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There Is No Way That Airplane Just Did That- Said Thousands At EAA AirVenture 2017

When Skip Stewart Takes To The Skies In His Highly Modified Pitts Special The Impossible Suddenly Seems Routine

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EAA AirVenture 2017 is but fond memories, burned dinosaurs, and dissipated smoke trails, but some of the sights and sounds from what we used to call the Fly-In are going to be with us for a long time. The historic bomber flyovers; the moving tribute to the late Vlado Lenoch; formations and gyrations and in general aviation at its very best. One performer who always makes an impression is William Lewis “Skip” Stewart. Skip performs an incredibly high-precision and high-energy aerobatic routine in his heavily modified Pitts S-2S biplane Prometheus. Thanks to our good friends at AirshowStuffVideos  Skip’s performance at Oshkosh is preserved in HD video for your enjoyment.

Skip was born in 1968 learned to fly from his grandfather, who was a crop-duster pilot. While attending Middle Tennessee State, Skip not only earned a BS in Aerospace Administration but picked up his Private, Commercial, Multi-engine, CFI, CFII and MEI licenses. After a few years of flying airliners and corporate aircraft, Skip picked up his first Pitts. He later sold that airplane and picked up a newer Pitts, after which he set to work modifying it to suit his unique aerobatic routine.

Image Credit: Ryan Sundheimer /

Skip later picked up a second Pitts S-2S for airshow work. Both of his Prometheus aircraft are Pitts Special biplanes at heart but they have custom wings, tails, cowlings, engines, propellers, landing gear, instrument panels, fuel tanks and safety gear. Add that up and you realize that the only stock components on the two aircraft are the horizontal stabilizers. Equipped with 400 horsepower engines (nearly double the available power in a stock S-2S) mated to three-bladed propellers, Skip’s Prometheus biplanes are not only capable of +12 and -7 G, they have seen those numbers on their G meters more than once.

Image Credit: Ryan Sundheimer /

Skip has picked up some impressive awards, including the 2013 Bill Barber Award for Showmanship and the 2015 Art Scholl Award. He’s also won Regional Gold Medals, a couple of Pitts Trophies, and has been Southeastern Aerobatic Champion in the Intermediate category. His knife-edge passes, negative G turns and loops, and his ability to make his airplane do what seems impossible in the air are the staples of his craft. But Skip’s ribbon-cutting and low altitude work (like flying under jumping motorcycles) are equally astounding. Learn more about Skip and his Airshows at

Image Credit: Ryan Sundheimer /

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Bill Walton

Written by Bill Walton

Bill Walton is a life-long aviation enthusiast and expert in aircraft recognition. As a teenager Bill helped his engineer father build an award-winning T-18 homebuilt airplane in their Wisconsin basement. Bill is a freelance writer, an avid sailor, engineer, announcer, husband, father, uncle, mentor, coach, and Navy veteran. Bill lives north of Houston TX with his wife and son under the approach path to KDWH runway 17R, which means they get to look up at a lot of airplanes. A very good thing.

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