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ICAS Foundation Announces 2016 Air Show Hall of Fame Inductees

September 8th, 2016

LEESBURG, Va. - The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) Foundation board of director’s selection committee has named pyrotechnic experts Rich and Diana “Dee” Gibson, aerobatic pilot Greg Poe, and air boss, pilot, announcer and air show organizer Larry Strain to the ICAS Foundation Air Show Hall of Fame class of 2016.

A formal induction ceremony will take place Thursday, December 8, 2016, during the 49th ICAS Convention’s Chairman’s Banquet at Paris Las Vegas.

The Gibsons began their air show careers as skydivers before earning their world-wide reputation as the air show industry’s premier pyrotechnics team. Their innovative use of pyrotechnics led to the first strafing run simulations, walking bomb runs, cluster bombs, their famous wall of fire, and night show fireworks. Rich’s Incredible Pyro established two official and three unofficial Guinness World Records for the longest walls of fire. In addition to serving for five years as chairman of the ICAS Pyrotechnics Safety Committee, Rich drafted the first ICAS Pyro Safety Manual and subsequent revisions. The husband and wife team has also created pyrotechnic effects for the film industry, and worked at over 350 show sites in eight countries.

Poe earned his pilot’s license at 19-years-old and, in 1974, started flying at small, local air shows and entering aerobatic competitions. By 1992, he was a full time air show pilot flying a Pitts Special at air shows throughout the United States and Canada. He served as an Aerobatic Competency Evaluator (ACE) before becoming chairman of ICAS’s ACE committee in 2006. In the latter stages of his air show career, Poe created and ran his “Elevate Your Life” program as a tool for using air shows and aerobatics to motivate and inspire American’s youth. A legacy of Poe’s belief in the power that air shows have to change lives, “Elevate Your Life” continues to bring together children, parents, and educators together in dozens of communities every year.

For more than 30 years, Strain has supported the industry by bringing an outsider’s business perspective, working with event organizers to help develop many air shows that continue to thrive as viable and exciting events. In addition to a very successful career as one of the air show community’s top announcers, Strain has also mentored and coached the narrators of many civilian and military performers and teams. For nearly 20 years, Strain acted as an Air Shows 101 and Air Shows 201 instructor at the ICAS Convention. While filling a one-year gap on the ICAS board of directors, Strain was instrumental in revising the ICAS Ethics Bylaws. As both a director and chairman of EAA’s Warbirds of America, he helped to develop and manage closer relationships between the North American warbird community and the civilian air shows that showcase these beautiful airplanes.

The ICAS Foundation created the Air Show Hall of Fame in 1995 as part of its mission to honor and recognize those who have had a significant impact on the North American air show industry.

Click here for expanded 2016 Air Show Hall of Fame inductee biographies

For additional information, contact:    

Steve Oliver

Tel: 303-653-2283


For more information about the ICAS Foundation: www.icasfoundation.org