with David was incredible! I will be recommending this thrilling experience to anyone looking for adventure. The three of us agreed this was one of the coolest thrills EVER!!

    • Thanks for the great review Catherine. It was a pleasure meeting all of you and introducing you to the Stearman flight experience!

  27. I received a one-hour flight as a gift and it was the experience of a lifetime. Words cannot describe the sensation of spins, stalls, and aerobatics in an open-cockpit biplane. Thank you for an experience I’ll never forget!

  28. I’ve never flown before in my life in any type of plane, so I thought ide go on a plane ride for my birthday. So I find Brown’s plane rides and they’ll actually let YOU fly the plane!? I’m still smiling ear to ear, I went up with Brian, may 12th, who was above and beyond as an instructor and to make the whole experience feel comfortable and safe. I want to go back already and I plan on it…best money I’ve ever spent on something I’ll never forget

    • Thanks for the great comments. It was our pleasure to take you for your first ride! Looking forward to seeing you again.

  29. Because of my beloved daughters giving me a gift certificate for a 1 hour flight, I was able to have a memorable and very enjoyable experience of flying in a vintage airplane with a warm, friendly and very knowledgeable pilot Dave Brown on Monday, May 7. The weather was great, Dave answered all my questions, but the highlight for me was flying the plane. I know Dave said I had the controls, however I am sure Dave was doing more of the flying than me. It was still a thrill and I will return for more.
    Thanks Dave for a wonderful flight

  30. What a great time I had flying in this vintage aircraft. Dave is so friendly and experience which creates a memorable flight. I really love flying the Stearman, it’s easy to follow Dave’s instructions.

    Thanks again Dave.

  31. I have been an avid lover of Warplanes ever since I first could utter the words “F-16 Fighting Falcon”. So to be able to say I had the opportunity to take full control of a WWII fighter plane is still so surreal to me. My experience with the incredibly polite, informative and enthusiastic Mr Brown was one of the best days of my life! Not only did we get to take a flight that I will remember for the rest of my life, I also got to talk all things aviation and history for hours! Highly recommend a flight with Mr Brown for anyone who has even the slightest interest in flying. You won’t regret it!

  32. Mr. Brown,
    First, let me thank you for your undivided attention on Saturdays flight. Next, I must confess to you that since landing and leaving the airfield, the whole experience seems to have been a beautiful dream. It was the most exhilarating experience of my life. I need not explain in detail the connection I felt with the flying machine, your airplane. Until the next time I feel that again, I will be dreaming.
    Thank you Sir
    Jason A. Donadi

  33. This fight experience was given to me from a special friend for my birthday out of aspirations for me to fly when I was a child she made my one dream come true with the help of David Brown and his experience of flying this is absolutely the best experience I’ve ever experienced in my life and I’m more than happy to express this with others and friends and recommend them for the same experience that I’ve enjoyed myself to be honest I was nervous when I was getting ready to go up into the air but after a few talks with the pilot and him walking me through everything he made it very easy and very enjoyable absolutely one of the best times in my life!

  34. I had a chance to fly with Dave on April 26th –an amazingly beautiful, clear day. The Stearman is in pristine condition and the flight was FANTASTIC! The take-off and landing were smooth, the plane flies very stably under Dave’s control, and whether you’re looking for relaxed sight-seeing or exhilarating aerobatics, Dave is an excellent pilot and will accommodate to your interests. He knows a lot about the history and mechanics of the aircraft and is an excellent tour guide. The aircraft and the flight were everything I hoped they would be, and I highly recommend booking a flight. I’ll likely come back once or twice per year! Whether you’re an aerospace engineer and pilot like me or have never flown before and would like to try it, this is an experience you’ll treasure for the rest of your life!

  35. David is a great tour guide and a great pilot. It has been awhile since I have been in the cockpit and he made me realize how much I missed it. Highly recommended for first timers and old hats!

  36. This is a bucket list gotta-do!!! If you want to feel a connection to aviation of the past … the open cockpit … the pulsating/throbbing of a prop/piston-driven biplane, you gotta check this out. My biggest problem was my sore face after — from smiling and laughing throughout the 60 minute flight! Dave provided a fantastic experience and did not hesitate to communicate to me at the level I wanted — whether to just feel comfortable and confident on what was going to happen during the flight, or the process of maintaining the aircraft, or the role the aircraft played over its 75+ year history… Dave can and will go into the detail you want. My family got this ride for a 60th birthday gift and as a connection to my Dad, who trained British cadets in WWII in this type of plane. This was an experience that accomplished that and also connected me with another place in time. This was a great experience. Dave was great, the plane was great, the ride was great. And while I had this originally as an activity on my bucket list… I think it is an activity that I will figure how to repeat on an annual basis! Thanks, Dave!

