Biplane pilot ready for daring feats at Fleet Week

Aviator Michael Wiskus is currently en route from Minneapolis and will arrive in San Francisco in time to participate in the San Francisco Fleet Week Air Show this weekend.

What do you fly?

I fly the Lucas Oil Pitts. It’s a Pitts Model 7 and it’s very rare; only three of them were ever built. It’s a high-performance biplane, built for one thing and one thing only — and that’s extreme aerobatics.

When was it built?

It was originally built in 1999, but when I bought it, it was wrecked. I bought it on eBay and rebuilt the airplane myself. It’s a tiny little airplane; its wingspan is just 18 feet.

Do you like performing in San Francisco?

First of all, I love doing air shows over water, and San Francisco — what a wonderful town. What’s so cool about it is here I am in the air, going straight toward the Golden Gate Bridge. I pull straight up and start turning around and around, and I see the Golden Gate Bridge go by, and see the Golden Gate Bridge go by, and see the Golden Gate bridge go by, on each turn. I mean, golly, there is no place like San Francisco to do an air show.

What else should people look out for?

I’ll go from zero to 275 mph. I’ll stop the aircraft in midair and it’ll hover. I’ll be rolling it end over end just 10 to 50 feet over the water. So mixing it all together with the location — it couldn’t be more perfect.

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