Greg Shelton to Receive 2018 Bill Barber Award for Showmanship
EAST TROY, WISCONSIN, June 11, 2018 -- World Airshow News has announced that Greg Shelton is the 2018 recipient of the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship. One of the most prestigious awards in the airshow industry, the list of Barber honorees reads like an airshow hall of fame.
Like many in the airshow business, Shelton’s interest in aviation started as a child. His father flew fighters in the U.S. Navy and Greg grew up watching fire bombers operate in northern California. He started flying lessons in 1982 using a Piper J-3 Cub, but before he could finish his license, Shelton traded in the Cub for a Starduster Too in order to fly aerobatics. Less than a year later, he bought a T-6 Texan project, spent four and a half years restoring it to flying condition, and then started flying airshows in the T-6 in 1990. Over the ensuing years, Shelton also performed in a Yak-52 and a Yak-55M.
In 2003, Shelton sold his Yak and bought a 450 horsepower Stearman so he could start a wing-walking act, the act that has been the centerpiece of his airshow offering for almost 15 years. Greg also flies a solo aerobatic routine in the Stearman.
Today, Greg and wing-walker Ashley Shelton offer a unique night wing-walking performance in addition to their traditional daytime show. For the night show, Ashley wears a special lighted costume that allows her to be seen atop Greg’s wing as she waves to the crowd during their fully-aerobatic night airshow.
In December 2006, Shelton sold his T-6 and purchased a rare FM-2 Wildcat in which he also flies a fully-aerobatic airshow routine. Wildcats were the primary Navy and Marine Corps fighter at the start of World War II and fought in all major battles including Wake Island, Battle of Coral Sea, Midway, and Guadalcanal.
The Bill Barber Award for Showmanship began in 1986 and is awarded to airshow performers or teams that have demonstrated great skill and showmanship. World Airshow News magazine and the friends and family of the late Bill Barber present the award annually.
The Bill Barber Award for Showmanship will be presented on Tuesday evening, July 24 during EAA AirVenture at EAA’s Theater in the Woods.
Past Bill Barber Award winners include:
2017 Kyle Franklin 2016 Manfred Radius 2015 Bob Carlton 2014 Greg Koontz 2013 Skip Stewart 2012 Matt Younkin 2011 Rich and Dee Gibson 2010 Steve Oliver and Suzanne Asbury-Oliver 2009 Michael Goulian 2008 Bud Granley 2007 Dacy Family Airshow Team 2006 Danny Clisham 2005 Pietsch Airshows 2004 Bobby Younkin 2003 Jim LeRoy 2002 AeroShell Aerobatic Team 2001 Northern Lights Aerobatic Team 2000 John Mohr 1999 Dan Buchanan 1998 Patty Wagstaff 1997 Gene Soucy & Teresa Stokes 1996 Wayne Handley 1995 Bob Hoover 1994 Bob & Annette Hosking 1993 Red Baron Stearman Squadron 1992 Sean D. Tucker 1991 Julie Clark 1990 Leo Loudenslager 1989 Jimmy Franklin 1987 The French Connection 1986 Eagles Aerobatic Flight Team
Greg Shelton has offered his signature daytime wing-walking act for almost 15 years (photo by Jim Froneberger).