  37. My wife and sons set me up with this flight. It was fantastic. Dave is a great pilot, and it was a great adventure. The vintage Stearman was perfect. I highly recommend this adventure to anyone who enjoys controlled thrills. Dave was also very friendly to my grandson who was a spectator at the airport. Thanks, Dave for a great time.

  38. My husband gave me the experience for my 50th birthday. It was exhilarating and I tell anybody who will listen about Dave, his Stearman, and the unforgettable rolls and loops I was a part of. Looking forward to going again!

  39. This was a gift for my younger brother. Mr. Brown was very cheerful and accommodating in answering all of my brother’s questions and providing history about the plane and information on how this type of plane was used during WWII. My brother requested a couple of special maneuvers and Mr. Brown was able to accommodate. It was a great experience all around.

  40. I am extremely impressed with Dave Brown and the whole experience. Dave was very engaging and candid about what we would do and what he expected from me as the passenger. He put Marion at ease with his answers and description of the flight and the precautions taken. The area of the flight is a beautiful rural valley with the background of the Blue Ridge mountains. I was able to fly the airplane and do some simple maneuvers; stalls, turns, wing-overs with Dave leading me through the maneuver. For someone who has not flown an airplane in 40 years it was a thrill hard to describe. Thank you, Dave Beautiful airplane and fantastic pilot.

  41. My siblings and I bought our Dad a one hour flight for Father’s Day/his birthday last year. He used it this spring and it was such an amazing experience. Dave was so knowledgeable and friendly he put everyone at ease. He not only explained what was going to happen but he took some time to talk to my grandfather who is a WWII veteran about the types of planes and the history behind them. My dad was able to take a GoPro with him in the plane so we have a hour of footage and memories to share for years to come. I would definitely recommend this as a gift for an adventure lover or plane enthusiast. Such an awesome experience overall. Thanks for showing my dad such a good time!

  42. I flew for an hour with Dave in the number 03 Stearman, at sunset on April Fools’ Day. It was perfect, no fooling. It was just the ride that I had hoped for. Dave did aerobatics. I flew the plane twice. I captured some great video clips. The sky was beautiful. The temperature was right. The microphone and headset worked perfectly. Dave was an entertaining and interesting companion. Now I have the pure experience of flight filed away somewhere in my core; something that I had never yet achieved in many hours as a passenger in different kinds of military and commercial planes, puddle jumper aircraft and helicopters. When the Stearman flys it gets to know the air, I mean really know the air. And as a passenger I did too! I loved it. Thanks Dave for what you do.

  43. If you are collecting experiences, then this is one experience you must have! The plane is a beauty. Dave is the real deal. And the flight is incomparable. A great gift from my children and son in law. Thanks to everyone!

  44. This 30 min flight was a dream come true! Perfect weather, beautiful scenic views, amazing open cockpit biplane and a wonderful pilot! It felt like being a part of a thrilling movie but it was real!
    This flight experience is the best gift you can find 🙂
    And redeeming a gift certificate & booking the date was so easy!
    I can’t recommend David highly enough!!!

  45. I’ve had a lot of fun in general aviation… but my hour in Stearman 03 with Dave was definitely the most fun I’ve ever had in an airplane!

    I got my sport pilot certificate a few months ago and decided to celebrate with an “Ultimate Barnstormer’s” flight this past weekend (on Sept. 2016). I’m glad to say it was worth every penny, and I’ll never forget it.

    After letting me take the plane through some turns, stalls, accelerated stalls, and spins (with his close guidance), Dave started to demonstrate aerobatics, beginning with rolls and loops. They were a blast! Since I was comfortable (not at all queasy) and eager to do more, we did pushovers, hammerhead stalls, Cuban eights, wingovers… and other maneuvers I’m probably forgetting.

    Throughout the flight, but especially during aerobatics, Dave was great about explaining what he was doing/helping to give me a feel for the airplane. He also tailored the experience to what I was interested in doing: since I was loving aerobatics, he gave me the works — and even let me do a loop myself!

    The Stearman is just an incredible plane — responsive, fun, forgiving, and tough as nails. And Dave’s a great (and very safe) pilot who clearly loves what he does. He knows how to handle the Stearman; even the extended series of aerobatics he demonstrated to conclude my flight were very smooth. I had a blast, and I can’t recommend the experience highly enough.

    • I highly recommend this for anyone that likes to fly. David was great. He was very friendly and knowledgeable. I got the ultimate barnstormer and loved it. My only regret was I was a bit timid when he let me fly the plane. David explained the sites, the plane and all the maneuvers we did. Loved being in an open cockpit and all the acrobatics. David really enjoys what he does and he shares that with you. I can’t say enough good things about the experience.

  46. Took my first flight today! The pilot was absolutely amazing. He was very personable and very knowledgeable about the aircraft and it’s history. The experience itself was out of this world. words cannot describe the excitement i felt up in the air. I would recommend this to anyone and everyone!! If you are reading this book a flight immediately. You won’t be disappointed!! Thanks again Mr. Brown!

