NewsChannel 34’s Jackie Gillis takes a ride in vintage WW2 aircraft ahead of Binghamton Airshow

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BINGHAMTON, NY – The Greater Binghamton Air Show is back again this weekend after not being able to have it last year due to COVID.

NewsChannel 34’s Jackie Gillis got a preview of what ones team’s routine will look like this weekend.

The GEICO Skytypers Air Show Team is a flight squadron of 6 vintage WW2 aircraft.

These planes were the training planes used to train pilots before the war, so these planes have been around for nearly 80 years. The slot pilot this weekend, Chris Thomas says he’s essentially “flying history.”

Chris Thomas, slot pilot says: “If you listen to the narration that goes with our show, basically our show, coupled with the narration is telling the story of the world’s greatest generation. It’s the maneuvers and tactics that were used by the pilots in WW2 in Korea.”

Slot pilot means Thomas will be at the bottom of the diamond formation tucked up behind the boss.

Thomas says even though most of their moves were used by pilots in WW2, they have some surprise moves that he knows the crowd will love this weekend.

The GEICO Skytypers are a New York based team, however they mainly perform over on the East Coast.

So, this is their first weekend in Binghamton, performing at the Binghamton Air Show.

I actually got the chance to ride in one of these planes yesterday with Thomas as my pilot.

I got to experience a mini demonstration of their performance you’ll see this weekend.

The plane I was in is a Navy SNJ-2 or T-6 as the Army Air Corp calls it.

This plane has been around for 79 years. Thomas says that this style plane is unique for a couple reasons.

“It came with tail hooks. There were about 15 and a half thousand SNJ or T-6s made, of this particular model that we fly, there were only 72 or 73 made. There’s only 13 left in the world flying and the Skytypers are very unique that we fly 4 of them,” says Thomas.

Their performance also includes “skytyping” that can be seen for 15 square miles. Being sponsored by GEICO, a lot of their messages are GEICO related, however make sure you pay attention for the big heart they’ll draw in the sky.

You can catch the Skytypers performance around 1:30 each day.

The air show is from noon to 4 Saturday and Sunday at 9:30.

Head over to Binghamtonairshow.com for more information.

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