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Fri, Jan 23, 2009

Aero-TV: ICAS Conversations (Part Three) -- Inspiration Of Flight

It's Airshow Week--Again!--At Aero-TV! (Part Three)

The Final Portion of a Three Part 'ICAS Conversation' for 2009, finishes a series of interwoven interviews in which we asked about a dozen airshow professionals the same three questions... each of which became the topic of its own program over the course of this  series. In this installment we asked a number of airshow luminaries the following question... who inspired YOU? Who served as your role model(s) or otherwise impressed you in your quest to join the airshow industry?  

In the three part series, we have already examined the affect of a depressed economy has had on the airshow business, we took a hard look at the growing and evolving safety culture of the airshow industry and finally, we asked individual performers and acts about the pilots and performances that provided inspiration to today's airshow superstars.

Produced at the 2008 ICAS Convention just before the end of the year, we were pleased to be able to tackle such important subjects as the industry made ready to start another year... and were impressed (as usual) to see that the industry continues to make progress on a number of fronts -- especially in terms of safety.

ICAS tells us that Airshows draw large numbers of demographically attractive spectators - a well-educated, affluent group of men, women and children of all ages. More than 70 percent of the audience at an air show has had some college education. Three quarters report household income of $35,000 or more. The average spectator is just under 39 years of age, but more than 53 percent of spectators are between 30 and 50.

Safety has always been a major airshow concern but a series of unrelated accidents, in the 2007 airshow season, to too many performers brought the topic to the forefront of discussion at most ICAS or airshow-related get-togethers. ICAS notes that Airshows offer a consistently and historically safe environment for millions of spectators each year. Since current rules were implemented nearly 50 years ago, there has not been a single spectator fatality at a North American show – an enviable safety record for any business. But... they're not satisfied to leave it that. A 'small working group' of ICAS members met last year in Dallas to begin work on a new Safety Management System for the air show industry that was to serve as an important tool in improving air show safety. Using existing safety management systems as models, ICAS members discussed the changes and accommodations needed to effectively adapt the work already done in other segments of the aviation industry to the particular needs and circumstances of the air show community.

So far, it seems that the efforts are succeeding.

Conceived as part of the larger ICAS initiative to change the culture of air show safety, the product of this effort is intended to document processes and procedures that our industry can use to manage risk, report incidents and accidents, participate more actively in accident investigations, identify trends, communicate the results of these investigations to members, and reduce the number of accidents in the air show community.

So... On To Part Three Of Aero-TV's Conversation With The 2009 Airshow Industry.



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