  47. Today was an absolute blast!

    I spent an hour in the open cockpit of Dave Brown’s Stearman . We flew around sightseeing for a few minutes, then I got a quick rundown on controlling the plane and took the controls.

    Flight Sims can teach you what you need to do, but they can’t give you the feel of a stick vibrating in your hand like the pulse of a live animal. You can read how the torque of a radial engine makes a plane want to bank left, but you don’t experience it tugging against your hand like a headstrong pony. You don’t experience how wind gusts will make you wander around the sky like a drunken sailor if you under or over correct. Flying a plane for the first time was both the scariest and most exhilarating thing I’ve done in my life.

    Then we did aerobatics. We did a full complement of air show stunts capped off with flat spin from 4000 feet, a series of wingovers, then a buzz of the Air Show field at 140mph. . . 20 feet off the ground. Roller coasters are forever ruined for me. They just don’t compare.

    I’ll remember this day the rest of my life! Thank you Dave for trusting me with the controls of your wonderful airplane, and giving me a true bucket list experience!

  48. Fantastic!! I was given the gift of a flight with Dave as a birthday present. As a former pilot that hasn’t flown recently, I was really excited and had high expectations. Dave is so personable and professional, and of course, a skilled pilot, that will have anyone impressed with the beauty and capability of his well-maintained Stearman. Thank you Dave for lighting the “flying bug” in me again!

  49. I bought a bi-plane ride for my Fiancé for his birthday and he absolutely loved it! David was really friendly, and patiently answered all of my questions about safety and procedure. He made both of us feel really comfortable before they flew. I had bought the wrong flight on accident and David was extremely accommodating and worked with us to fix it. I would highly recommend David!

  50. Truly an amazing day. Everyone involved in the experience was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of flying in an open air cockpit. Honestly one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done. Now I want to get my pilot’s license!

  51. David Brown, owner, operator and pilot is exceptionally accommodating. As a 32 year career Air Force pilot, I found David to be knowledgeable, proficient and highly professional. Despite my advanced age, I would happily book another flight. It was great. Thanks, Dave

  52. It’s a great ride. I especially enjoyed Davids ability to explain the history and operation of the aircraft. His skill and enthusiasm are quite impressive.

    Roger A Karmes

  53. Thank you Pilot David for our back to back flights!!! The Stearman brought each of us to new heights to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary! Jesse is still smiling about his acrobatic flight experience; and I mean STILL smiling. Wish you could have heard him telling his 95 year old mother all about it! I loved my sightseeing flight, so smooth and untethered from earth. It was a special way to celebrate a special day. APA

  54. I want you to know how much I enjoyed the flight. It was a real high point for me (pun not intended) and the culmination of something I have wanted to do for over 20 years. It was such a delight to get into the air in your beautiful airplane. Your love of flying enhanced my experience. I am very grateful to my brother for providing me this experience as a gift. Thank you for such a special day.

    With best wishes and keep flying!


  55. I did the 30-minute “you fly it” flight about a week ago, and was the first flight of the season. What an experience! David Brown (the owner/pilot) is a joy to fly with, as he explains exactly what’s happening throughout the experience, and tailors it to your level of comfort and skill. I felt challenged and had the adrenaline coursing the entire time, but always knew I was in good hands. What an experience it is flying a biplane! I’d also like to add that David is easy to work with in setting up the flight, very informal and a genuinely nice guy. The flight couldn’t have gone any better, in my opinion. Two enthusiastic thumbs up!

  56. I bought this as a gift for my wife for her 25th birthday and she absolutely loved every bit of the experience. My wife is a thrill seeker (already having skydive twice) and was simply amazed by the capabilities of the biplane. She highly recommends it to anyone who is seeking a great experience.

    Also, Dave was extremely nice and very professional. His passion for biplanes was very noticeable which made the experience all that much better.

    I asked my wife after they had landed, which was more fun, the biplane ride or skydiving. Without hesitating she replied, “biplane ride by far!” She also was able to take control of the biplane and fly it for a bit.

    The excitement on her face at the end was priceless. She wanted to go right back up and do it again!

  57. The stearman Bi-planes have been coming to Galesburg, Il since I was a kid back in the seventies. I always thought it would be fun to ride in one. My family bought me a acrobatic ride for my birthday, and I was able to go up on 9/11/2015 at the Galesburg airport. It was one of the great experiences of my life. If you like amusement rides, you will love this. Thank you Dave and Brian for making my day. I will recommend it to all my friends and family.

  58. If there’s anyway to rate an experience an 11 out of 10, this is the one I’d use that for! As a former Navy carrier-based jet pilot with over 3,000 hours in various conditions, I’ve had some memorable flight experiences…this one ranks in the Top Ten for most positive memories. A beautiful day with an enthusiastic and skilled pilot flying an immaculately maintained aircraft — folks, they don’t come any better than this. Dave — thanks so much — it was a great experience!

