FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – Have you ever wondered what the mountain state looks like from up in the air? One local business in Fayette County gives you that chance.
The 1943 Boeing Stearman biplane’s name holds a lot of history. The World War II-era plane once saw use in training young pilots being sent to battle. Now, it’s flying through the skies above West Virginia, including the New River Gorge and Summersville Lake. Bill Chouinard, the owner and operator at Wild Blue Adventure Company in Fayetteville, pilots this plane and takes many locals and tourists up for a ride.
“1943 Boeing Stearman. You think about that. 77 years old, that’s pretty amazing,” Chouinard said. “We really tailor the ride to the person’s expectations, their experience, and also their comfort zone.”
West Virginia Tonight’s Katie Forcade decided to face her fear of heights and take a ride in the plane. Passengers sit up in the front seat where they are safely buckled in and receive a quick briefing.
Chouinard who is seated in the back seat says this experience is unlike any other.
“This isn’t really a thrill ride. We want to really grow the love of aviation with this plane. If I land and someone says, ‘this is the best experience I’ve ever had, I was never really scared’, that’s really what we’re looking for,” Chouinard said.
Chouinard also says he’ll do some aerobatics in the air if you’re feeling bold enough. Forcade said she wasn’t feeling that bold, but after a simple, easy lesson, Chouinard even let her take command of the plane for a few minutes.
Chouinard flew the plane over the New River Gorge Bridge, and before she knew it, Forcade said they were making their descent and landing back on to Fayetteville grounds.
“It was a once in a lifetime experience and truthfully — I loved every minute of it,” Forcade said.