ICAS Announces 2018 Airshow Award Winners

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Several stars of the airshow industry took home top honors at this year’s annual International Council of Airshows Convention in Las Vegas, NV.


Julie Clark, known best for her patriotic red, white and blue T-34 act was awarded the Sword of Excellence, the airshow industry’s highest honor. This award is presented to a member who exemplifies outstanding service and personal contributions to the industry. The selection committee for the award is made up of a member of the board of directors, two past award recipients and two at-large members with at least 10 years of airshow experience.

A pilot for more than 45 years and a retired Northwest Airlines captain, Clark is rated in more than 66 types of aircraft. Her T-34 Mentor, named “Free Spirit”, is an icon of the industry and the center piece of her patriotic act with red, white, and blue smoke along with ground launched fireworks.

Clark, age 70, has previously won the Crystal Eagle award presented by the Aero Club of Northern California, and she was inducted into the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame in 2016.

Also taking home the Sword of Excellence in 2018 was European Airshow Council Board Chairman Gilbert Buekenberghs. For the past 30 years, Gilbert has helped form and build the European Airshow Council, which is the sister organization to ICAS in Europe and North Africa. ICAS said that “from meeting planner, safety advocate and goodwill ambassador to publisher, politician and publicist, he did all that was necessary to build the EAC into an organization delivering significant benefits to its members and changing forever the trajectory of the entire European air show business.”

Clark and Buekenberghs are the 45th and 46th recipients of the awards since its inception.


The Art Scholl Memorial Showmanship award is given to an airshow act or performer that best exemplifies the qualities of showmanship demonstrated by Art Scholl. Scholl was a long-time and active ICAS member, known for his airshow performances but also for his many appearances in motion picture films, documentaries, and television commercials. Scholl died while filming such a flying sequence for the movie “Top Gun” off the coast of California in 1985.

The 2018 recipients were the Darnell family, for their innovations in the airshow industry through their jet powered vehicles. With a fleet that includes Shockwave, Aftershock and the Flash Fire Pickups, their jet acts have been seen by millions across the nation over the years. Neal, Chris, Marilyn, and Brooke Darnell were lauded for the multi-dimensional entertainment experience they bring to air shows, as well as their consistency, reliability, and professionalism.


Sue Gardner was presented with the Bob Hoover Wingman Award during the Chairman’s Banquet in recognition of her work as the FAA’s national aviation events specialist and principal policy liaison with the US air show community. As part of Sue’s job, she works with the industry to help establish a partnership between the FAA and the airshow community to help improve airshow safety without adding additional regulatory burden.

Specifically, the award presentation remarks noted her efforts to return air show aircraft to the air following the terrorist attacks of September, 2001, her contribution to efforts to harmonize US and Canadian air show policy, her commitment to institutionalizing the prohibition on aerobatic energy directed at the crowd, the major role she played in two major rewrites of FAA air show policy, and the collaborative approach she has brought to her position as national aviation events specialist.


The MacDill Air Force Base open house was named the recipient of the Dick Schram Memorial Community Relations Award for the work that it did to combine a regional Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) Fair with its annual open house.

MacDill displayed 50 different STEAM exhibits for 1,300 students from 29 different schools on the Friday before their weekend show. Additionally, less than half the overall air show is now funded using government appropriated funds, due to a unique and successful partnership with local businesses.

The award is presented in honor of Dick Schram, a former Blue Angel who was an engaged member of the air show community before passing away unexpectedly in 1987. The award has now been presented to 30 different military facilities to recognize and showcase the work that they have done in using their air shows and open houses to strengthen relationships in the communities where the bases are located.

Walt Pierce Wingwalking Stearman - AirshowStuff


The ICAS Foundation Air Show Hall of Fame welcomed event organizer Terry Grevious and performer Walt Pierce as its 66th and 67th members during ceremonies at the ICAS Convention.

Grevious helped launch the Muskegon Air Fair in 1984 and turned it into one of the most successful air shows in North America before assuming leadership of the Dayton Air Show in Dayton, Ohio. Grevious was cited for his innovation, strong management skills, and professionalism.

