Skip to main content  
HomeFlightsP-40 FlightsAir MuseumShopGalleryAbout usFAQDirectionsNewsContactreviewsLInksB-17
 
Warbird Adventures, Inc.

The idea behind the company came to shape on a cocktail napkin back in 1997. Founders Graham Meise and Thom Richard decided to max out all their credit cards and buy a T-6. By January 7th, 1998 the company had been formed and the first aircraft purchased in California. It took 6 days to bring it home to Zephyrhills, Florida after which extensive modification had to be done. Four months later, they sat on the ramp with a shiny T-6 waiting for people to  come by. The original plan was to barn-storm around the country, but they ended up in Kissimmee by accident and set up shop out of the Flying Tigers Warbird Restoration Museum instead. The rest is history. The operation now has its own hangar and even its own Museum. Flying Tigers shut down in 2004 after Hurricane Charley so the new Kissimmee Air Museum was formed in its place. Flights are offered on a daily basis in their three SNJs and the exhibit is open to the public 6 or 7 days/week (depending on season). Over 35,000 satisfied customers have flown with Warbird Adventures. Perhaps you'll be the next lucky person to experience the flight of a lifetime...

Please scroll down and meet the staff of Warbird Adventures and the Kissimmee Air Museum.

John Sausedo
John Sausedo

Recently back at Warbird Adventures, this is John's third time working here. After a two year hiatus,(spraying evil pesticides on evil GMO plants), he is back to bring his expertise, and many years of experience to the cockpits of our three SNJ-6 aircraft. With 10,000 hours plus, its easy to be this good. John has over 3,000 hours in the T-6, and regularly flies the P-51, B-24, and B-17 for the Collings foundation. John loves tacos, stuff and things, and showing people how to fly the Texan properly. John had taken a leave of absence from Warbird Adventures to crop dust out west. He has returned this Fall to once again strap into the rear seat of the Pilot Maker. 

Tom Huntington
Tom Huntington

Tom has been flying for ten years now and flies a wide variety of aircraft. Tom grew up on the gulf coast of Florida and began his flying career in high school. In college he joined a flying club and learned to fly tail-draggers, aerobatics, and gliders; eventually instructing in all of those. After obtaining his mechanics licenses, he began to pursue his passion for warbirds, which led him to flying the Stearman, T-6/SNJ, B-25, B-17, and B-24. Tom maintains a day job flying for the airlines, and flies for Warbird Adventures at every chance possible. When he's not in the back of one of our SNJ-6's, he can be found flying various Warbirds or airliners across the country.

 
Neal
Neal "Mittens" Sands

Neal is known around the hangar as Bond, as in James Bond.  A former ballroom dancer, Master Scuba diver, Pilot, and one hell of a shot with a pistol, Neal has done it all. He has dreamt of being a pilot since he was just a little fella, thanks to his dad, who was in the U.S. Air Force. If he isn't feeding stray cats, or building homeless shelters for cats, you can find him in the rear cockpit of one of Warbird Adventures SNJ-6's.

Jim Harley is known as "Captain Quagmire"(don't ask), and is a fighter pilot wannabee "stuck" flying bombers. Wishing to aspire to the level of his mentor, Mustang pilot Chuck "Chuckstang" Gardner, Jim brings 9 years of bomber flying experience to Warbird Adventures. Inspired by warbird airshows at a young age, Jim grew up dreaming of flying WWII airplanes and learning the history of this great era.  During 2002 a chance opportunity to fly with the Collings Foundation lead to a seven year love affair with the B-17, the B-24 and the B-25. Eventually earning type ratings in all three of these great bombers, Jim has broadened his horizons by becoming an instructor pilot in the T-6/SNJ, and now flys the Collings Foundation's P-51C Mustang as well. Jim is an Ohio native transplanted, like many others, to the great state of Florida. He's flown over 65 different types of aircraft and will be glad to tell you that he doesn't care what he is flying, as long as he gets to fly.

