Wild Blue Adventure Company

The wild blue adventure company gives customers a truly one-of-a-kind flight experience while simultaneously immersing them in the rich aviation history that the mountain state has to offer.

“We sell and do tours and instruction in a 1943 Boeing Stearman right here alongside the newest national park in the country,” Bill Chouinard, owner and pilot said.

Flights can take you over the scenic new river gorge, Kanawha Falls, Summersville Lake, or all of the above, but rather than the scenery, what separates this flight from the rest is the history surrounding the experience.

“The Boeing Stearman that we fly in was built in 1943, in Wichita Kansas and it was a primary trainer in the second world war for the army air corps. Then in the late 80s or early 80’s, somebody found it in a barn and said I want to restore it and they spent a long time, several years, restoring it back to very historically accurate status,” Chouinard said.

Not only do you get to fly in a piece of history over a national park, but the pilot had a unique journey to the mountain state and even helped the outdoor recreation become what it is today.

“I was born and raised in western Canada, I dropped out of the university of Calgary to move here to rock climb for what I thought was going to be one season, and one season turned into almost three decades now. So I love it here, West Virginia is home, I could live anywhere I want I guess and this is definitely where I choose to live, it’s a special place,” Chouinard said.

Although doing loops in a plane might sound intimidating, you could not be in better hands than with pilot Bill Chouinard. As a flight nurse, outdoorsman, base jumper, and many other things, Choinard says no flight is a good one if the passenger is not having fun.

“What we want to do is take people right to the edge of their comfort zone, and sort of let them experience what that is like. Because we don’t get to do that in everyday life very often and so when you add that to doing that in an eighty-year-old piece of history and over the national park and the beauty you get to experience, it’s a pretty powerful experience,” Chouinard said.

Named after Frank Thomas and built by hand over seventy years ago, this airport started with a dirt strip and has come a long way. Although changes have been made, Frank’s story will likely never be forgotten.

“Locals know it was built by a guy whose nickname was five dollar frank, and his real name was Frank Thomas and he built this place, he had a grant and started with a thousand feet, cut the trees down by hand, and had a dirt strip. But in the late 90s when I got here, everybody knew him just as frank or five dollar frank and you could come to this airport and do a tour of the gorge, maybe a lap around the bridge or what have you for five dollars,” Chouinard said.

Although nowadays it takes a little more than five dollars to fly, flying around the beautiful hills and hollers of the mountain state is an experience to be shared.

“The new river gorge is an amazing place. It’s really fun to share it with people in a unique way and people don’t know how awesome it is and I just hope more people come and figure it out because it’s great to share it with them,” Chouinard said.

So if you’re feeling adventurous stop by wild blue adventure company for some time in the sky we can almost guarantee you won’t regret it.

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