  59. Thank you. I had a wonderful time at Air Show and the ride was unbelievable. What a great plane! I look forward to doing it again.

  60. Mr. Brown was a wonderful pilot. Smoothest ride I ever had in any airplane. The stunts took my breath away. Wonderful experience. Had more excitement than the time I went skydiving.

  61. This may very well be one of the coolest things I’ve ever done, taking control of an open-cockpit plane is the definition of exhilarating. Dave Brown is an excellent instructor and pilot with an infectious passion for aviation and American history via the Stearman plane. I would highly recommend this experience for all.

  62. Great awesome loved it im 14 years old and have dreams of becoming a pilot myself and this is honestly the best experience ive ever had with flying thankyou so much Dave your the best 🙂

  63. “Dave Brown was outstanding. He was friendly, knowledgeable, personable, and super-talented. Everyone at the airport raved about his skills/talent, and a former WWII pilot couldn’t stop describing his abilities and comparing him to the very “best.” My husband had a BLAST — couldn’t stop talking about it and is waiting for the next ticket, I think. We’ll probably be back –it was quite a drive from home– but so worth it. If you want a great ride, in a great plane, with a great pilot — this is your opportunity!! THANKS!!!”

  64. I had a great time flying with you yesterday! Now when I watch the airshows I can say, “I did that”! 🙂

    It was amazing and something I will never forget! Thanks again for the experience!

  65. Just wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed meeting you, and what terrific fun we both had on our flights! There really is nothing that compares to being airborne with the cool wind rushing by and playing in the sky! We will be back…..and for Ron, even after 40 years of flying professionally, it’s always a thrill to go up! Thanks so much!

  66. I took my aerobatic thrill flight on 6/13/15 and it was FABULOUS!! David took me up and we did all the maneuvers. It was so much fun that I had him do them all again!! And there are few people anywhere as customer-service-minded as David. The entire experience was superb!!

  67. Bought myself a barnstormer package for my birthday and Dave was able to schedule me on my actual birthday (a Thursday afternoon)! Very smooth ride from take off to landing. The aerial acrobatics should NOT be missed. Nothing scary, just momentary thrills!
    A BIG thank you to Dave for an exciting moment in time I will remember for years to come!

  68. Awesome! Simply Awesome! My wife blessed me with the best birthday gift ever, with a flight with Dave in his Stearman. The weather(after the rain)was perfect, the Stearman performed flawlessly, and Dave gave excellent instruction with tremendous piloting skills. I have flown in many different types of planes, but the flight in the Stearman tops them all. Dave has taken great care of his Stearman and he takes great care of his customers. Thanks again Dave, and I will definitely be back for many more flights!

  69. This was probably one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. I have gone Sky Diving, Hang Gliding, Cliff Jumping, driven a NASCAR Stock Car, and many more but never had an experience quite like I did last week learning to fly Dave’s Biplane. There’s something spectacular about being up in the clouds. Just you, Dave (telling you what to do), and the wind blowing in your face. It was one of the most peaceful and surreal views seeing all of VA like that. Dave is one hell of an instructor. He really boiled down flying a plane in to a few simple and easy to handle steps. The plane is absolutely spectacular. Its beautiful and fly’s like an eagle through the wind. I brought my GoPro up with us and the shots I got were incredible. Definitely the best Birthday present I have ever got. Thanks, Dave!

  70. My wife got me the Ultimate Barnstormer flight for my birthday. This was by far the best flight experience I have ever had. David is a wonderful pilot and very enthusiastic. I would recommend this flight to everyone!

  71. As a Christmas present my husband bought me a 30 minute flight in which I also got the chance to actually fly the Stearman. Even before the flight I thought this was a great present. I have always loved to see these amazing planes fly, but now that I have taken the flight it was even more amazing. David was such a great teacher of what to do and his easy manner and approach to everything was fantastic. Very professional and allowed me to ask questions, not in a hurry. It was apparent that David loves to fly and share this with others. Having flown with both Air Force and Army pilots in the past I could tell David has Air Force training which is tops in my book. My husband said it was going to be hard to top this present but for me a repeat of this one would be perfect as far as I am concerned. Thanks David for the wonderful flight experience and opportunity to live out a dream. One more thing off the bucket list. (I will probably add it to the list again since it was so much fun.)

    Thanks again,
    Judy McDaniel

  72. THANK YOU so much for one of the most incredible times in my life. I absolutely loved the flight. I wish I had more money to fly anytime. Maybe when I win the lottery 🙂 You made my birthday extra special and I can not thank you enough for a truly enjoyable time. If you are ever looking for a recommendation let me know I would be more than happy to write one for you.

