Meet Susan Dacy: The only female pilot in Chicago's Air and Water Show

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's Air & Water Show week and we're giving you a preview every day of this weekend's big show.

In this year's show there is only one female pilot. Her name is Susan Dacy and she is a show pilot by day and an international commercial pilot by night.

"I fly for American Airlines when I'm not feeding this thirsty airplane," Dacy said. "I fly internationally out of Chicago O'Hare on a Boeing 777. I tell people it's truly the best of both worlds. I love my day job which is often at night and flying in an airshow is just a childhood dream come true."

Dacy found her love of aviation from her family. She said her whole family became involved in one way or another.

"I was lucky. This is actually my home field, grew up right next door so I was out her at the airport all the time," Dacy said. "As a teenager I knew I was getting close when I could solo at 16, I was out here chomping at the bit to fly."

Her performance plane is 1942 World War Two Era Bi-plane, originally used to teach cadets to fly. Dacy purchased the retrofitted plane in 1994 and gave it the name "Big Red."

"What's so fun at the Chicago Air & Water Show is it's a contrast. I get to kind of kick back and say here's what it was like way back then and then there are airplanes from every era of aviation all the way up to the Blue Angels there, so it's neat how all of it fits in," Dacy said.

As her plane barrel rolls, dives and loops across the sky, she hopes to inspire the next generation of pilots to come.

"If I can be a role model for young women, that's wonderful," Dacy said. "I think of aviation as all genders...future pilots if they're young men or women, it's all great."
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