Walt Pierce was a well-respected wing walking pilot who performed all over the US and Canada in his Stearman biplane. He was recognized for his skills as an aviator and his professionalism during a career that began in the 1960s.

Congrats to all the 2018 award winners!

ICAS Recognizes Airshow Industry Leaders And Innovators At 2016 Awards Banquet

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Bill Stein - Sword of Excellence Winner

While the annual International Council of Airshows convention is a place for performers, organizers, and support staff to meet and coordinate the following show season, it also offers a chance to reflect on previous seasons and recognize standout individuals and groups. The event culminates in an awards banquet where airshow professionals celebrate their own with their highest honors.

At this year’s banquet on December 8th, several airshow performers were honored with distinguished awards.


The airshow industry’s highest honor is the Sword of Excellence, presented to a member who exemplifies outstanding service and personal contributions to the industry. Over the past three decades, 40 recipients have been honored with the award. The selection committee for the award is made up of a member of the board of directors, two past award recipients and two at-large members with at least 10 years of airshow experience.

Bill has worked over the years to enhance the airshow industry by working with ICAS and the FAA to develop “reasonable, workable language on ‘aerobatic energy directed at the crowd,’ and certification currency requirements.”

As a member of the Aerobatic Competency Evaluation (ACE) Committee for nearly seven years, Bill’s work has been incredibly helpful creating guidance responsible for decreasing fatal airshow incidents through the ICAS ACE Manual.

ICAS also says they decided to honor Bill due to his extensive mentorship time with new air show pilots, helping to coach them through his experiences as both a solo pilot and a formation pilot.

Geico Sktypers - Art Scholl Showmanship Award


The Art Scholl Memorial Showmanship award is given to an airshow act or performer that best exemplifies the qualities of showmanship demonstrated by Art Scholl. Scholl was a long-time and active ICAS member, known for his airshow performances but also for his many appearances in motion picture films, documentaries, and television commercials. Scholl died while filming such a flying sequence for a movie off the coast of California in 1985.

The Geico Skytypers were awarded ICAS’ highest showmanship award at the 2016 ICAS convention for not only their work in the air, but also for creating new and innovative ways to share the love of aviation and airshow flying with the public.

The team, based in Farmingdale, NY, is a six-ship WWII-era SNJ-2 (T-6 Texan) formation team, known for their formation flying and aerial skytyping. The large messages they type in the sky are 1,000 feet tall and can be visible for up to 15 miles in any direction. Due to this extreme visibility, ICAS credits the Geico Skytypers with generating interest in people who may not even know an aviation event is occurring in their community.

On the ground, the Skytypers maintain a strong community outreach effort, sharing their passion for aviation with airshow fans through autograph sessions, school, youth and veterans visits and spending time with community groups. The team also has it’s “In-Formation” webisode series, which gives a unique perspective into the world of airshow formation flying.

WINGMAN AWARD – Rudy Malnati

The Wingman award, renamed this year to honor and recognize the late Bob Hoover, is presented each year to an individual who has been a reliable supporter or advocate of the airshow business.

The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS)’s Wingman Award was presented to Rudy Malnati. Rudy is the long-time director of several Midwest airshows, including the Chicago Air and Water Show. He has spent 50 years working in the airshow industry, and first worked at the Chicago Air and Water Show in 1963 as a first grader! He attended his first ICAS meeting in 1967, at the ripe age of 13. By 15, he was helping to book acts.

Throughout his career, he has earned recognition from the U.S Air Force Thunderbirds and U.S. Army Golden Knights, becoming a honorary member of both teams. He is respected by his peers, who say he is “the personification of what it means to be a good wingman”.

Cleveland National Airshow 2016 - E-2 Hawkeye and A-10 Warthog


The Pinnacle Award honors recipients who “showcase professionalism, innovation in problem solving, and overall excellence in airshow operations and management.” Awards are given in the small, mid-size, and large civilian airshow and military airshows/open houses categories. Three other Pinnacvle Awards are given in the civilian performer, military performer, and support service provider categories. The 2016 winners are:


  • Gold Recipient – Precision Exotics
  • Platinum Recipient – ADC Group, Inc.