    Thanks again,
    Karen Taylor

  73. Just a note of thanks for the bucket list check off item for a ‘Flight in a Stearman’ that you made possible for my friend Ken. The experience was not only a success, it was everything that he had hoped for and more. From our initial meeting at hanger #29 to the post flight push back of that beautiful airplane it was an event of a lifetime. I had hoped for the open cockpit smells, radial engine symphony, singing of the air through the wires and, maybe a loop. I was overjoyed to learn that, with constant feedback, and narration he rode through a loop, barrel roll, Cuban eight, hammer head turn, and a spin (without the aid of a vomit bag). Now that’s a Stearman ride! Your demeanor and dialog throughout our visit indicated to us that you are a highly competent professional who thoroughly enjoys what he is doing and who also wants his client to enjoy the experience as well. You certainly accomplished both with distinction. I thank you and Ken thanks you. Best regards……

  74. My wife and kids booked me a flight with Dave as a Christmas present. Riding in an open cockpit biplane has been something I have wanted to do most of my life. Wow! What an experience. What a pilot. Dave and the Stearman are both top shelf! This flight was everything I had imagined and more. We made it a family day, ages 3-86 and we all had a great time. I think this event is first of several in our family.

  75. I’m a private pilot who wanted to do some unusual attitude training. I saw Dave and his Stearman at the Flying Circus and realized there could not be a more fun way to get the training I was looking for! Dave was super friendly and very knowledgable. We took the Stearman out to the practice area and I did accelerated stalls, spins and various other maneuvers with Dave’s guidance. He also did some aerobatic maneuvers as a way to demonstrate aerodynamic forces at the extreme edges of flying. By the time the flight was over I had learned a ton and done it in style in an open cockpit.

    If all you have ever flown is a trainer you owe it to yourself to see what fun flying can be!

  76. Dave,

    Thank you so much for the amazing day you gave my dad this past weekend for Father’s Day. He was so surprised and couldn’t have been more excited once he saw your PT-17 Stearman, what a beauty! We thought this sightseeing flight was going to be a once in a lifetime experience, but I think he will be back for many future outings! Up next is the aerobatic flight. Thank you also for explaining the history of the plane, so interesting…and for just being so cool! You are an awesome pilot. Thank you for everything! See you soon!

    Allene Gagliano

  77. David,

    Thank you so much for letting me, for just a moment, feel like I was that young Lieutenant flying his Bird Dog again. I have re-lived our flight many times in my mind since we landed. My kids are amazed that I could remember anything and had the guts to go up. I cherish your compliment when I was trying a few turns and you said “ I can tell you have flown before”. Of course you were polite and did not mention that I was not controlling my altitude very well. I remember the days when all that would have been done correctly without even thinking about it and considered “ Just another day in the air over Germany”

    John Cahoon
    3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment

  78. Hello Dave

    Thank you so much for making this “the greatest gift my mother has ever received”. I have received more ‘thank you’s’ from her than I can possibly count!

    I wanted to express my appreciation to Dave for providing what my mother described as “the greatest gift she has ever received”. My mother’s birthday and Mother’s Day often coincide. My mother turned 80 years old this year, so I wanted this birthday to be special. Dave Brown insured that was the case! My mother went on the one hour sightseeing flight with Dave. He could not have been more wonderful! He showed great patience and understanding in the way he explained things to her and he did a phenomenal job getting her into and out of the plane. (As I said….this was in celebration of her 80th birthday!) My mother loved the airplane, she thought it was beautiful; but the day would not have been as great without Dave’s professionalism and understanding. I have recommended the experience to all of my friends and I plan to go myself. It is one of the best and most unique gifts that you could provide for a birthday, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. We attended the Flying Circus Airshow that same afternoon. It included beautiful airplanes and many dedicated and highly skilled pilots. When talking to the pilots after the show, you could tell how much everyone loved what they do. Thank you Dave for ensuring that my mother had the “greatest experience of her life” (her words, not mine).


  79. I am writing this a little after the fact, but I had two rides over Labor Day weekend 2013 at Galesburg IL. It was a great experience. I now have an entry in my logbook for instruction in a Stearman, and the extra cost of the aerobatic ride is totally worth it.

  80. My cousin and I had our ride with Dave, and it was a once in a lifetime experience! It was thrilling! I highly recommend spending the time to meet Dave and take a ride in this plane. I look forward to going back and taking part in an aerobatic ride.

  81. My wife and kids gave me a gift certificate for an aerobatic flight with Brown Aviation in the PT17 Stearman. Scheduling the flight with Dave was easy and the next thing I knew I was meeting him at the hanger on the perfect day to fly. Dave let me mount a goPro camera on one of the struts so I could get some footage of the flight ( I just have to say, this was the best present I have ever gotten!! I had so much fun in the Stearman. I have flown many times before but never acrobatically. Dave explained the moves he would do one at a time and then he did them in combinations. There isn’t a roller coaster out there that can compare to the flight with Dave. I hope to do more in the near future!

