Monday, May 4, 2009

ICAS Fast Facts -- May 4, 2009


As Aeroshell team lead Alan Henley continues to recover from injuries sustained in a household accident last July, his air show friends and family came together at Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida, on April 18-19 to hold a benefit air show to help defray some of Alan’s medical bills. The show included more than 30 different air show acts and six hours of flying on both Saturday and Sunday. All of the performers waived their fees and paid their own expenses to participate in the event. Although many ICAS members participated in the planning of the event, the principal organizers were Bruce Turner and Bobbi Thompson. The show generated nearly $110,000 for the Alan Henley Foundation.

“The aviation community is a very caring and dedicated group of people,” said Henley, who lost the use of his legs and has limited mobility in his arms as the result of the accident. “They take care of each other. It’s an honor to be considered one of them. This will definitely help us out quite a bit.”

The Alan Henley Foundation continues to accept contributions to help defray some of Alan’s medical expenses. Donations are accepted online; just click here to make a contribution.


Although there have now been exceptions to the larger trend, air show event organizers throughout the country continue to report very large crowds as the 2009 air show season hits full stride. From Temple, Texas to Macon, Georgia, event organizers are welcoming unusually large numbers of air show spectators to their events. Moving from the fall to the spring to accommodate a jet team, the N’awlins Air Show at NAS New Orleans in Louisiana was forced to compete with the legendary New Orleans Jazz Festival this past weekend, but still attracted record crowds.

Air shows that had a jet team last year, but did not have one this year, have had the expected drop in attendance. Air shows with poor or threatening weather were also less likely to have the large crowds that most of the other shows have welcomed. And there have even been some shows that bucked the trend despite having a jet team and decent weather.

But, generally, the trend toward much higher attendance continued through all of April and the first air show weekend of May.


ICAS has begun accepting registrations for the July 16-18 ICAS Academy to be held in conjunction with the Vectren Dayton Air Show in Dayton, Ohio. Typically, ICAS sells out of the limited number of spaces available for this hands-on, “living classroom” program. Member organizations interested in sending one or more representative to this year’s ICAS Academy are urged to register early.

This behind-the-scenes look at one of North America’s finest air shows will provide both newcomers and veterans with a unique opportunity to see how a top air show is organized, managed and conducted. Dayton Air Show representatives have been compiling a briefing book with – literally – hundreds of pages of important planning documents, from budgets, marketing materials, sponsorship solicitation packages and performer and concessions contracts to set-up schedules, flying schedules, emergency response plans, management/organizational charts, timelines, and checklists.

The program will begin in the evening on Thursday, July 16 and conclude two days later on Saturday, July 18. The fee to participate in this unique educational program is $265 per individual.

To learn more about the 2009 ICAS Academy and register for the program, contact ICAS headquarters at or by phone at 703-779-8510. You can also get additional details by visiting the ICAS website at


Representatives from Mighty Oak Entertainment have been calling ICAS members looking for air show crash video. The company produces “Whacked Out Sports,” a television show that specializes in sensationalist crash footage. ICAS urges all of its members to think carefully about providing this organization with crash footage. This kind of television exposure does not represent our industry well.


Organizers of the Prairie Air Show recently held a pre-show publicity and fund-raising event designed to produce revenue and editorial coverage for the mid-July air show. The Seventh Annual Prairie Air Show Wing Off was a cook-off featuring wings from six Peoria-area restaurants. With more than 600 people paying $5 each for admission, the event also helped generate revenue for the air show. And, of course, news coverage of the “wing-off” event helped show organizers remind the public that the show will be held on the weekend of July 10-12. Show director Brett Krause also used the event as an opportunity to remind prospective spectators that the air show is an inexpensive, family-oriented entertainment option.


To register at the lowest available rates, click here

To reserve your hotel sleeping room, click here:

To reserve your booth in the ICAS Convention exhibit hall, contact Karen Connors at ICAS headquarters, by e-mail at or by phone at 703-779-8510.


Live Media Now broadcast the Air Power over Hampton Roads air show on April 25 and 26. broadcast the Beale AFB Air Show on April 18 and 19 and the N’awlins Air Show at NAS New Orleans on May 2 and 3. And LiveAirShowTV will broadcast the Defenders of Liberty Air Show at Barksdale AFB in Shreveport, Louisiana this coming weekend.

In the space of just a few months, the live webcasts of air shows have gone from an exotic curiosity to an almost common practice. Air show webcast operators see the on-line entertainment option as a natural way to expand the audience for air shows all over the world. Although production standards vary widely from company to company, all of the services promote the usefulness of the service in helping to bring the air show to people who can’t make it to the actual air show site.

Live video broadcasts will be the focus on an upcoming feature-length article in Air Shows Magazine, the ICAS-published professional journal of the air show industry.

© International Council of Air Shows, Inc.

750 Miller Drive, Suite F-3

Leesburg, Virginia 20175

Phone: 703-779-8510



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