Bravo Charlie Aviation, dba Wild Blue Adventure Co.
These people made it so easy to understand the process, and not just check the boxes. They buy into the concept and they buy into your business.
“Everything I seem to gravitate toward puts me in the air,” says Bill Chouinard, a paragliding, base jumping pilot who works as a helicopter-borne flight nurse. When he learned that the owner of the air tour company Wild Blue Adventure was looking to sell, Bill saw not only the chance for more flight time, but the opportunity to share his love with the uninitiated. “Once you taste, flight,” he says, “you’re never the same.”
The prior owner had borrowed from The Progress Fund, and recommended that Bill give them a call. The Progress Fund loaned the full purchase price of the business and helped Bill with insurance decisions. “It was more than just getting money,” he says. “It was about their experience.”
Wild Blue Adventure’s main asset is a two-seat 1943 Boeing Stearman PT-17, a World War II training plane that feels “like riding a magic carpet,” says Bill. He takes up customers who come expressly to experience that plane – and get to steer it themselves – but also end up enjoying southern West Virginia’s other attractions, as well as its lodging an dining options. Every flight features the dramatic New River Gorge scenery, and for the bold, Bill adds barrel rolls, cravats, hammerheads and s-turns. “People’s reactions,” he says, “are so powerful to flying an open cockpit biplane and doing aerobatics.”View Story as PDF »