Wings Out West Airshow: Best Small Airshow in Country!

Prescott Fall Airshow Awarded by International Council for Airshows

On Dec. 11, 2019, the International Council for Air Shows (ICAS) hosted their annual convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. At the event, over sixty airshows, including this region’s own Wings Out West Airshow, competed for the “Best Small Civilian Airshow in the Country” Award. To compete for this event, Airshow Director Jerry Kidrick explained that a one-page narrative, a one-minute video about the event, and photographs of the airshow had to be submitted. Kidrick credits his assistant Calissa Spooner for putting the written narrative together and choosing the photographs and Connor McShane for taking the photographs and the video footage. After the submission is turned in, the ICAS committee hands all of the submissions to various airshow directors, aviation veterans, and other people heavily involved in the airshow industry. From there, they all vote for shows they think are the best.

The Wings Out Airshow of Fall 2019 attracted more than 10,000 spectators who witnessed aerial demonstrations and historical reenactments by award-winning and high-profile pilots and groups such as Matt Chapman, Bill Stein, Rob Holland, Cindy Irish, Kent Pietsch, the Vampire Airshows, and the Liberty Jump Team. The show also honored the veterans who participated in the D-Day invasion, as it was the 75th anniversary, and had the last living Pathfinder pilot who served in D-Day, Lt. Col. (RET) David Hamilton, as the guest of honor. Reception of the airshow was extremely positive; many were amazed by the demonstrations and stunts the pilots performed and were thankful for honoring the veterans who gave their lives for this country. It certainly paid off…

Because the International Council for Airshows has awarded the gold “Best Small Civilian Airshow in the Country Award” to Wings Out West Airshow!  Additionally, the Board of Directors of ICAS unanimously voted to give Chapman the “ICAS Special Achievement Award!” According to their own article on Chapman, the award is, “bestowed irregularly by the ICAS Board to recognize extraordinary accomplishments and unique achievements by an air show professional.” (ICAS). The 2019 airshow was Chapman’s final year before his retirement, so this award is the final of a respectable list of accolades he has won since starting off in 1984. Embry-Riddle is proud to have sponsored him and to have him for the airshow. We thank him, and everyone who was involved in the making and performance in this airshow, because we could not have received this award without them. When asked how this award reflects toward the airshow and Embry-Riddle, Kidrick said it represents how ERAU demonstrates its standards of excellence and it shows the good teamwork between ERAU and the City of Prescott. The 2020 Wings Out West Airshow is currently scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 3. Kidrick has mentioned that the themes for this year’s airshow will be about the 70th Anniversary of the Korean War (June 25, 1950) and Women in Aviation! We are excited and can’t wait for it!

Congratulations Wings Out West Airshow!

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