  82. I just took my first ride and can say it was one of the most amazing things I have ever done. Dave is an awesome pilot! He provides a very informative tour then gets into exciting acrobatics! It was a smooth ride the whole time. I recommend this to everyone, even if you are a little nervous.

  83. Good morning every body!
    I am writting this message a little late, but with school, I didn’t have time before!!!
    My name is Pierrick, I am french, and I took this flight for my 15th birthday!
    I took a biplane ride with David, and it was just AWSOME!!! These 30 minutes has been a lot of emotion, but Dave was a super pilot and it has been terrific! I would like to become a air pilot fighter later, and this amazing flight just make me want that stronger than ever.
    If you have an opportunity to take a flight, don’t hesitate!!!
    Thanks you again David for this flight, and bye every body.

  84. Thanks to Dave & Brian (my pilot) for the best 30 minutes of flying, ever. Brian toured me around on a gorgeous sunny Labor Day, in Galesburg, IL, at the annual “fly-in”. Not only was the view from the plane amazing, but Brian’s skills as well as his engaging education about flying made the whole trip “priceless”. Terrific ambassadors for the thrill of flight!!

  85. My wife and boys purchased me an aerobatic ride for Father’s Day and it was phenomenal! As a retired U.S. Marine “rotorhead”, flying is in my blood and I never tire of being in the air. However, this experience was like none other! Dave is truly a top notch aviator and handles the Stearman in an enviable, effortless manner. Although performing aerobatic maneuvers, it was a smooth and fascinating ride! If you have never had the pleasure of being in the air with Dave, you do not know what you are missing! Semper Fi, Dave! You are the best!

  86. David,
    Thank You, The smile on my Brides face was priceless after her ride. It has always been a dream of hers to fly in a open Stearman. She’ll be back and so will the grand kids. Sincerely, William G. Bott

  87. I purchased a ride for my husband for father’s day. Of course, as a young mother with a young son, I inevitably had some nerves about him being up in the air. As soon as I saw the impeccable condition of the plane, and the tidy garage, I felt 100% at ease. David is an absolute pro and clearly knows what he’s doing. It’s easy to connect to his congenial personality which I’m sure can put the most nervous person at ease.

    My husband is a fan of WWII planes, and this fit the bill perfectly. It was a perfect day, a perfect ride, and a perfect experience! My husband enjoyed the opportunity to take the controls, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to top the experience again! Thanks to David for your professionalism, the love for your plane, and the great opportunity!

  88. Last week my daughters surprised me with a ticket to ride. I finally fulfilled a long-time ambition of flying in an open-cockpit biplane. Wow! I loved it. It was so much fun, far exceeding my expectations. I can’t wait to do it again. There was one moment, when we turned and dove to do a little low-level barnstorming and we were pointed towards the fast coming up ground, where a little trepidation tripped through my head but was immediately banished by the comforting thought that Dave is a remarkably skilled pilot and I had complete faith that things would be alright. If you’re thinking about doing this, do it, you’ll love it!

  89. David,

    Thanks for the awesome ride in your pt-17 today!

    I really appreciated all the great stunts you did for me, man, talk about freedom..and flying! Just loved it.

    This is how I celebrated my 11th wedding anniversary, thanks Michelle!!

    I really dig your airplane, what a wonderfully preserved piece of avaition history, I personally wouldn’t change a thing, its super cool as is. Runs like a champ and wow does Dave have mad skills at the stick, I am inpressed.

    thanks again Dave, hope we meet again sometime.

    Jeff and Michelle Bockus

  90. My daughter bought me a ride in Dave’s Stearman for my birthday last weekend. As a retired USAF B-52 and B-1 instructor pilot, I must say it was a thrill beyond belief. Of course I chose the aerobatic flight. The open cockpit really adds to the fun of the loops, lazy eights, four point rolls, and other manuevers. Dave is a highly skilled pilot and I doubt there is anyone better at what he does in a Stearman. He is a joy to fly with and if you have the opportunity to fly with him, take it. You will be talking about it for weeks and have memories for a lifetime.

  91. What a ride, I had not flown in 30+ years in a light aircraft (never in a bi-plane). That had to be one of the best 30 minutes I have had all year. Although I am not a pilot, but the instructional time spent with Dave and the pure joy of doing wing-overs in the Stearman was fabulous. You just can’t beat the open-cockpit experience and the sound and smell of the 7 cylinder radial engine purring along at 1200 feet over the Warrenton countryside. Flying the Stearman was truly incredible, what a plane. Thanks Dave, sign me up for the aerobatic ride next year!

