ICAS Recognizes Airshow Industry Leaders And Innovators At 2016 Awards Banquet

posted in: Miscellaneous | 0

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.

SWORD OF EXCELLENCE – Bill Stein

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

ART SCHOLL MEMORIAL SHOWMANSHIP AWARD – Geico Skytypers

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

PINNACLE AWARDS

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:

SUPPORT SERVICE PROVIDERS

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

MILITARY PERFORMER

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

CIVILIAN PERFORMERS

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

MILITARY OPEN HOUSES/AIR SHOWS

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

SMALL CIVILIAN AIR SHOWS (tie for Platinum)

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

MID-SIZE CIVILIAN AIR SHOWS

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

LARGE CIVILIAN AIR SHOWS

  • 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!

[UPDATED] Breaking: Two Parachutists Injured At Chicago Air And Water Show

posted in: Airshows, Parachute Team | 0

UPDATE: There is still not much information available, but speculation is that the jumpers may have collided in mid-air. This would explain both injuries as well as the apparent unconscious state of the jumper that hit the building.

One of the injured jumpers at the Chicago air and Water Show 2015
Source: WGNtv.com

This photo posted by WGNtv.com shows a jumper, identified in the article as a Golden Knight, approaching a building while under an all white canopy. Gwen O’Brien, a witness, is quoted as saying that the jumper had a problem and had to use a reserve parachute. The Golden Knights are known to use all white reserve canopies, and the extra altitude lost while deploying it could explain at least in part why the jumper was so far into the city and away from the beach landing zone.

Both jumpers were transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The Golden Knight is in critical condition and may be in surgery at this time. The Leap Frog’s condition is not considered critical.

ORIGINAL POST: We have received preliminary reports that two parachutists have been involved in incidents during the Chicago Air and Water Show this morning. One is confirmed to be a member of the US Navy Leap Frogs, but it is not known which team the other belongs to. Early indications are that it is a US Army Golden Knight. The two teams were scheduled to perform together, hence the confusion.

At approximately 11:00 a.m., a parachutist described with having a golden parachute crashed into a roof near 1400 Lake Shore Drive before falling to the ground. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, a witness stated “His legs caught the tip of the roof, and then he fell over. It was horrible.” “If he was only one foot closer to the roof, the maintenance guy could’ve grabbed him.” Some are saying that the parachutist appeared unconscious as he hit the roof.

Parachute Incident Scene - Chicago Air and Water Show 2015Photo by Marwa Eltagouri, Chicago Tribune

The incident with a member of the US Navy Leap Frogs also occurred on landing and resulted in the parachutist being treated and taken to a medical center at Northwestern University. Early reports indicate a broken leg.

No firm details on either injury are currently available but are being listed as serious-to-critical condition.