  • Platinum Recipient – Captain Maciej “Match” Hatta (Snowbird #3)


  • Gold Recipient – Commemorative Air Force B24/B29 Squadron
  • Platinum Recipient – Greg Shelton Airshows


  • Gold Recipient – MacDill Air Force Base presents Tampa Bay AirFest
  • Platinum Recipient – Rhode Island National Guard Open House and Airshow


  • Platinum Recipient #1a – Cape Girardeau Regional Air Festival
  • Platinum Recipient #1b – The Highest Air Show on Earth


  • Gold Recipient – Duluth Air and Aviation Expo/Kern and Kompany
  • Platinum Recipient – Lynchburg Regional Air Show


  • Gold Recipient – Cleveland National Air Show
  • Platinum Recipient – Bell Helicopter Fort Worth Alliance Air Show

If you’d like to learn more, ICAS has provided detailed biographies on each award winner.

AirshowStuff congratulates all the winners of this year’s awards. We can’t wait to see you in 2017!

2015 EAA AirVenture Aircraft Award Winners Announced

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deHavilland Mosquito - Grand Champion (World War II)

Every year, EAA AirVenture is the place to be to see new and old aircraft from all over come together. This year, thousands aircraft flew in and only a few of the best went home with an award in their luggage. This year’s winners of AirVenture’s Aircraft Awards are as follows:

[showhide type=”post” more_text=”See the winners…” less_text=”Hide winners…”]



Classic Home Built Special Award – Large Plaque
307th Bomb Wing – 93rd Bomb Squadron
Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana
1961 B-52H, 61-0029

Kit Outstanding Workmanship – Plaques
Philip J. Conway
Chatfield, Minnesota
2013 Glasair IIS, N11HC

David Schmitz & Derek James
Louisville, Kentucky
2014 Van’s RV-8, N8782D

Christopher Lucas
New Bern, North Carolina
2011 Van’s RV-10, N919AR

Rodney Jarrell
Phoenix, Arizona
2014 Van’s RV-10, N104AZ

Peter Richmond
Annapolis, Maryland
2015 Sportsman GS-2, N767KV

Donald Yoakley
Fleming Island, Florida
2014 Glasair III, N97KD

Plans Outstanding Workmanship – Plaques
Jeffrey Cain
Denver, Colorado
1981 Hill Raymond J Hatz CB-1, N8032Y

Scott Ehni
Trinity, Texas
2014 Zenith 701, N742SE

Scott Ehni
Trinity, Texas
2011 Zenith CH 701SP, N742DE

Daniel Helsper
Puryear, Tennessee
2010 Pietenpol Air Camper, N929DH

Grand Champion Plans Built – Gold Lindy
Kenneth Orloff
Groveland, California
2015 Marquart MA-5, N171MC

Grand Champion Kit Built – Gold Lindy
Thomas Irion
Livermore, California
2014 Velocity XL-FG, N722XL

Reserve Grand Champion Plans Built – Silver Lindy
William Roerig
Combined Locks, Wisconsin
2015 Falco F.8L, N453YR

Reserve Grand Champion Kit Built – Silver Lindy
CC Aircraft Sales LLC
Belmont, Wisconsin
2015 Lancair Evolution, N469KS

Paul Poberezny Founder’s Award for Best Classic Homebuilt
Faith Drewry/Winston Wright
Tallahassee, Florida
1982 Pitts, N33HS

Plans Champion – Bronze Lindy
Thomas Langston
Weatherford, Texas
2014 Falco F.8l, N457TC

Robert Deford
Prescott, Arizona
2003 Full-Scale Replica, N1940K

Dale Severs
Fox Lake, Illinois
1998 Hatz CB-1, N560V

Dave Devere
Colorado Springs, Colorado
2010 Long-EZ SP, N400EZ

James Steward
Monument, Colorado
Skybolt, N302JS

Kit Champion – Bronze Lindy
George Bowlds
Sammamish, Washington
2013 Van’s RV-8, N988DB

