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A flight fueled by passion: Meet Pilot Chris ‘Soto’ Orr

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Cal airshow

TOWN OF MAINE (WBNG) -- As the Greater Binghamton Airshow gears up for takeoff this weekend, fans can expect to see the Geico Skytypers.

Among them is Chris "Soto" Orr, the number five pilot and lead solo for the team. For Orr, the passion for flying and airshows way back.

"I was about 5 years old when my dad got me a model [plane] and brought me to my first airshow," he said. "I got hooked in I've kinda wanted to do it ever since."

In fact, Orr was so hooked, he took his pilot career all the way through the U.S. Navy, the New York Air National Guard, and the U.S. Air Force. But nowadays, he's rocking the skies with the Skytypers.

"Still smiling and having a great old time," he said. "These are a bunch of retired military planes, and these are a bunch of retired military pilots. We're just having a great old time showing what we used to do to the crowd."

But for Orr, the camaraderie is just one part of why he loves the Skytyper experience.

"The planes have a lot of history. Some of them were 80 years old, they've been training pilots, they used to have guns on the [planes] land on the carrier ships. And now they're flying with us," he said.

The Geico Skytypers and their vintage World War II planes will take the skies this Saturday and Sunday at the airshow. For many people, it'll be another event to admire, but for Orr, it's a little more simple.

"It's a real rush, it's really exciting when the show's going on. I'm living my dream," he said.

Cal Dymowski

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