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International Council of Air Shows

2020 ICAS Award Winners Announced

December 17th, 2020


Air show performer and outgoing Board chairman John Klatt was recognized during the 2020 Virtual ICAS Convention as the 46th recipient of the ICAS Sword of Excellence.

During an awards presentation on Thursday, December 10, Klatt was recognized for a two-decade air show career in which he reached the highest levels as an air show performer while also serving as a dedicated and reliable advocate, ambassador and leader within the air show community.

A talented pilot with a sharp business mind and keen instincts for quality aerial entertainment, he built his reputation quickly and steadily, securing a multi-year, national sponsor. After introducing a jet- and propeller-powered, purpose-built air show biplane to the air show business, he picked up a second national sponsor, operating two different, high-profile, nationally-sponsored acts at the same time.

But Klatt was named as the 2020 recipient of the air show community’s most prestigious award based on the work he did to protect and grow the air show business, the role he played as a mentor to new and aspiring performers, and the leadership role he played as an aerobatic competency evaluator and longtime member of the ICAS ACE Committee, as chairman of the ICAS Ethics Committee, as a member of the ICAS Board of Directors, and, ultimately as chairman of the ICAS Board.

John’s name will now be added to a list of past Sword recipients that includes Paul Poberezny, Charlie Hillard, Bob Hoover, Larry Gallogly, Danny Clisham, Charles Hutchins, Bill Bordeleau, Harry Wardwell, Patty Wagstaff, Jim Peitz, Art Scholl, Duane Cole, and Leo Loudenslager.



ICAS member and air show performer Matt Younkin was presented with the Art Scholl Memorial Showmanship Award during a virtual awards ceremony on Thursday, December 10. 

The 35th recipient of the Art Scholl Award was recognized as the personification of Scholl’s legendary commitment to air show showmanship and entertainment. From his masterful stick-and-rudder performance in the twin Beech and his billowing twin smoke systems to his mesmerizing night show and pitch-perfect music selections, Younkin has earned a well-deserved reputation as both a pilot’s pilot and the consummate showman. 

Matt joins a list of past recipients that includes Jimmy Franklin, Bob Hoover, Leo Loudenslager, Sean Tucker, the Red Baron Pizza Squadron, Gene Soucy, Michael Goulian, the French Connection, Rob Holland, Tora Tora Tora, John Mohr, Rich Gibson, and Les Shockley.



During an awards ceremony conducted as part of the virtual convention, Doreen Hillard was named today as the 2020 recipient of the Bob Hoover Wingman Award.

Given each year by ICAS to, “…recognize individuals and organizations that have served as ‘good wingmen’ to the air show community,” the award was presented to Hillard for the support that she has provided to air shows and air show professionals during the last three decades.

Hillard was recognized for the role she has played with the Bell Fort Worth Alliance Air Show for many years, as well as her work with the EAA AirVenture event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and the International Council of Air Shows Foundation.

In her acceptance remarks, Hillard noted that, “To be recognized this way by ICAS with an award that is named after Bob Hoover is both humbling and overwhelming, and I am truly honored.”

Past recipients of the Bob Hoover Wingman Award include Ross Perot, Jr., the Reno Air Races’ Mike Houghton, the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation, the Royal Air Force Red Arrows, former FAA National Air Show Coordinator Sue Gardner, and Rudy Malnati from the Chicago Air & Water Show.



During a virtual award presentation on Tuesday, December 8, the ICAS Foundation inducted Ralph Royce into its Air Show Hall of Fame.

Royce was recognized for his contributions to safety and professionalism during an air show career that has now lasted nearly 40 years. He was instrumental in defining and refining the role of air bosses in North American air shows. He helped to create and improve best practices in virtually every area of air show air/ground operations, helping to establish the tactics, techniques and standards that are now commonly used throughout our air show community.

He was also recognized as an important leader within the air show community. He helped to create the National Warbirds Operators Conference. He served as chairman of the ICAS Safety Committee for nearly a decade. He was a member of the ICAS Board of Directors for six years, including two as Board chairman. And he currently sits on the Board of Directors of the ICAS Foundation.

Past inductees into the ICAS Foundation Air Show Hall of Fame include Bob Hoover, Paul Poberezny, Art Scholl, Duane Cole, Charlie Hillard, Bill Barber, Leo Loudenslager, Betty Skelton, Butch Voris, Curtis Pitts, and Jimmy Franklin.



By a unanimous vote of the ICAS Board of Directors, the team of six ICAS members who organized and conducted the Socially Distant Air Show last April were named as recipients of the 2020 ICAS Special Achievement Award during last week’s 2020 Virtual ICAS Convention.

An online, live-streamed video event that spanned three days and featured a wide range of air show performers, the Socially Distant Air Show was both an effort to raise the spirits of the worldwide air show community and a fundraiser for the benefit of the ICAS Foundation with 100% of the money raised going to those in our industry in need. Participants came from eight different countries, including dozens of civilian performers and many military aerobatic teams from across the world. More than fifty-thousand people watched the broadcast, tuning in from dozens of countries. And 

In the end, the team of Matt Jolly, Ric Peterson, Rob Reider, Jeff Lee, Bryan Lee, and Steph Strickland raised more than $26,000 that was subsequently distributed by the ICAS Foundation to nearly twenty air show community members.