Father/son skytyper pilots to fly at Ocean City Air show over Father’s Day Weekend


Behind every great fighter pilot is the plane that taught him to fly – and a proud dad. Ocean City Air Show fans will witness father/son pilot pair Bob and Ken Johansen performing wingtip to wingtip on Father’s Day. Both Johansens are retired Navy pilots and members of the GEICO Skytypers, flying vintage WWII trainer planes called North American SNJ-2s at airshows around the country.
“Not many dads get the chance to perform low-altitude, close-formation maneuvers right alongside their son in front of hundreds of thousands of people,” says Bob Johansen. He is the latest recipient of the FAA’s highest civilian honor: the Wright Brother’s Master Pilot award recognizing 50 years of safe flight.
Johansen senior flew Grumman S2 “Tracker” antisubmarine aircraft for the Navy before a commercial airline career at TWA. His son Ken flew P3’s for the Navy before also becoming a commercial airline captain.
“I definitely got the bug from my father,” says Ken Johansen. “I took my first flight with the Skytypers when I was eight years old out on Long Island, New York and I was hooked. To get to do this with my father is both fun and an honor.”

The Johansens will join the rest of the GEICO Skytyper pilots over the beach at Ocean City to skytype and demonstrate the air-combat tactics and maneuvers that helped win World War II and the Korean War.
“Most of our team earned their wings in the military and these 75-year-old planes pay tribute to the brave pilots of the ‘Greatest Generation,’ ” says Steve Kapur, GEICO Skytyper pilot and team marketing officer.  “We consider it a privilege to inspire kids, honor veterans and fly these warbirds on behalf of GEICO at air shows all across the U.S.”
The GEICO Skytypers was founded by Mort Arken and the team’s commanding officer and lead pilot today is Mort’s son, Larry Arken.
“Dad would have considered the fact that I’ll be flying over Ocean City the ultimate Father’s Day Tribute. This one’s for him,” says Arken.