Chapter 61

Salem, Illinois


Betty Stewart



Betty Stewart, a lifetime chapter 61 member, was a member of the 1976, 1980 and 1982 United States aerobatic teams. She is honored as the first person to win the world champion title at two consecutive world events. In 1980, she won three individual gold medals and the title Women's World Aerobatic Champion. In 1982, she repeated this feat winning the title, another three individual golds, and the silver team medal.  She was inducted into the International Aerobatic Club Hall of Fame in 2004 and is currently a national judge.

John HousleyEAA


John Housley is the current IAC Chapter 61 President, Treasurer, and webmaster.  As a recently retired aeronautical engineer, John is spending more time providing aerobatic instruction in his Pitts S-2C while also supporting the Humane Society of Missouri's education program.  John currently competes in the Advanced category in his Pitts S-2C and is a regional judge as well as A&P with IA. You can reach John at 314-518-8542 &  John operates from the Spirit of St. Louis airport (SUS). (Aircraft photo courtesy of The Aero Experience)

Sean SweeneyEAA


Sean Sweeney is a highly successful business owner and our chapter Vice President.  Sean has experience in a variety of aerobatic aircraft and has recently acquired an immaculate Staudacher.   Sean is a flight/ground instructor and has obtained FAA approval for an aerobatic practice area at his home airport (KUNO).  Sean currently competes in the Sportsman category in his Staudacher and is also an IAC regional judge. (Aircraft photo courtesy The Aero Experience)

Cleta SweeneyEAA


Cleta Sweeney is our chapter Secretary and a member of our Board of Directors. Although she is not an aerobatic pilot, Cleta is highly engaged in many of our chapter activities.  Married to Sean Sweeney, our chapter Vice President, Cleta has been instrumental in securing sponsorship for practice day events, completed her regional judge training and exam, and was the Volunteer Coordinator and Safety/Medical Director during our annual aerobatic contest.  Cleta is also a Community Service Project Leader, assisting 4-H children with activities supporting our Veterans. 

Martin Di Stefano EAA


Martin is currently a full-time graduate student studying aerospace engineering at Missouri S&T in Rolla, MO, and a member of the Navy Reserve. His first aerobatic training was with John Housley in a Pitts S-2B, and he later trained in a Super D while living in Florida. He currently co-owns a beautifully unique Skybolt and plans to compete in the Sportsman category. 

Bruce BallewEAA


Bruce Ballew is a corporate jet pilot and has served as chapter President, Contest Director, and a regional judge.  He is currently the IAC government relations representative.   Bruce currently competes in the Advanced category in his beautiful Extra 300L and operates from Creve Coeur airport (1H0).  

Jerry SpearEAA


Jerry Spear is a two-time winner of the Pitts Aerobatic Trophy in the Advanced category for his first place finishes at the 1978 and 1988 IAC Nationals competitions (Advanced category).  Jerry is also a retired airline captain and continues to support the Chapter 61 contest each year in numerous capacities. 



Bill Collumbien 

Bill is a long-time chapter supporter who flies an Extra 300L for fun and relaxation. He operates from the Washington Memorial airport (FYG) in Missouri.



Dennis McAlee 

Dennis (Denny) McAlee is a retired airline pilot, flight instructor, master builder (Pitts, Skybolt, RV, etc.) and the Starter for our chapter contests. Denny is based at the Washington Memorial (FYG) airport.



Julie Housley 

Julie works at the Humane Society of Missouri in the Education department where children are taught to have kindness and respect for all living things.   She helps with the registration and other aspects of the annual contest in Salem, Illinois.

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