Modern Day Barnstormer: John Mohr

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John Mohr Stearman Driver

Modern Day Barnstormer: John Mohr
If you haven’t heard of John Mohr, he’s the guy in the stock Stearman that flies so low you have to be in front of the crowd to see his performance.

I first saw John at the Gathering of Mustangs and Legends in 2007 here in Columbus, OH. This airshow was all about the Mustangs and warbirds, both old and new, so when this stock Stearman pulled out onto the runway, I honestly didn’t think much about it. Luckily the action started right on takeoff and I couldn’t avert my gaze the whole performance.

To say that John is the virtuoso of the Stearman is a huge understatement. He comes from a  family of pilots, with his grandfather being a real post-WWI barnstormer.


stock stearmanJohn’s day job is as a Captain and Check Airmen for a major airline. When not flying the big iron he campaigns his stock 1943 Stearman at airshows across the country. He is based in Minnesota so he venues tend to be east of the Mississippi for obvious reasons. Stearman aren’t fast cruising IFR machines, so ferrying to the show is sometimes more hazardous than the show itself and John never misses a show.

The amazing thing about his show is how much performance he extracts from the airplane. He does manuevers on the deck that biplanes with twice the horsepower wouldn’t dare attempt. All of this is possible because of the man in the airplane. John has over 10,000 in Stearmans flying them since 1975 and can do things that look impossible.

The last time I had chills watching an airshow performer was Jimmy Franklin in his Waco Mystery Ship. Since we lost Franklin, I hadn’t seen anyone fly like that until I saw John.

PT17 KaydetIf you want to see John fly, you really need to see it in person to appreciate it, but I put a video below so you can have a taste of what I’m talking about. John is my favorite performer on the circuit.

by Brent

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