  92. I recently went on my third flight with Dave and had such a great time! He did a lot of aerobatics with me this time….better than a roller coaster! The weather was perfect and I got some great pictures from the air. Flying with Dave is well worth your time and money…it’s an adventure many people only dream of and never get a chance to do. Dave is a real pro and I’ll definitely be back up in the air with him as soon as I can!

  93. This past September 2011 I had the pleasure to attend the 40th Annual National Stearman Fly-In hosted in Galesburg Illnois. My friend Dave Brown competed and won the 2011 National Stearman Fly-In Masters Aerobatic Contest. Dave was flying his stock Stearman with a 220 HP Continental engine. Dave was up against his peers “the best” some flying Stearman’s with a 450 HP Pratt. Dave is a great showman and while mighty good with energy mangement was judged by the “King of Energy Management in a Stearman”. That says a lot.
    That Judge among others was John Mohr of renown Air Show fame. Dave is modest, sign of a true Champion and will be conducting a seminar on Aerobatic Flying at this years 2012 event in Galesburg. I would suggest you consider Dave Brown when you are looking for Stearman Instruction. This is a unsolicited endorsement. CAVU John Dudley Barksdale

  94. On July 22, 2012 I had the pleasure of taking my boyfriend down to the Aerodome for his first aerobatic biplane ride with Dave Brown. We were celebrating Ben’s 30th birthday. Dave Brown couldn’t have been a better pilot to take Ben up. Ben loves the feeling of thrill and Dave gave that to him for the entirety of his ride. I only wish that they could have stayed closer so I could see all of the maneuvers that were being performed. Two months later we are still taking about how much fun he had on his ride. This was the BEST birthday present, to see the smile on his face made the two hour drive one way completely and totally worth it. If you ever have the chance to take advantage of a ride with Dave or send a friend/family member up with him…DO IT!!!! It will be the time of your/their life.
    Thanks again for making his birthday an amazing one!!!!

  95. I fly just about every week on commercial jets from one city to another, most of the time. So, flying is nothing new to me as I’ve been one of those Road Warriors for over 2 decades. But, that experience is more like a Greyhound Bus compared to what my wife, my first true love, gave me for my birthday. Dave Brown gave me one of the biggest thrills of my life and it only took an hour! Flying in a his open cockpit WWII airplane on Memorial Day was truly a breathtaking event. We hovered at around 1000 feet and flew a route taking us into the Foothills on a day where we had a visibility of 10 miles, not a cloud in the sky! It gave me a totally different perspective and renewed my interest in flying! Also, watching my 2 boys (Nick & Jake) take all of it in was also very rewarding! Dave also added to it with all his knowledge, experience, and true love of flying. I would highly recommend doing this because it’s a total “bucket list” item, so put it on yours, call Dave, and book it!

  96. This was the first time I was up in a airplane, and at first i was kinda scared. we had a very clean takeoff and up we went, after about 2 to 3 minutes in the air i felt very comfortable. i was so comfortable with Dave Brown i asked him to do a flip and we did a flip and a barrel roll it was very stress relieving, and cool flipping upside down. Mr. Brown is the best in the business and I would recommend that if anybody wanted to go on a biplane ride he is the man. the landing was so smooth is barely felt the ground hit the wheels. HE IS THE BEST.

  97. As a fellow Stearman pilot, I called Dave Brown for help with information on my biplane. His generosity in sharing his time, knowledge & enthusiasm is unparalleled & his expertise is invaluable. Dave is a wonderful person & and a great asset to the flying community. Thanks Dave!

  98. I flew from 0W3 to KHWY on a beautiful fall day and had the experience of a lifetime taking an aerobatic flight with Dave. As a fellow aviator and military man, I can say unequivocally that he is one of the most skilled and professional pilots I have had the benefit of knowing. He is also one of the nicest guys you could hope to meet in aviation. The entire experience was like stepping back into the Army Air Corps of 1942: from the exceptional PT-17, to the period decorated hangar, right down to the aviator’s cap you wear in the open cockpit-a first class experience all the way! Great job Dave!

  99. I just got home after one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life: flying with Dave Brown in his vintage (and gorgeous!) Stearman! My wife bought me an aerobatic ride with Dave for my birthday and WOW–it was the gift of a lifetime!!! Shortly after landing, I tried to describe the experience to her, but failed: I ended up by saying that, “Honey, there simply are not enough superlatives in the english language to describe the experience I just had!” That experience, however, would never have happened without Dave; his skill at the controls of the Stearman are–once again–beyond my limited ability to describe. He is clearly the master of his element, and “one” with his plane. For anyone that’s ever dreamed of doing something like this, do yourself a favor and stop dreaming! Make it happen! I promise you won’t regret it and will have a memory that will last (vividly!) for the remainder of your life! I’ll be back!!!

  100. I had the pleasure of flying with Dave at the National Stearman Fly-In in September. What a wonderful and exciting experience. He won the Master Aerobatic Competition and rightfully so. Way to go Dave.. You deserved that recognition!!