William Shook
Aurora, Colorado
2014 Van’s RV-8, N951WT

Neal Longwill
Austin, Texas
2014 AC Evo Partners LLC Lancair Evolution, N38SP

David Duperron
Rockford, Michigan
2015 Van’s RV-10, N282PD

Diran Torigian
Simi Valley, California
2015 Van’s RV-8, N618RV

Christer Stenstrom
Webster, Minnesota
2015 Van’s RV-8, N184CS

Mike J. Patey
Orem, Utah
2015 Lancair Legacy, N707MM

Aaron Sims
Locust Grove, Georgia
2015 Van’s RV-10, N10GT

Kenneth Talovich
Salida, California
2013 Van’s RV-8, N489KT




Antique (through August 1945)

Antique Continuously Maintained Aircraft
John Ricciotti
Barrington, New Hampshire
1934 Waco S3HD, N14048

Replica Aircraft Champion – Bronze Lindy
1983 Pietenpol, N498K

World War II Military Trainer/Liaison Aircraft Champion – Bronze Lindy
James Savage
Gibsonia, Pennsylvania
1939 Spartan 7W, N17634

Customized Aircraft Champion – Bronze Lindy
Peter Ramm
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
1941 Waco UPF‑7, N39752

Bronze Age (1937‑1941) Champion – Bronze Lindy
David Pyeatt
Northridge, California
1940 Waco SRE, N20961

Silver Age (1928‑1936) Champion – Bronze Lindy
Dan Murray
Longmont, Colorado
1928 Travel Air 4000, NC6464

Frank Pavliga
Atwater, Ohio

Antique Reserve Grand Champion – Silver Lindy
Doug Harkes
Wroxeter, Ontario, Canada
1944 Fleet M62A‑3 Cornell, CFCVE

Antique Grand Champion – Gold Lindy
Craig Bair
Grenville, South Dakota
1942 Howard Aircraft DGA‑15P, N67478

Classic (September 1945-1955)

Outstanding Cessna 120/140 – Small Plaque
Doug Sytsma
Canton, Michigan
1947 Cessna 120, N2339N

Outstanding Cessna 170/180 – Small Plaque
John Castorina
Santa Paula, California
1955 Cessna 180, N3261D

Outstanding Ercoupe – Small Plaque
Ronald Black
Valley Center, Kansas
1946 Ercoupe 415C, N93394

Outstanding Piper J-3 – Small Plaque
Matt Hofeldt
Waunakee, Wisconsin
1946 Piper J-3C 65, N92012

Outstanding Piper Other – Small Plaque
Paul Gagnon
Guelph, Ontario
1950 Piper PA-20, CFGAG

Outstanding Stinson – Small Plaque
Michael Gardonio
Duluth, Minnesota
1947 Stinson 108-2, N9418K

Outstanding Swift – Small Plaque
Matthew Erwin
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
1946 Globe Swift, N90394

Outstanding Limited Production – Small Plaque
David Denton
Siloam Springs, Arkansas
1951 Callair A-2, N2916V

Preservation – Small Plaque
Paul Applegate
Queen City, Missouri
1947 Stinson 108-1, NC8841K

Custom Class B (81-150 hp) – Small Plaque
Mark Heusdens
Kansasville, Wisconsin
1946 Ercoupe 415C, N2877H

Custom Class C (151-235 hp) – Small Plaque
Taber Robbins
Horseheads, New York
1954 Beech E35, N10RR

Custom Class D (236-plus hp) – Small Plaque
Cary Singleton
Dearborn, Missouri
1947 North American Navion, N4101K

Best Customized Runner-Up – Large Plaque
John Nielsen
Bloomer, Wisconsin
1955 Cessna 170B, N170KW

Class I (0-80 hp) – Bronze Lindy
Ryan Harter
Greenfield, Indiana
1946 AERONCA 11AC, N3175E

Class II (81-150 hp) – Bronze Lindy
Terry Durham
Parker, Colorado
1948 Luscombe 8F, N1902B

Class III (151-235 hp) – Bronze Lindy
Craig Layson
Ypsilanti, Michigan
1955 Cessna 180, N180TP

Class IV (236-plus hp) – Bronze Lindy
Michael Pratt
Louisville, Kentucky
1950 Cessna 195A, N1001D

