Patrick McAlee, pronounced “Mack-a-Lee,” is a seasoned aviator, airshow performer, and aviation enthusiast, hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, and currently residing in Chicago, Illinois. His love for flying was deeply influenced by his father and uncle, both commercial airline pilots, who sparked his passion for aviation from a young age. Patrick’s father’s background in McDonnell Douglas and the Gemini Space program further fueled his fascination with the skies.
Throughout his childhood, Patrick seized every opportunity to fly with his father, and when not airborne, he actively assisted in building two award-winning biplanes. At the tender age of five, his father took him to The EAA AirVenture Fly-in at OshKosh, a transformative experience that inspired him and solidified his dream of becoming a professional aviator. From that moment on, Patrick and his father made OshKosh an annual tradition.
By the age of 12, Patrick knew that aviation was his calling, and at 16, he saved up to buy his first plane—a 1947 antique Cessna 140. His determination to fly any aircraft he could get his hands on led him to work under a unique “wash your plane to fly it” policy. He obtained his pilot’s license at 17 and continued to build flight hours to achieve his commercial rating.
At just 18, Patrick achieved his commercial and multi-engine ratings on the same day, followed shortly by becoming a flight and instrument flight instructor. His dedication and skill caught the attention of Republic Airways, which hired him as a First Officer. Within two years, he earned the rank of Captain, operating the Embraer-145 Regional Jet, and later the Embraer-170/175 Regional Jets.
While pursuing a successful career in the airlines, Patrick’s passion for aerobatics led him to enroll at the Tutima Academy of Aviation Safety Sean D Tucker, where he started competing in aerobatic events in 2006. Through dedication and hard work, he honed his skills and developed an impressive airshow routine, eventually acquiring the aircraft he flies today— a modified Pitts S1 Biplane named “the Blue Demon.”
As an airshow performer, Patrick has been mentored by esteemed figures in the industry, such as Greg Koontz, Skip Stewart, Julie Clark, and Debby Rihn-Harvey. He tirelessly promotes the art of flight, aiming to be an outstanding entertainer and role model for aviation enthusiasts of all generations. His passion for mentoring others with dreams of aviation, whether in airlines, airshows, or aerospace, is a driving force in his career.
Besides his exceptional flying career, Patrick’s innovative spirit shines through. Together with his wife, Natalia, they manage their airshow business and have gained significant attention for their uniqueness and creativity. Natalia, with a background in pop culture writing and comic books, adds a special touch to their airshow program, often “cosplaying” as a favorite superhero to captivate audiences young and old. Their collaborative efforts have led to the development of children’s coloring and learning books, as well as STEM-themed programs at airshows across the country.
Patrick expresses his sincere gratitude to his sponsors and supporters, who have played a vital role in his journey. Some of his proud sponsors include Softie Parachutes, GT Propellers, Astech Seats, Vinyl Images and Design, Bristol Watch Company, The Aero Experience, Miller Creative Media, Bull Bag USA, Aircraft Smoker Oil, Evolution MMA, Lift Aviation USA, Tiger Performance Products, Enersys Corporation, Aircraft Spruce and Specialty, and Tempest Aero Group.
To stay connected with Patrick and his thrilling adventures in the world of aviation, you can follow him on social media platforms such as Instagram (@ExtremeFlight), Facebook (facebook.com/Extremeflight45), Twitter (@ExtremeFlight45), and YouTube (Patrick McAlee Airshows). Additionally, he has a Children’s themed page on Instagram (@bluedemonadventures). For more information and links, visit his website at Extreme-Flight.com.