The Silver Wings Wingwalking Team unite the sport of flying and the art of wingwalking to perform a seamless duet in the sky. In addition to airshows, their vast repertoire includes aerial/safety coordination, location scouting, script consultation, and providing Stearman bi-planes and talent for the movie and television industry.
Retired airline captain Hartley Folstad has logged more than 20,000 flying hours since his first solo in a Piper Cub from a grass field in Missouri. His career began in the Military where he carrier qualed (landed on carriers) and flew F9F-8 cougars. A graduate from the Navy's post graduate safety curriculum in Monterey, California, Folstad taught aerodynamics at the Navy's school of command in Pensacola Florida.
In 1982, Folstad founded the Stearman Flight Center first providing aerobatic instruction and now catering to the T.V. and movie business and the airshow industry with the Silver Wings Wingwalking Team.
After a 52 show season in 1989 with Disney's Royal Flying Circus, Folstad started the Silver Wings Flight Team. For ten years, 1990 to 2000, the team flew a dynamic formation aerobatic act with three Stearman bi-panes and a wingwalker on the lead plane.
In 2001, the other pilots in the team retired, and Hartley continued performing with his wife and wingwalker Margaret Stivers in a solo act showcasing wingwalking.
Margaret Stivers joined the Silver Wings Team as a wingwalker in 1991. She recently celebrated her anniversary of 20 continuous years performing wingwalking .Sport and art are melded as Stivers uses balance and precision to perform her unique artistry on the wing. Some of her stunts are performed in airshows and others for photo work.
Her stuntwork includes the skysurf loop, handstand hammerhead, ballet barrel roll, upside down splits, standing splits, Victory pose, back-layout off the back of the wingwalking rack, the n-strut "aerobesque" and N-strunt hang. She is the first woman to hang below the gear axle since the stunt was first performed in the 1920's. Margaret performed her 1,000 wingwalk flight climbing nine times around the plane on May 20, 2006, in front of an estimated crowd of 10,000 plus people at the Planes of Fame Airshow in Chino, California. Stivers is one of the most experienced stunt women specializing in wingwalking.
The foundation for Margaret's sky art is ballet and she
works with her ballet/pilates coach Julia Bourlina four times a week as her schedule allows.
The footings of her career are deep and while there are many individuals who have encouraged her on this curious path, she would like to acknowledge Peter Lee, (her master thesis professor,) Cliff Rose, (legendary Hollywood stuntman and director,) Corkey Fornof, (movie stunt pilot and aerial coordinator,) Johnny Kazian (stunt-wingwalker great,) her parents, and above all her husband Hartley Folstad.
Marion performed her first wingwalking performance in 2011 with the Silver Wings Wingwalking Team.
She was born in Germany and started flying gliders there at the age of 17. Marion worked as a carrer firefighter for 11 years, one of the rare female firefighters there. During this time she saw a wingwalker at an airshow and began enthused.
After half a year of begging, Swedish pilot Sten Svensson gave her a chance to try wingwalking.
In 2007, Marion started an email correspondence with Margaret. Margaret recognized she was serious and invited her for further training. She first visited the Silver Wings Team in 2007 and on that visit she met Lee Oman. She continued training on subsequent visits to the United States under Lee's watchful eye. In 2011, Marion immigrated from Germany and married Lee. In addition to wimgwalking, Marion works as an airplane mechanic She is building her own Stearman and is helping Lee build his Gee Bee.