Deke Slayton Airfest is very pleased to bring Michael Wiskus to our airshow for the first time.
Expect to see things you never imagined an aircraft could do. Michael will tumble his aircraft end-over-end, cut a ribbon up-side-down while flying only 15 feet above the ground, all smothered in smoke, noise and now, for the first time ever, he has added the sent of Brut Cologne to his exhaust. This is a performance you will remember for years to come.
Like many of the show pilots, Mike's passion for aviation started when he was very young. Mike's Dad took him to his first air show at their hometown in Iowa at the age of 10. That show made an everlasting impression so deep that at 14, Mike rode his bike to the airport for two weeks straight and bugged the owner for a job washing airplanes and cleaning hangars just to be around airplanes. In school, Mike had a teacher tell him he would never be a pilot. His grades weren't great and he got into trouble. Later that year a tutor gave him the book The Little Engine that Could, by Watty Piper. It changed his attitude and it helped Mike believe in himself. He traded his work of washing airplanes for flying lessons and received his Pilot's License on his 17th birthday.
Thirty eight years later, Mike has accumulated more than 24,000 flight hours and has qualified in more than 40 aircraft. He keeps a very busy schedule flying for Corporate America as well as keeping a full time air show schedule flying the Lucas Oil stunt plane April through November. "It is incredible to be part of the Lucas Oil Team. Their products as well as their integrity make what I do even more rewarding." It wasn't easy getting where he is today, and as Mike would attest, he fought battles every day. Things didn't always turn out the way he planned, but with each year he believes that one of the biggest impacts in his life and the lives around him was his attitude.
With everything he has experienced as a Pilot, Businessman, Husband and Father, Mike still admits to making mistakes every day. But he doesn't want to miss the opportunity to pass on the same gift of encouragement and attitude that had been given to him by his Parents, Grandparents, 2nd Grade Tutor and all who believe in him and the dreams he still chases. That is why Mike started the "I Can" program in conjunction with his air show.
Mike's air show career is a testimony of how dreams really can come true. As a 2002 U.S. National Aerobatic Champion, and a member of the 2004 U.S. Aerobatic Team, Mike has traveled the World with the same aircraft you will see him performing in at your air show. His excitement for aviation and willingness to share his experience with people around the country is nothing short of contagious in his attempt to help encourage kids of all ages, to not only dream, but to live their dreams and never give up!
You can live big adventures, follow your passions and do the impossible!
It simply begins with two words....... "I Can."
Mike's Aerobatic Accomplishments:
1996 – 2005 IAC Aerobatic Competitor. Regional Champion. Participated in the last Championships of the Americas Competition.
1996-2005 Five Time Aviat Pitts Trophy Winner.
2002 First Place - North Central Regional Aerobatic Competitions.
2002 United States Aerobatic Champion.
2003 First Place - North Central Regional Aerobatic Competitions.
2003 Qualified (one of six) for the United States Advanced Aerobatic Team.
2004 Traveled to Sweden and competed in the World Aerobatic Competitions as a Member of the United States Aerobatic Team.
2005 Recipient of the Fred Liedig Trophy and Sword for Aerobatic Excellence.
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Nick Halseth | Lead Jumper
From: Buffalo, MN
First Jump: 1991
Number of Jumps: Over 6,000
Nick is the Lucas Oil Skydivers Lead and Media Producer at Lucas Oil Airshows. Nick was interested in aviation at a young age and he made his first jumps at 18 years old. Since then he has jumped from over 30 different aircraft types. Including a Boeing 727. As an aerial videographer, Nick has earned medals in the U.S. and Australian National Championships. His interest in parachutes and anything that flies once led to work on parachute systems for Light Sport Aircraft, ultralights, and Cirrus aircraft. In fact, of the 22 emergency deployments of Cirrus aircraft parachutes, Nick has packed three of them.
From: Belle Plaine, MN
First Jump: 2008
Number of Jumps: Over 1,000
Ryan’s recollection of the first time he saw skydiving was on the television show, Extremists. It was something he wanted to try. But being eight years old at the time, he was going to have to wait a few years. In 2008 Ryan made his first jump and admits he only planned on doing it once. But he continued on. By his third year in the sport he was already taking part in regional competitions. Ryan currently holds USPA Coach, Static Line, and Tandem instructional ratings. This is his second year with the Lucas Oil Skydivers.
