Part of the annual convention for the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) is an awards ceremony where performers, organizers, and other members of the industry are honored. Here are the award winners from the 2019 convention!
SWORD OF EXCELLENCE – DALE DRUMRIGHT
Dale Drumright was presented with the coveted ICAS Sword of Excellence award for her extensive work with organizing airshows at Langley AFB and Naval Air Station Norfolk, and her dedication to the airshow committee over the years.
Drumright has been active with the ICAS Foundation for much of her nearly 30 years in the air show business, serving as chair of the Foundation Board of Directors for four years and as chair of both the Family Fund and Hall of Fame Selection Committees.
In his presentation remarks, air show performer Matt Chapman observed that, “The easiest way to explain Dale Drumright’s impact on the air show business during the last 25 years is to see her as the personification of the heart at the center of the ICAS Foundation logo. When we talk about our ‘air show family,’ we’re talking about Dale Drumright.”
The Sword of Excellence is presented annually 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.
Dale’s name will now be added to a list of past ICAS Sword of Excellence recipients that includes Paul Poberezny, Charlie Hillard, Bob Hoover, Danny Clisham, Bill Bordeleau, Art Scholl, and Leo Loudenslager.
ART SCHOLL MEMORIAL AWARD – DAVID MARTIN
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 2019 recipient of the award is David Martin, an airshow pilot who over the years has performed in a variety of aircraft from the CAP 232 and Extra 300 to the Beechcraft Baron and Bonanza to the Bucker Jungmeister and P-51 Mustang.
“David never saw an airplane that he didn’t want to fly aerobatically,” one ICAS member said. “He’s a pilot’s pilot. He’s the guy, who if you’re an aviator, you say, ‘That dude has it.’” David was also cited for his encyclopedic knowledge of the history of air shows and air show performers.
Martin joins perhaps the air show community’s most exclusive “club,” a group that includes Bob Hoover, Jimmy Franklin, Leo Loudenslager, John Mohr, Sean Tucker, Michael Goulian and the French Connection Airshows.
SCHRAM AWARD RECIPIENT – TINKER AFB
Tinker AFB in Oklahoma was presented with the Dick Schram Memorial Community Relations Award for its achievements in using its open house, the Star-Spangled Salute Air and Space Show, to improve the base’s community relations.
Organized and conducted under a “past, present and future” theme, the show included a unique and ground-breaking television broadcast element that reached an audience of more than 100,000, and an innovative STEM program that helped connect the event to schools located near the base.
Tinker joins a list of past recipients that includes MCAS Miramar, NAS Oceana, the Rhode Island National Guard, Nellis AFB, MCAS Iwakuni, and Langley AFB.
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – MATT CHAPMAN
Bestowed irregularly by the ICAS Board to recognize extraordinary accomplishments and unique achievements by an air show professional, the award was presented to Chapman following his retirement as an air show performer at the end of the 2019 air show season.
On behalf of his fellow ICAS Board members, Dennis Dunbar singled out Chapman not just for his 37-year career as an air show performer, but for his work in developing the ACE program’s practical evaluation standards, for his two-year stint as chairman of the ICAS ACE Committee, and for the work he has done for Embry Riddle Aeronautical University to make aviation more accessible to future pilots and aviation professionals.
BOB HOOVER WINGMAN AWARD – RAF RED ARROWS
The Royal Air Force Red Arrows were presented with the Bob Hoover Wingman Award for recognition of the success and impact the team’s 2019 “Western Hawk” tour had on the airshow circuit across North America.
Over eleven weeks, the team traveled across North America performing numerous airshows and flybys in addition to engaging with the community in various cities. The team’s tour also promoted British trade, business, and defense industry initiatives across the United States and Canada.
Past recipients of ICAS’s newest award include Sue Gardner, Rudy Malnati, Ross Perot, Jr., Mike Houghton and the U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation.