It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Super... nevermind, it actually is a plane.
Amidst the vast acreage of foliage in McKean County lies what some consider to be a hidden gem to tourists and locals alike: Plane rides.
However, these plane rides are not given in just any airplane; veteran commercial pilot Bruce Klein, of Klein Aircraft Services, takes one from the ground to the sky in a matter of seconds aboard a vintage Boeing Stearman from 1943. An open cockpit biplane, one can feel the wind in his or her hair and fly in the sunshine.
Brianna Payne, Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau’s communications and media coordinator, jumped at the opportunity to experience the plane ride for herself. She went up in a biplane on Saturday.
“I wanted to experience it because I want to be able to tell the tourists about what is available around here and what better way to promote attractions than to experience them,” Payne said. “My favorite part of the ride was flying around (Kinzua Bridge) and seeing where the tornado ripped through the bridge.”
Payne said that many tourists and locals are unaware that plane rides are even offered.
“As a local, I didn’t know this type of attraction was offered in this area,” she said.
When asked how the experience will help her describe plane rides to a tourist, Payne said, “I would describe it as you feel free and you get a different point of view than you normally get. I thought that Bruce made it comfortable, and I liked how he would point out things along the way. He was like a tour guide –– letting you know what was around you and where to look.”
Payne added, “I would definitely ride again. I want to fly the plane. It’s such a different experience; you can’t even describe how beautiful it is. I would definitely love to do it in the fall and be able to see all of the foliage.”
Those who are interested in scheduling plane rides can contact Bruce Klein of Klein Aircraft Services, located at Bradford Regional Airport at email@example.com, (814) 558-5376 or (814) 642-9486.