Coastal Biplane: Soaring with the Spirit of 30A

Heath Buckley posing next to his coastal biplane - Spirit of 30A

Coastal Biplane is the new ride in town. Next time your feet are in the sand, look up and you may just catch a glimpse of a red biplane cruising the coastline 500 sea-salty feet up. And it isn’t just any red. The actual color is called Ferrari Red.

Fittingly named by owner and pilot Heath Buckley, the ‘Spirit of 30A’ is an open cockpit Waco YMF-5 biplane with a 7-cylinder, 300-HP radial engine.

Even though it was built in 2010, the plane has the timeless look and feel of classic 1930’s aircraft design with the advances of today’s safety standards and digital instruments. The red stunner seats two side-by-side passengers while the pilot, retired Army aviator and flight instructor Buckley, delivers aerial thrills from the rear cockpit.

After 24 years of service and 19 deployments, Buckley settled down here in Santa Rosa Beach to focus on two things – family and flying.

With over 3,000 hours under his flight belt, Buckley was inspired to share his passion for aviation – along with a bird’s eye view of the 30A coastline – with his seaside community.

And the iconic Waco biplane is the perfect eye candy aircraft to deliver that emerald hue view!

“It’s the ultimate convertible experience to view the coast of 30A,” says Buckley. A top-of-the-list must do experience in a top-of-the-list must visit destination…a win and a win!

The best flight scenery is first thing in the morning when the winds are down and the gulf is glassy smooth or at sunset when the stunning colors dazzle with the golden sun slowly dipping into the endless sea. Dolphin pods, sting rays, eagles, and many more surprises delight daredevil fliers from below.

There are 5 high-flying packages to choose from in the Coastal Biplane. The prices start at $450 for a 20 minute flight and rise up to $1,900 for an unforgettable date night over 30A.  Learn more about Coastal Biplane by visiting their website.

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CHRISTY (CHICK) HUGHES is a freelance writer and a respiratory therapist living in South Walton. She and her husband moved to the beach in 2000.  One sunset…and the couple never looked back. Find her at her blog


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