Don Symington graduated from Princeton University in 1967. He earned his Navy wings as a Distinguished Naval Graduate, being selected to fly the F4 Phantom fighter. With 140 missions over North Vietnam and more than 200 'traps' aboard USS Midway he provides experience for all who fly with him.
Don was squadron LSO (Landing Signal Officer) with VF151, one of Two F4 fighter squadrons, aboard US Navy carrier, Midway, in 1971, 1972, 1973. As LSO he was in contact with each pilot as he flew his approach and trapped aboard ship. Every approach and landing was graded by the LSO and debriefed at the end of each recovery. (The competitive drive for excellence is created for each pilot when all graded approaches are prominently displayed on the 'greenie board' as you walk into the 'ready room' of each squadron).
He purchased his SNJ in 2002 and had it totally restored over a 9 month period and started his business in September, 2005. The SNJ is the US Navy version of the North American T6. Over 15,000 of these Warbirds were constructed, mostly by women, during the 1940's. Don's airplane N5485V was completed in April, 1945, and as a US Navy Advanced Trainer this aircraft trained WWII and Korean war pilots. The SNJ flew students at many US Navy training bases: Pensacola, Florida, Corpus Christie, Texas among others. Don has all the logbooks that detail the experiences of this SNJ during its 8 years and 7000 hours of navy service.
Don's business is unique when his navy combat fiighter experience is brought to each flight as he leads you in a full hour + brief discovering with you the training flight you both will fly. Also, you will sit and fly from the front seat (if you want to) of this tandem seated navy Warbird.
Every flight is customized to each individual: aerobatic, sightseeing or a spectacular combination to be experienced above the beautiful northern new mexico landscape.
Don believes positive interaction helps alleviate anxiety and stress that are present in varying degrees before each flight. This unique experience in a true US Navy Warbird with all its exhilarating nostalgia will generate a wonderful feeling of accomplishment as Don prepares you to actually be 'at the controls' with his assistance from the back seat.
(However, if you are easily frightened by sudden turns or abrupt changes, then the sightseeing flight will be tailored for you during the brief and picturesque flight to follow).
Remember: be hydrated when you come Fly with Us. Also, make sure you have eaten a regular meal at least one hour prior to the brief.
We look forward to providing an experience you will not forget.