McNeely fell in love with flying at an early age and has flown more than 26,000 hours in his career. He flew for crop dusting and air cargo, but his love was flying airshows. “For years, I flew in the same southern regional airshows as Ben Cunningham, Alan Henley and Steve Gustafson, who were flying together as the North American Aerobatic Team,” McNeely said. When Cunningham retired in the mid 1990s, McNeely joined the team as did Henley’s brother Mark. “We worked really hard and a few years later we became the AeroShell Aerobatic Team,” McNeely said.