Brad Choat

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A Francis Howell North graduate experienced the thrill of a lifetime at Fair St. Louis this year.

Patrick McAlee flew his “Blue Demon” bi-plane over the Mississippi as part of the Fair’s series of airshows, “My Dad is an ex airline pilot. He got me flying. His mistake was doing a roll with me when I was 7. Was probably trying to scare me. That was it. I was set.”

The 32-year-old McAlee remembers sitting on the Arch grounds watching airshows as a kid.

We asked how he gets ideas for his stunt plane performances nowadays — “I actually like to watch snowboarders in the wintertime. I’ll wonder if I can get my airplane to twirl like that. I just start coming up with things and create stuff,” McAlee says.

He now flies commercially for Chautauqua Airlines out of Louisville Kentucky.

McAlee’s performances on Friday were dedicated to his late mother, who died of cancer five years to the day, “To get that magic. To fly on that anniversary, made it a lot easier for me. It’s always a hard day for me. She’s definitely the wind beneath my wings.”

McAlee says it was his mother who used to take him to watch airshows as a kid.


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