Aviator Warren Pietsch – Warbird Radio LIVE! – Episode 640

WARBIRD RADIO – When it comes to vintage aircraft display pilots few can touch the of experience Warren Pietsch.  According to his Pietsch Aircraft biography, Warren began flying at a young age and soloed on his 16th birthday. In 1980 Warren joined his father Al and brother, Kent in the Air Show industry performing at shows across the U.S. and Canada. In addition to flying Air Shows, Warren was a captain for a major airline for 20 years flying Lockheed 1011, B-727, B-737’s worldwide. Warren has accumulated over 26,000 hours of flight time in aircraft ranging from gliders, J-3 Cubs, antique aircraft and vintage WWII aircraft.  Warren continues to operate the family business his father began in 1957. Pietsch Aircraft Restoration & Repair, Inc. is located in Minot, ND. They offer flight instruction including both glider and power aircraft. The shop crew remains busy rebuilding several antique aircraft, maintaining customer aircraft, and engine work. Warren & Brian started the Minot Aero Center together and opened it’s doors for operation December 31, 2009 and it has been growing ever since. 

In addition to his work at Pietsch Aircraft, Warren is the Chief Pilot for the Texas Flying Legends Museum and an active participant at the Dakota Territory Air Museum.  Just the links below for more information.  Thanks for tuning in.

SHOWTIME is 8pm ET / Tuesday / January 30th 2018 / Podcast will follow

QUICK LINK:  Texas Flying Legends

QUICK LINK:  Dakota Territory Air Museum

QUICK LINK:  Pietsch Aircraft

Glenn H. Curtis Museum P-40 Restoration – Warbird Radio LIVE! – Episode 588

P40WEBMAINWARBIRD RADIO – Traff Doherty from the Glenn H. Curtis Museum joins Matt Jolley with news on their P-40 restoration.  The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, is dedicated to the memory of pioneer aviator, Glenn Curtiss.  The museum, located in New York, contains a priceless collection relating to early aviation and is currently restoring a WWII era Curtis P-40E “War Hawk“.

In addition to it’s aircraft collection, the museum also features a 75-seat theater, large open area for special events and a gift shop.   Click on the Quick Link below for more information.  As always your calls and comments are appreciated.  To join the conversation use the contact information at the bottom of the show story.  Larry Kelley also joins the show with news on the Delaware Aviation Museum’s new B-25 SIC rating.  Check the Quick Link below for details.


QUICK LINK:  Glenn H. Curtis Museum Website

QUICK LINK:  Learn to fly the B-25

STUDIO LINE:  478-787-4768

SKYPE: warbirdradio

EMAIL:  matt@warbirdradio.com


Now this is flying…Texas Flying Legend’s Style!

WARBIRD RADIO – Our friends at the Texas Flying Legends Museum certainly know how to put on a show.  Take a look at this video from their 2011 at the airshow in St. Barths.  Enjoy the video!

QUICK LINK:  Texas Flying Legends Museum

FRIDAY FAVORITE: Warbird Radio Presents – The Tom Reilly Story


P-40 recently restored inside Tom Reilly’s hangar. Notice the B-17 landing gear on the floor??

WARBIRD RADIO –   Take a trip down memory lane and listen to this week’s Friday Favorite!  Here’s the story of our first visit with restoration legend Tom Reilly.

In October of 2009, I’d just given up the anchor desk for FOX news in Georgia and soon found myself in Tom Reilly’s hangar in Douglas, Georgia. WarbirdRadio.com had been on the air all of a month but Tom showed me around like I’d been in business for years. His hospitality has been the same ever since and always memorable.  For years I’d heard about Tom’s work and had been a fan of his since I was kid. His restoration track record is impressive and perhaps unmatched, 10 B-25’s, 2 B-17’s and a B-24 plus countless others.

Listening to Tom’s interview is not only a trip down memory lane it’s a great example of what it’s like to visit Tom’s hangar on any given day. There are projects and old airplane parts everywhere and the work continues no matter who’s there. Tom’s shop is a living, breathing embodiment of his passion for warbirds and the stories they tell. Sure it’s a business, but it’s his obsession with these flying machines that drive him forward. Take a listen and enjoy the tour of Mr. Reilly’s world.

P.S. – there are some really neat “early” pictures of the XP-82.

 Till next week!

 Matt Jolley

Original Story (10/26/09): Tom Reilly shows us around his hangar in Douglas, Georgia.  You’ll get up close and personal with the P-40 and numerous other airplanes Tom is working on.  Click on the picture gallery below for a photo tour of Tom’s shop.  Thanks for listening.

P-40 Photo Tour & Hangar Tour

Warbird Rides Available At Wings Over Wanaka Air Show

PhilMakannaWARBIRD RADIO – Flights being offered around Wanaka in a 70-year-old Supermarine Spitfire, have sold out seven months out from the aircraft’s scheduled visit, according to flight operator Frank Parker.  According to a recent news release, the flights, costing approximately $3750 for half an hour would take place during a new ‘Rides Day’ event on Easter Monday following the Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow.

Mr Parker and his wife, Liz Needham, are both highly experienced warbird pilots.  They recently started a business at Ardmore Airport near Auckland taking rides in the Spitfire, a P-40 Kittyhawk and a Harvard.  It was now possible to do this, Mr Parker said, due to a law change by the Civil Aviation Authority allowing adventure tourism flights to be taken in ‘non-standard certificated aircraft’.

The Spitfire, owned by Auckland-based pilot and businessman, Doug Brooker, completed nearly 90 combat missions with three different squadrons operating over Europe during WWII.

Mr Parker said about 60% of the bookings for the Wanaka flights were from overseas visitors, many of them Australians.  “Because of the cost we tend to attract the pure enthusiasts…individuals with the interest, desire and money to do this once in a lifetime experience.”

He said there were a few slots left in the Kittyhawk, at $2500 a ride.  Extra flights had been scheduled for early evening after the conclusion of the airshow on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but these had also already sold out in the Spitfire.  A few people asked if the aircraft were replicas, Mr Parker said, but most customers tended to know a lot about the fighters.

“The enthusiasts know how many rivets are in the wing. I think the appeal is the chance to immerse yourself in a piece of history, to do what Dad or Grandad was doing 70 years ago.”

“Rides Day was a separate event to the biennial airshow, but was being facilitated by the Warbirds Over Wanaka Community Trust”, event manager Mandy Deans said.  “It was part of the airshow’s aim to encourage people into aviation careers and to try and get pilots into warbird flying.  There were relatively few new warbird pilots coming into the scene at present,“ she said.

There would also be an emphasis on sport aircraft at the coming airshow, and many examples of these would be available for flights on Rides Day.  “Some operators, such as Wanaka Helicopters, would offer the opportunity for passengers to take the controls during flight”, Ms Deans said.  This possibility did not extend to the WWII fighters offering flights.

Passengers could choose from Tiger Moths, a Pitts Special aerobatic aircraft, a range of helicopters and light fixed-wing aircraft as well as classic warbirds such as the P-40 Kittyhawk, P51-D Mustang, Harvard, Strikemaster, jets and a Yak 52.

“Some operators reported having several bookings already and some had indicated they would extend the offer to also give rides before the airshow begins on Friday April 18”, she said.

Information about the airshow is available at www.warbirdsoverwanaka.com along with ticketing choices – call Free phone 0800 224 224 within New Zealand or 1300 798 550 within Australia.

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