From: Minneapolis, MN
Skydiving for 22 years
Number of Jumps: Over 6,000
Andy became fascinated with skydiving as a 10 year old kid, after watching the "Freedom Flyers" parachute team jump into the Minnesota State Fair in the early 1980's. He went through his first jump course 2 days after his 18th birthday in 1991 and has been immersed in the skydiving culture ever since, completing over 6,000 jumps in 22 years. He has won 3 U.S. National Gold medals in formation skydiving and has instructed hundreds of jumpers in 19 years as a U.S. Parachute Association Instructor. Andy also works as an engineer in the medical device industry, and formerly worked at Cirrus Aircraft Corporation on the SR20 development and F.A.A. certification project.
From: St. Paul, MN
Skydiving for 40 years
Number of Jumps: Over 5,000
Jim made his first jump on a round parachute and military surplus gear in 1973, when winged parachutes were still just a novelty. He has competed in numerous competitions, including 15 US National Championships, winning a gold medal at the 1992 US Para-Ski Nationals. To date he has performed in over 65 demonstration parachute jumps. When not skydiving, Jim is a mechanical engineer, inventor, and author.
From: St. Paul, MN
First Jump: 1996
Number of Jumps: Over 7,300
Karl began jumping in Hutchinson, MN. For ten years Karl and his wife, Merriah, competed together as Team Flew-id. Their freestyle skydiving team medaled numerous times in the Skydiving National Championships, including two gold medals in 2005 and 2009. Karl also pursued Canopy Piloting at the national level where he won gold in 2007. Karl Also holds an FAA Senior Rigger and is a rated skydiving instructor and coach. Outside of the skydiving world, Karl is a Senior Technician for Architectural Testing Inc.
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 a 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.
Erik Edgren - Clipped Wing Taylorcraft - Aerial Antics
Erik Edgren A.K.A. Hobie Washburn, is a natural airshow performer – personable to the public, engaging to the media and a rare, polished stick and rudder pilot. His family-friendly comedy and finesse aerobatics act make him a unique change of pace and entertaining addition to any airshow.
Erik has worked as a Flight Instructor, an Instructor/Pilot for an air combat school in the AT-6/SNJ and as a Corporate Pilot in Lear Jets, Kings Airs, etc. He has flown over 140 different makes and models of aircraft. A farmer by trade, Erik takes to the air as naturally as he plants his fields. A modest but gifted pilot, Erik is thrilled to be living his dream flying a one of a kind comedy/aerobatic act in the “T-Clips.” The “T-Clips” was originally built by Taylorcraft in 1939. It was “Clipped” for aerobatics in 1997 by Steve Givens using a mix of both the Swick and Legendary Duane Cole plans. Erik has further modified the T-Clips with inverted fuel and oil and airshow smoke systems making it an optimal and unique “up close and personal”, crowd-pleasing airshow machine. It may be the only Clip T performing in airshows today with the “old school” Continental C-85. Airshows are a family affair for the Edgrens. Erik’s beautiful wife Stephanie and his son John enjoy flying and attend almost every airshow with Erik.
Deke Slayton Airfest is very pleased to bring back airshow announcer Phil Dacy. Phil has been our announcer for every airshow through the years.
Setting the pace for any event, Phil Dacy brings to the center stage an enthusiastic style of airshow announcing that is ‘second to none’. Having accumulated over 8000 hours as a pilot in a variety of aircraft, Phil’s extensive knowledge and experience bring sponsors, spectators and media to the ‘front row’ in experiencing the finest in airshow entertainment.
Phil is recognized in the industry for his trademark dedication, experience, knowledge and commitment to airshows and aviation. A genuine interest and familiarity with aircraft ranging from small, single engine planes, to today’s military fighter aircraft, Phil is able to ‘put attendees in the cockpit’, or ‘on the wing’ of the aircraft, as no other announcer can! From fly-ins and corporate outings to the large, ‘jet team’ shows and military open houses, Phil brings over twenty years of professional experience to the show-line.
Phil’s expertise in announcing comes from personal experience having flown aircraft ranging from taildraggers to jets. When not performing in Airshows, Phil is the Chief Pilot for Priester Aviation, a Chicago based (Chicago Executive – formerly Palwuakee) Charter Company. Phil is also Captain on their Hawker 800.
Phil’s intense and riveting airshow announcing, make him the number one choice of performers and event organizers.