Free Air Show
Sunday, June 13, 2010, 10:30-Noon
Mike's dedication to competition aerobatics led to a coveted spot on the roster of the prestigious U.S. Advanced World Aerobatic Team. Placing in the top tier of both National and World competition events, Mike excels when demonstrating the pinpoint accuracy and thrilling performance of Unlimited Aerobatics. His style of high performance and visually dynamic maneuvers instill a level of exhilaration and inspiration to any air show or competition crowd.
Mike realized his dream to fly back in 1985 by earning his Private Pilot Certificate. Already an aircraft technician and inspector, he developed a keen awareness of the flight environment by restoring his own Piper Clipper from the ground up. As the aerobatic bug began to bite, he quickly developed a knack for competition by mastering the famous Pitts Special.
Watch for Mike this summer performing his smooth and aggressive style of precision aerobatic demonstrations!
Jon Melby first learned to fly at age 8, when he created a pile of leaves in his
Duluth, Minnesota lawn, climbed onto the roof of his 2 story home, and jumped like a
bird into the leaves! He has been hooked on flying ever since.
At the age of 12, he had the opportunity to meet the legendary airshow pilot Bob Hoover
at a local airshow. Bob Hoover’s sincerity and great personality gave Jon the inspiration
to pursue his dream of flying. When he was financially able, Jon made it a goal to
achieve his solo in a glider before his 16th birthday. In only 8 flights, he achieved his
goal by riding his bicycle 45 miles each hot Arizona July weekend to the nearest glider
It was this type of determination that inspired Jon to purchase an airplane at age 19, and
then hired an instructor to learn to fly it! He received his pilot’s license by flying every
day for a period of 3 weeks, yet eventually yearned to do more in an airplane. After owning several Cessna passenger type aircraft, in 1996, he purchased a Pitts S2B
Bi-plane and spent 3 months training to compete in aerobatic contests.
During his first competition with 23 pilots, Jon achieved 3rd place, and in the next two contests he won first and second place, awarding him enough points to
become the Arizona State Sportsman champion his first year of competition flying. It was then that Jon knew that
aerobatics was his love.
Now, flying “extreme” freestyle aerobatics, Jon enjoys flying Airshows, so he can encourage
both adults and children to pursue their dreams, much like Bob Hoover did for him.
When Jon is not flying his airplane, he is a computer systems analyst (Web ASP.NET and SQL Database for a major stock brokerage firm.
The aircraft Jon flies is the awesome looking Black/Yellow factory built Pitts
“Muscle” Bi-Plane. With a 330+ H.P. six cylinder Lycoming motor and 3 bladed
“Claw” Propeller, this aircraft has all the ingredients for a great performance. With
a single seat and light weight, it provides a perfect platform for flying high energy
aerobatics! It cruises at 195 MPH which makes Jon’s “aerial commute” from
show to show very quick. Fuel capacity on this aircraft is 28 gallons in the main
tank, with a 5 gallon reserve used for fuel and/or smoke oil. He uses two on-board
GPS navigation systems, both providing moving map display. Jon flies his Plane
to any show in North America.
A Salute to the Golden Age of Aviation . . .
Step back in time as Susan Dacy puts her 450 horsepower, Super Stearman, ‘Big Red’ through its paces with a dazzling display of barrel rolls, slow, slow rolls, Cuban eights, hammerhead turns, loops and much more, in a style reminiscent of the barnstorming era of flying.
Susan is one of only a few females performing airshows in a biplane, and is the only woman flying exhibition in the Super Stearman. Attending airshows as a child, Susan remembers being in awe of the big, loud, smoky biplanes. As a teenager, yearning to fly, Susan felt the only way to fly a Stearman was to have one of her own. At the family airport, located in Harvard, Illinois, Susan worked in the office, fueled planes, and eventually acquired a rebuildable Stearman Project. While in high school, every spare hour was spent restoring the aircraft, which she still owns and operates today.
At sixteen Susan learned to fly in a Piper Cub (her Stearman wasn’t yet ready). She attended Southern Illinois University, where she earned a degree in Aviation Operations and Systems, along with aircraft mechanic’s licenses. Following college, Susan pursued flying jobs throughout the country. Scurrying cancelled checks before midnight deadlines in twin engine airplanes, flying for commuter airlines, and even pipeline patrol was eventually rewarded with a job offer from American Airlines. Susan is Chicago based Captain, currently flying 757/767. Susan has flown more than sixty different types of aircraft, and has logged more than 28,000 hours.
Big Red started life as a World War II trainer for young naval aviators. Originally powered by a 220 h.p. engine, Big Red is now outfitted with a powerful Pratt & Whitney 450 h.p., supercharged engine. With injected fuel systems, and inverted fuel and oil modifications, Big Red is ‘at home’ both right side up and upside down. Other additions to the aircraft include a canopy, wingtip strobes, lights, modern radios and removal of the front cockpit to make room for the inverted fuel system, and environmentally safe airshow smoke. Weighing in at over a ton, Big Red has a wing span of thirty two feet, and is more than twenty five feet long.