Take to the skies
Gauntlet Warbirds offers rides in our T-6 and Extra 300L to allow pilots and non-pilots alike to experience flying a World War II warbird or modern aerobatic aircraft. No pilot's license or flying experience is required. Our instructors will work with you to design your ideal flight profile. The flight can be as wild or mild as you like; let us fly or take the controls yourself.
The entire experience lasts about two hours. It starts with meeting your instructor pilot (IP) to discuss your ideal flight profile. Our IPs are all experts whose mission is ensuring that you have an enjoyable experience. If you choose to fly the aircraft yourself your IP will demo a maneuver and then talk you through it as you try it. The Extra 300L rides includes aerobatics, and aerobatics can be added to the T-6 ride for a small charge. The flight ends with a military style overhead break approach and landing. Following the flight you can take pictures of yourself and your IP with the aircraft, and if a video option was selected for the flight you will receive the HD video on an SD card to take home and share with friends and family.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I give a ride as a gift?
Yes, our rides make excellent gifts. Gauntlet can issue a gift certificate by e-mail.
Are there any height, weight, age, etc. restrictions on who can go for a ride?
All customers must be at least 18 years of age and weigh 250 pounds or less (due to parachute weight limits). To fly the Extra customers must be under 6'2", there is no height limit in the T-6.
Is there a video of the flight?
The aircraft have digital video systems. If you choose the video option for your flight you will receive an SD card with the video on it immediately after your flight. The video shows either a view out the front of the aircraft or the customer and includes all intercom and radio communications during the flight.
What should I wear?
Wear comfortable clothes and closed toed shoes. The Extra and T-6 don't have heaters so if it is cool wear layers. We will give you a flight suit to wear over your clothes during the flight.
What should I eat?
Eat as you normally do, skipping a meal before a flight is the best way to ensure that you feel airsick. It is a good idea to avoid dairy or acidic foods immediately before a flight, but no matter what your IP will ensure that you have an enjoyable experience.
What happens if the weather is bad and we can't fly?
The day before your scheduled flight your IP will call you to confirm the time and discuss the weather. If it is not suitable for the flight you can reschedule to the first available time that suits your schedule within the following six weeks at no additional fee.
Which aircraft should I fly?
The T-6 and Extra are both outstanding aircraft, so there really isn't a bad choice. The T-6 is a WWII advanced trainer that is capable of military style aerobatics with a large radial engine. It combines aerobatic capability with nostalgia, over 70% of the Allied fighter pilots in WWII flew the T-6 or a variant of it in training, it can fly at night, on instruments and some versions were even landed on aircraft carriers. The Extra is a purpose built aerobatic aircraft capable of extreme competition and air show style flying. It is much smaller than the T-6 and has some of the feel of a modern fighter aircraft.
Can I ride in the L-39?
Unfortunately no. The L-39 is classified by the FAA as an experimental aircraft because it was both not built in the US and because it is a military aircraft. Because of this rides in the L-39 are prohibited. Gauntlet's training programs are conducted under a Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA) issued by the DuPage FSDO. To receive training in the L-39 you must have at least a US Private Pilot certificate.