Champion Customized Classic – Bronze Lindy
Mark Meredith
Rockville, Maryland
1951 de Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk, N7DW

Reserve Grand Champion – Silver Lindy
Ron Busch
Menominee, Michigan
1947 Piper PA-11, N4846M

Grand Champion – Gold Lindy
Robert Epting
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
1946 Piper J-3C-65, N92455

Contemporary (1956-1970)

Outstanding Beech Single-Engine – Outstanding In Type
Raymond Debs
Gig Harbor, Washington
1959 Beech K35, N828R

Outstanding Cessna 150 – Outstanding In Type
Lorraine Morris
Poplar Grove, Illinois
1960 Cessna 150, N6469T

Outstanding Cessna 170/172/175/177 – Outstanding In Type
Steven Weiner
Nora Springs, Iowa
1968 Cessna 177, N2867X

Outstanding Cessna 180/182/210 – Outstanding In Type
Mark Denson
Brenham, Texas
1964 Cessna 180G, N751S

Outstanding Cessna Multiengine – Outstanding In Type
Thomas Handzlik
Midlothian, Texas
1968 Cessna 421, N4AF

Outstanding Piper PA-22 Tri-Pacer – Outstanding In Type
James Hamilton
Rogue River, Oregon
1956 Piper PA-22-150, N4770A

Outstanding Piper P- 24 Comanche – Outstanding In Type
J. Bruce Camino
Santa Ana, California
1965 Piper PA-24-260, N8871P

Outstanding Piper PA-28 Cherokee – Outstanding In Type
Stefan Kurschner
Portland, Oregon
1964 Piper PA-28-235, N8933W

Outstanding Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche – Outstanding In Type
David Winters
Redway, California
1965 Comanche PA-30, N204WT

Preservation Award – Outstanding In Type
Robert Moreland
Byron, Illinois
1957 Cessna 180A, N5224D

Class II Single-Engine (161-230 hp) – Bronze Lindy
Cody Erickson
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
1956 Piper PA-18A-150, N8790D

Class III Single-Engine (231-plus hp) – Bronze Lindy
Bruce Mayes
Honolulu, Hawaii
1963 Meyers 200B, N229RS

Dean Richardson Memorial Award – Bronze Lindy
Richard Jones
Mukilteo, Washington
1958 Beech J35, N8370D

Outstanding Customized – Bronze Lindy
Thomas Rhines
Canton, Texas
1966 Piper PA-28-140, N7404R

Outstanding Multi Engine – Bronze Lindy
Dale Egan
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1961 Beech D50E, N434T

Reserve Grand Champion Customized – Silver Lindy
Greg Estrada
Waterford, Michigan
1967 Cessna 172, N8376B

Reserve Grand Champion – Silver Lindy
Ed Newby
Lake in the Hills, Illinois
1957 Piper PA-22-150, N7437D

Grand Champion Customized – Gold Lindy
Kevin Mayer
Lima, Ohio
1958 Beech J35, N76J

Grand Champion – Gold Lindy
Paul Shank
Gaithersburg, Maryland
1970 Champion 7GCBC, N9060L




Preservation Award
Carey Hardin
Starkville, Mississippi
Boeing Stearman N2S-4 Kaydet, N59901

Mike Weinfurter
Rhinelander, Wisconsin
Cessna TL-19A Bird Dog, N96071

Mark Howard
Edmond, Oklahoma
Fairchild PT-26A Cornell, N9279H

Craig Sommerfeld
Kelley, Iowa
Beechcraft T-34 Mentor, N245Z

Tom Bullion
Memphis, Tennessee
Stinson-Vultee AT-19, N60058

Michael Porter
East Liverpool, Ohio
Boeing Stearman PT-17 Kaydet, N59293

Judges’ Choice: CJ-6
Scott Wallace
Dayton, Ohio
Nanchang CJ-6A, N202ME

Judges’ Choice: L- Bird
James Johnson
Midlothian, Texas
Cessna L-19/O-1E Bird Dog, N354X

