Susan Dacy Brings the Stearman Home to Ottumwa


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 Dacy and Big Red, sponsored by Christner Contracting, will be one of many new acts at this year's Fly Ottumwa airshow, scheduled for August 24-26 at the Ottumwa Regional Airport.

"It was such an incredible opportunity, we just couldn't pass it up" said Dee Christner, of Christner Contracting in Ottumwa. "To see a Stearman performing once again over the Ottumwa Naval Air Station, on the 75th anniversary of the station's commissioning, will be an incredible and emotional sight for people of all generations. Susan is bringing the Stearman home."

Dacy is one of only a few females performing airshows in a biplane, and is the only woman flying exhibition in the Super Stearman. She will also be a feature of the Legacy Education Day, a new initiative by the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation to introduce area high school students to careers in aviation. Dacy has flown more than sixty different types of aircraft, has logged more than 33,000 hours, and makes her living as a commercial pilot flying a Boeing 777 for American Airlines.


"As the premier female pilot in the world in a field dominated by men, she's exactly the kind of person to serve as a role model to young women across Iowa" said Christner. "We've seen the kind of economic impact that this airshow had on our community last year -- but to help shape the futures of our young people? That's a whole new level. If Susan can inspire just one girl to explore a career in aviation, our sponsorship was worth it."

For more information on Fly Ottumwa, Iowa's premier family airshow, visit