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.

3 minuteBay Area NewsLocalthree minute interviewTransittransportation

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Gov. Gavin Newsom gave an update on COVID-19 cases on Thursday Nov. 3, 2020. (Examiner screenshot)
Newsom announces statewide stay-at-home order tied to availability of hospital beds

Order will take effect in Bay Area when intensive care unit capacity falls below 15 percent

Photo by Abalone Runner/ <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74406455" target="_blank">CC BY-SA 4.0</a>
Former Newsom spokesman Nathan Ballard facing domestic violence, child abuse charges

Prominent Bay Area political strategist Nathan Ballard is facing domestic violence and… Continue reading

Construction crews work on new red bus rapid transit lanes on Van Ness Avenue on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA board scrutinizes Van Ness BRT spending

Proposed contract modification would allocate $2.6 million for pedestrian monitors

Mayor London Breed said “I need to hold myself to a higher standard” in response to criticism of a recent meal at a Napa Valley restaurant. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Breed calls criticism for French Laundry trip ‘fair’

Mayor said she regrets that actions ‘distracted’ from public health message as COVID-19 cases rise

City Administrator Naomi Kelly said Wednesday that the allegations against her husband were “based on the word of a liar.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City Administrator Naomi Kelly takes leave after feds charge husband

High-ranking official under scrutiny over 2016 China trip

Most Read