Chapter 61

Salem, Illinois

Members new

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 Housley



John Housley is the current IAC Chapter 61 President, Treasurer, and webmaster.  As a retired aeronautical engineer, John is spending time providing aerobatic instruction while also supporting the Humane Society of Missouri's education program.  John is a regional judge as well as A&P with IA and served as the Contest Director for the 2021 Giles Henderson Memorial Challenge . (Aircraft photo courtesy of The Aero Experience)

Sean Sweeney



Sean Sweeney is a highly successful business owner and our chapter Vice President.  Sean has experience in a variety of aerobatic (and corporate) aircraft and currently flies an immaculate Staudacher S-300.   Sean is a flight/ground instructor and has obtained FAA approval for two (2) aerobatic practice areas: one at his home airport (KUNO) and the other at Baxter County (KBPK).  Sean currently competes in the Sportsman category in his Staudacher and is also an IAC regional judge. (Aircraft photo courtesy The Aero Experience)

Cleta Sweeney



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 


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 Ballew



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). (Aircraft photo courtesy The Aero Experience)

Dave Butler


Dave Butler is an orthopaedic surgeon, an AME, and a CFII.  He flies his Super Decathlon from C56 (Bult Field, southeast of Chicago) in the Sportsman category. (Aircraft photo courtesy of The Aero Experience)


Vinny is an accomplished business leader, instrument pilot, and aerobatic pilot.  He flies a pristine Extreme Decathlon from the Creve Coeur airport (1H0) in the Sportsman category.

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. (Photo courtesy of The Aero Experience)

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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