    Can’t wait for next year!!


  101. My first flight with David was over 25 years ago. I was fortunate to be in Warrenton a couple years ago and to be able to take another flight with David, but in the Stearman this time. Wow!!!! We didn’t do the full acrobatic experience, but we did do a couple rolls. It was awesome!! My daughter, who is afraid of flying, also went up that day. She said it was incredible. Besides the excitement, the scenery is amazing as well. I can’t wait to go back.

  102. If you are considering a ride in a plane for yourself or as a gift, you will find many many places and airplanes to choose from, but I can tell you from my personal experience that you need look no further. You absolutely must take a ride in a biplane to understand how amazing it really is… Once you realize this, understand you must ride in a Stearman. It is tough, rugged, comfortable and beautiful, everything a biplane should be. Once you realize this, you ABSOLUTELY MUST ride with Dave Brown. There is no one better, more skilled, friendlier, accommodating or eager to please. He wants you to have the time of your life, whether that is straight and gentle or upside down, rolling, looping and spinning. You are in safe, competent hands with Dave! Book your ride, you’ll never regret it!

  103. I was the lucky “Wolford” chosen to fly with David at the Stearman Fly-In in Galesburg, Illinois this past weekend and I have not stopped telling anyone and everyone who will listen what a thrill it was! Gliding over my husband’s family’s farm and seeing the patterns of the landscape and trying to fix it all in my mind’s eye while staying in the moment was the biggest challenge next to trying to write about it now. I felt “safely tucked” in to my little seat and as we climbed out from the grass airstrip my spirit soared! The joy of being piloted by someone who loves what he does and just wants to share it was truly the best blessing of all. Whenever I need a little “lift” I will go back to that special day when I was invited to fly the friendly skies. Thanks for the thrill of my life! See ya next year?

    • Thanks Dana for the great feedback. I am glad you enjoyed the flight. I would be happy to work a flight for Andy’s brother. Just have him contact me. Thanks again and maybe we will see you next year in IL if we are able to fly out there again! Dave

  104. Dave Brown provides a outstanding Stearman ride. It’s fun and educational.
    His wonderful attitude and passion make it a joy, Dave is a true “Southern Gentlemen of the Air”.

    Recently Dave flew at the Lynchburg Regional Airshow, performing and providing VIP/Sponsor rides to the thrill of thousands and the few lucky riders.

    I would fly with Dave any day. He has the respect of all his fellow pilots. Come meet him at the Flying Circus in Bealeton Va. any Sunday May thru Oct. or schedule a surprise ride as a gift for that special person.

  105. I had the great pleasure of riding with David at the Flying Circus Balloon Fest and it was a great experience. He was super and the ride was the thrill of my life. Thank you David for such a great time. It won’t be my last!

  106. DAVID BROWN IS THE MAN!!! My wife surprised me with an aerobatic flight with Dave for my birthday a few weeks ago, it was unreal. Thousand times better than any roller coaster you’ll go on, amazing views, and the crazy twists and turns make for an adrenaline rush like no other, I highly recommend for the thrill seekers. I’ll definitely be visiting Dave again and maybe even making it an annual summer ride!

  107. Just had my first aerobatic flight today with Dave at the Flying Circus, amazing experience. Quite often in life things do not live up to our expectations but Dave really delivered, a great show and then WOW what a ride. From enjoying cruising along taking in the scenery in the open cockpit, to the thrill of feeling weightless as the plane seems to tumble toward earth before feeling the g forces as the plane roars to life pulling out and readying for the next maneuver. Amazing and it goes on and on, incredible, i really really got my moneys worth and am glad to have met a nice guy and amazing pilot.

  108. Fortunate to say that my very first aerobatic biplane ride was with Dave in 2007, from that point on I have been addicted to the thrills of an open cockpit. We drive six hours from North Carolina, and Dave makes it well worth the drive! Dave will adapt his flight to the passenger, if you like intense and thrilling you will get it; likewise if you just want to sit back and enjoy the wonderful views Dave will oblige. Thanks Dave! We will see you next year! (No, Joe says in the Fall – proably mid September or early October).

  109. Dave is an AWESOME pilot! I go up with him every year for a thrilling aerobatic ride, and the rides ONLY get better and more exciting each year. Can’t wait to go up with him again. We’ll be back soon for another thrilling ride again, thanks Dave!

  110. Wow! My husband and I just celebrated our anniversary with plane rides with Dave. I cannot begin to say how much we enjoyed the adventure. Dave, an experienced pilot and Air Force Reservist, made our trip exciting and informative. He is dedicated to preserving his vintage Stearman and to providing his clients with the most “bang for their buck.” He obviously loves flying and his expertise and skill provided us with the trip of a lifetime. Thanks, Dave! We’ll be back!

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