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International Council of Air Shows

John Klatt Receives 2014 Art Scholl Memorial Showmanship Award

December 11th, 2014

In recognition of his commitment to the ideals of entertainment and showmanship espoused by Art Scholl during his career, his willingness to continually challenge the status quo and introduce innovative change to the air show industry, and his consistent and entertaining execution of the vision he has for himself and the air show business, ICAS proudly presented John Klatt with the 2014 Art Scholl Memorial Showmanship Award Thursday night in Las Vegas. Read the full news release below.



LAS VEGAS – Dec. 11, 2014: The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) at its 47th annual convention presented Air National Guard Lt. Col. John Klatt the air show industry’s top award for showmanship tonight in Las Vegas in front of nearly 1,000 air show industry professionals attending the event’s Chairman’s Banquet.

Klatt, owner of Owatonna-based John Klatt Airshows, earned the Art Scholl Memorial Showmanship Award, which recognizes his commitment to the ideals of air show entertainment. Through his use of flight simulators, multiple aircraft, jet truck integration and interaction, and integrated pyrotechnics, Klatt has challenged himself and his team to move beyond the air show entertainment status quo. Best known for his performances in his signature Air National Guard MX-S aircraft, this year he introduced a new act by fastening a General Electric CJ-610 jet engine to the bottom of a reproduction 1929 Waco biplane. Nicknamed “Screamin’ Sasquatch,” the modified aircraft can perform maneuvers no other aircraft in the world can.

“For nearly 15 years John has developed an ideal combination of piloting skills, entertainment instincts, and a businessman’s ability to put those talents to effective use for spectators and his corporate sponsors,” said John Cudahy, president of ICAS. “For air show fans, he is one of the most recognized and popular performers and he continually finds new ways to enhance the quality of his act. We are very proud to recognize John for his contributions to the air show industry.”

According to Cudahy, Klatt’s flying is just a part of his entertainment package. Though he doesn’t keep track, there may not be a solo performer in the country who gives more media rides in the days prior to an air show. Klatt is also very interactive with spectators following his performance, signing autographs and posing for “selfies.”

Each year, the International Council of Air Shows presents the Art Scholl Memorial Showmanship Award to the air show act or performer which best exemplifies the qualities of showmanship demonstrated by Art Scholl. Scholl was killed while filming a flying sequence off the coast of California on September 16, 1985. A long-time and active ICAS member, he was a renowned aerobatic pilot and consummate air show performer. He flew his Penzoil Chipmunk aircraft before an estimated audience of 80 million people over 20 years and appeared in more than 200 motion picture films, documentaries and television commercials.

About the International Council of Air Shows

Headquartered in Leesburg, Va., ICAS was founded in 1968 as a trade and professional association by industry professionals to protect and promote their interests in the growing North American air show marketplace. ICAS is dedicated to building and sustaining a vibrant air show industry to support its membership. The organization was created to maintain safety, to serve as an information resource on air show issues for those within and outside the industry, to provide for the training and continuing education needs of ICAS members and air show professionals generally, and to promote the air show industry to the media, corporate North America and the general public.

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