A Few Words With Gregory W. “Wired” Colyer – T-33 Airshow Performer
Good morning Gregory,
Ok, I’ve seen you perform at a few air shows in New England. Before that I’ve only seen T-33s in books. I understand you are from California and took your first flight at 7 years old. You got your pilot’s license while in the Army in 1982. It seems you had a plan but things didn’t exactly happen the way you expected. Can you explain what happened? Knee injury kept me from flight school, then I wanted to be airline pilot, but my son was born and could not afford $9 an hour to fly for regional airline, so I became a controller instead. But I kept flying.
What got you hooked on the T-33? The T-33 was always my favorite plane as a kid. I flew a friends and had to have one. Bought my first T-33 in 2008.
How is the T-33 as a cross country ride? Great! Long legs, fast but hard to fly precisely especially IMC.
How many fuel stops from California to New England- or do you keep a T-33 on the east coast? Two stops east bound, three west bound.
I read about an incident where the main gear collapsed upon landing. For something like that can you find replacement parts or do they have to be made? I have parts. Wind shear caused accident. She will get a whole new wing.
Do you have a support team that travels with you? Nope solo, sometimes I have help. Son crews and supports me while at Edwards or Pax River.
I see you have flown some current military jets, what’s your favorite? F4 Phantom.
How many T-33’s do you have? Three.
How many air shows do you usually perform at in a year? It was 25-30 but this season nine and will limit future years to under ten.
Are you training other pilots do take some of the workload off of your plate? I did 2018 had full time east coast pilot. I have a couple fill ins in case I get sick.
Do you also do some T-33 flying for the military? Yes Edwards AFB Test Pilot School and Patuxent River USN TPS.