CHICOPEE, Mass. (WGGB) — The Great New England Air Show kicks into high gear this weekend, but some of the planes and performers flew into Westover Thursday. I was able to get the same view the pilots with the Geico Skytypers Air Show team get when they perform at air shows all across the country. Steve Salmirs was my pilot. He’s been flying with the geico team for 20 years and enjoys every minute of it. He told me, “It’ a lot of fun It’s so great especially in the winds when we fly close together. You’ll see that in the air show this weekend.”
The Geico team is a squadron of six vintage World War II training planes.
Only 11 of these planes still exist and the team uses six of them. Steve tells me, “They were actually used to practice with Navy pilots and the plane would actually land on air craft carriers.”
Most of us have heard of skywriting, but maybe not skytyping. Steve explains, “ Those of us who are older probably remember those dot matrix printers that come out in little dots and form letters. That’s what we do. We have six airplanes, all we need is five. We fly one-thousand feet from wing tip to wing tip in five planes. We just put out puffs of smoke based on messages from the computer in the center airplane.
Steve and the Geico Team will be performing Saturday and Snday at the air how. He told me to be prepared for a great show.