Dennis Kochan
Dennis Kochan

Dennis has been flight instructing for over 40 years in a wide variety of airplanes, both land and sea. Since retiring, he flew seaplanes in the Caribbean, and now volunteers for the Collings foundation flying the B-17. In his spare time, he maintains his own airplanes, likes to hunt and fish, and teaches aviation courses at Polk State College.

Sean Sweeney

Learning to fly hang gliders at the age of twelve with his father, Sean has always had his “head in the clouds”. Amassing over 10,000 hours in the last 32 years in more than 140 makes and models of aircraft, all he ever wanted to be was a pilot. From hang gliders he went on to design, build and manufacture ultralights with his father. They flew them all over the country demonstrating them at various air shows. He then started flying gliders, soloing at 14, and then getting his private glider license at 16 (before he got his drivers license!). After graduating high school he went to earn his airframe and powerplant license so he could work on the airplanes he was flying. This led him to work at United Airlines as a mechanic in San Francisco until deciding that he really did need to be in the air. He went to Alaska to fly where he instructed new pilots in the finer art of bush flying for MarkAir, then moving back to the “lower 48” to work as a commuter captain, again working as a check pilot and instructor. He worked his way up until becoming a captain, and Chief pilot for a Boeing 727 operator in Orlando. With the airline life, and schedules, taking him away from his family far more than he liked he made another change in his career and came to work for Warbird Adventures working as both a mechanic and pilot. He flies in addition to the 1945 SNJ-6 Texans, the 1956 Taylor Aerocar, the 1941 Ryan PT-22 Recruit, the 1978 Hummingbird, and the Glasair 1TD.

 Maintenance

Brenden Burns - Director of Maintenance
 

A Florida native, Brenden has dreamed of a career in aviation ever since he could remember. Some brief detours in life, such as scuba diving, and drag racing only delayed the inevitable. Brenden went to college and graduated with a degree in automotive sciences. He then got his A.S.E automotive master technician’s license and began to work in various shops. He enjoyed his work at first, but found himself taking cars for test drives by the local airports too often. He realized his one true passion in life, and after a short time, began volunteering at his local airport. Right away, he was put to work on various aircraft under the watchful eye of several aircraft mechanics. He has now worked on many different makes and models of fixed wing and rotorcraft aircraft, including: B-25 Mitchell’s, P-51D mustang, SNJ-6’s, TS-11 Iskra’s, PT-17 Stearman, Cessna L-19, Cassutt IIIM, Robinson 44, and various Piper, and Cessna products. He has gone to Reno, Nevada seven times at the National Championship air races, as a crewman for Formula One, Jet and Unlimited class race teams. He has also gained his Airframe and Powerplant, Private pilot’s certificate, single and multi-engine land, and plans on adding more ratings and endorsements to his logbook in the near future. He feels his automotive background has helped accelerate his learning and skill in aviation. He can be found in the hangar answering questions curmudgeonly while turning a wrench, or trying to make small incendiary devices.

 Management

Thom Richard - President & Chief Pilot

Thom claims his first word in the crib was 'Spitfire'... After which he started flying Gliders at the age of 16 in his native country Sweden. Upon arriving in the US in 1989 at 17, he pursued powered flight and learned to fly in various tail-draggers in California. Always wanting to turn upside down as much as possible, he learned aerobatics well before he even had a license. After earning all his ratings, including a mechanics license and inspectors authorization he barnstormed around the US, flew fire watch and skydivers. He even used to skydive, but he's much better now... before he co-founded Warbird Adventures. With well over 10,000 hours in everything from gliders to twin turbines, Jets and helicopters, the T-6 is his most current office over 5000 hours dual given. Whenever he's not teaching in warbirds or helicopters, he can usually be found in the hangar working on one of his air racers or flying various Warbirds on the Airshow circuit around the country.

Open Monday through Saturday 09:00 - 17:00. CLOSED SUNDAY. 
 

Reservations for flights are not required but HIGHLY recommended.
 
Warbird Adventures, Inc.
Kissimmee Gateway Airport
233 N. Hoagland Blvd.
Kissimmee, FL 34741, USA
Phone: (407) 870-7366
Site Powered By
    Houston Pro Site Builder
    Online web site design