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International Council of Air Shows

2021 Chairman's Banquet Award Winner Highlights

December 10th, 2021


Air show performer Bill Stein was presented with the 2021 Art Scholl Memorial Showmanship Award last Thursday.

Presented each year by ICAS to recognize excellence in air show entertainment and showmanship, the award is intended to exemplify the qualities of showmanship demonstrated by Art Scholl throughout his long career as an air show performer.

During the award ceremony on Thursday, December 9 in Las Vegas, Stein was recognized for the quarter-century he has spent fine-tuning and continuously improving his aerial showmanship, including his one-of-a-kind aerial maneuvers, his skills as a solo performer and as part of formation teams, and his focus on being both an excellent stick-and-rudder pilot and world-class entertainer.

Stein becomes just the tenth individual to receive both the ICAS Sword of Excellence and the Art Scholl Award, joining perhaps the air show community’s most exclusive club with air show legends Bob Hoover, Gene Soucy, Leo Loudenslager, Wayne Handley, Sean Tucker, John Klatt, Michael Goulian, Julie Clark, and Danny Clisham.




The 2021 recipient of the Dick Schram Memorial Community Relations Award was presented last Thursday to MCAS Cherry Point in North Carolina.

Since 1988, the International Council of Air Shows has presented the Dick Schram Memorial Community Relations Award to the military air show, open house, or flying event that best represents the spirit of community for which Dick Schram stood throughout his naval career.

At a time when the community surrounding the base was ready for a return to some version of normalcy after living under pandemic restrictions for 18 months, the 2021 MCAS Cherry Point Air Show and Open House was conceived and organized right from the start as a tool to bring the base and its neighbors together while also working within the restrictions and adjustments necessary imposed by the ongoing COVID-19 emergency. And, because the event was scheduled to replace another show that had been canceled, the air show/open house team had just two and a half months to plan for this very large community outreach event. Making use of and, at the same time, expanding and improving the base’s relationships with local government agencies and media outlets, MCAS Cherry Point put together a late September air show that overcame both COVID challenges and the extraordinarily short planning cycle.  The result was a show that pulled the community together and provided a much-needed morale boost to the base and its many civilian neighbors…precisely the kind of community relations-building event that the Schram Award was developed to recognize.




Jay Rabbitt, of In Concert Productions and Air Show One, was named as the recipient of the 2021 Bob Hoover Wingman Award.

Since becoming a part of the air show community nearly a quarter-century ago, Jay has redefined air show sound excellence. Always a good wingman, Rabbitt is attentive, reliably in the right position, and quick to anticipate when and where he is needed. His situational awareness and professionalism on technical, production, and entertainment issues have created a new benchmark for the industry and helped to drive significant improvements in air show sound and production during the last 25 years. He was also recognized for his willingness to embrace his “behind the curtain” role to support his wingmen and improve every air show in which he is involved.

Rabbitt joins a distinguished list of past recipients that includes Mike Houghton from the Reno Air Races; Ross Perot, Jr.; Rudy Malnati from the Chicago Air & Water Show, Doreen Hillard, Sue Gardner, the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation, and the Royal Air Force Red Arrows.




Air show performer and past recipient of the Art Scholl Award, Kent Pietsch became the 72nd inductee into the prestigious ICAS Foundation Air Hall of Fame during an award presentation at last week’s ICAS Convention in Las Vegas.

Pietsch was recognized for nearly 50 years of inspiring aerial entertainment and superior airmanship at nearly 900 different air shows throughout North America. Flying three different acts in an under-powered, 800-pound World War II-era high wing monoplane, Pietsch has developed a well-deserved reputation as a gifted aerial showman and superior aviator.

Kent joins a fraternity of air show icons that includes Duane Cole, Bob Hoover, Bill Barber, Art Scholl, Curtis Pitts, Bill Bordeleau, Jimmy Franklin, John Mohr, and last year’s inductee, Ralph Royce.




Lieutenant Colonel Ben Cannetti from Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station was recognized as the recipient of the ICAS Special Achievement Award last Thursday.

When Coronavirus concerns prompted the cancellation of the show on his base, Ben used his air show experience and local relationships to plan and execute the Thunder on the Buffalo Waterfront Air Show in less than 60 days. He secured the cooperation of sponsors, government agencies, and law enforcement officials. And he and his team arranged the large number and wide variety of details needed to execute any large air show. Thunder on the Buffalo Waterfront supported military recruiting efforts, showcased the aviation industry in western New York, generated money for local charities, and raised the spirits of the people in the Buffalo/Niagara community.

In recognition of his leadership and vision, the ICAS Board of Directors named Cannetti as the recipient of the 2021 ICAS Special Achievement Award.