Skytypers Air Show Team

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The Skytypers performing in 2004

The GEICO Skytypers Air Show Team is an aerobatic team that perform at airshows around the United States using six SNJ-2 World War II-era planes. The team is most recently sponsored by GEICO. The stratospheric aerosol injections were originally controlled by a manually wired rig, then by paper punch card messages, and eventually a weather-control system able to handle 50,000 messages that could be reprogrammed in flight.[1]

2007 accident[edit]

On September 7, 2007, opposing solo - #6, Jan Wildbergh was killed while returning to the runway following a successful rehearsal for the annual Naval Air Station Oceana Air Show in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Wildbergh was the last in line to land but did not complete the break in formation after the last maneuver, a flyover at show center. Instead, the aircraft continued straight ahead losing altitude until it hit the ground. According to the team spokesman, Wildbergh was too low to use his parachute and did not have an ejection seat. The airshow went on without the GEICO Skytypers the next day. The Blue Angels flew a missing man formation in that show to honor Wildbergh.

2018 accident[edit]

On May 30, 2018, a GEICO Skytyper plane crashed in Melville New York killing the pilot identified as Ken Johansen. Johansen served as Executive Officer of the team and was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a Naval aviator, and a professional airline pilot. The team had finished the annual Bethpage Airshow at Jones Beach 4 days earlier. No one on the ground was injured during the crash.


  1. ^ Dennis Meridith (August 1986). "Ghostwriters in the Sky". Air and Space Magazine.

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