Judges’ Choice: Jet Fighter
Dean Cutshall
Fort Wayne, Indiana
North American F-100F Super Sabre, N2011V

Judges’ Choice: L-17
Thomas Gordon Jr.
Loveland, Colorado
Ryan L-17, N4238A

Best Jet
Dianna Stanger
Port Lavaca, Texas
Aero Vodochody L-139 Albatros, N1390A
Silver Wrench
Code 1 Aviation
Rockford, Illinois

Best L-Bird
Stewart Ellis
Luthersville, Georgia
Cessna O-1A Bird Dog, N5308G
Silver Wrench
Montague Bono
Chino, California

Best Trainer
Richard Curtis, Howard Botts & Wayne Borman
Valley Center, Kansas
Fairchild PT-19B, N464BC
Silver Wrench
Curtis, Botts & Borman
Valley Center, Kansas

Best Stearman
Paul Ehlen
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Boeing Stearman N2S-1 Kaydet, N50061
Silver Wrench
Air Corps Aviation
Bemidji, Minnesota

Keep ’em Flying Award
Ron Whitt
Slinger, Wisconsin
Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros, N976BH
Gold Wrench
Code 1 Aviation
Rockford, Illinois

Greg Scileppi
Denver, Colorado
Beechcraft T-34 Mentor, N343ZM
Gold Wrench
Blackwell Aviation
Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania

Most Authentic Restoration
Max Chapman & John Muszala
Idaho Falls, Idaho
North American P-51B Mustang, N515ZB
Gold Wrench
Pacific Fighters
Idaho Falls, Idaho

Dirty Bird
James Lyle
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Douglas C-47 Skytrain, N74589

Reserve Grand Champion – World War II
Paul Ehlen
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
North American P-51D Mustang, N1751D
Gold Wrench
Air Corps Aviation
Bemidji, Minnesota

Grand Champion – Post World War II
Brian Reynolds
Olympia, Washington
Goodyear FG-1D Corsair, NX72NW
Gold Wrench
Airpower Unlimited LLC
Jerome, Idaho

Grand Champion – World War II
Jerry Yeagen
Virginia Beach, Virginia
de Havilland Canada FB26 Mosquito, N114KA
Gold Wrench
Avspecs Ltd.
Auckland, New Zealand



Helicopter – Bronze Lindy
Russ Kunz
Neosho, Wisconsin
Safari 400, N615RK

Michael Messex
Harvest, Alabama
Mosquito Ultralight

Helicopter – Silver Lindy
Ken Kohart
Payne, Ohio
Safari 400, N8875

Helicopter – Gold Lindy
Tim Drnec
Denver, Colorado
Helicycle, N202AP

Gyrocopter – Silver Lindy
Dayton Dabbs
Taylor, Texas
Magni M-16, N747RD

Gyrocopter – Gold Lindy
Chris Lord
Hanover, Illinois
Xenon, N271PA


Ultralight & LSA

Light Plane – Honorable Mention
Rod Holtz
Wautoma, Wisconsin
Quad Cities Challenger 2

Reserve Grand Champion – Light Plane
Tim Lohrey
Brookville, Indiana
Russell Morgan Ragwing Special
Grand Champion – Ultralight
Steve Cole
Indianapolis, Indiana
Hummel Ultra Cruiser



Best Metal – Plaque
Tina & Kevin Anderson
Paw Paw, Michigan
1959 Cessna 182, N8438T

Judges’ Choice
Samaritan Aviation, Byron Yergue
Montrose, Colorado
1981 Cessna 206G, N52337

Best Amphibian
Bill Bardin
Granville, New York
1947 Republic Seabee, N398CM

Best Fabric
John Ohnstad
Fargo, North Dakota
Molt Taylor Coot, N202YB
Bronze Lindy
Don Goodman
Bellingham, Washington
1976 Cessna 182P, N13943

Silver Lindy
Bob Welch
Ellington, Connecticut
1958 Cessna 175 Skyhawk, N7223M

Gold Lindy
D.J. Dondelinger
Brainerd, Minnesota
1955 de Havilland DHC2 Beaver, N2MD

Congratulations to all who won and were recognized at this year’s AirVenture!