|Rich and Dee Gibson (photo by Michael J. Gallagher)
World Airshow News has announced that Rich and Dee Gibson are the 2011 recipients of the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship. The award will be presented during EAA AirVenture 2011 at Theater in the Woods on Monday, July 25. The Gibsons join a list of honorees that reads like an air show hall of fame.
The Gibsons travel all over the world "blowing things up." Both received formal training with explosives in the United States Army. Rich served a tour in Vietnam, putting his skills to work with the 101st Airborne Division. Dee, a retired Army Major, helped blast rock in Honduras while building roads between small villages. Together they formed Rich's Incredible Pyro to provide airshows and other events with pyrotechnic expertise.
Using a carefully controlled mixture of dynamite, gasoline, and other explosives, Rich, Dee, and their crew create special effects to simulate an air attack on an airfield. They work closely with the pilots, airfield officials, airboss, and announcer to choreograph a truly realistic bombing display. Their trademark is a massive "Wall-of-Fire" that has become the standard by which all others are measured.
For 30 years, Rich owned and operated an air taxi business, flying everything from J-3 Piper Cubs to Falcon jets for the U.S. government and private industry. He has accumulated over 10,000 hours of flight time. Dee has also enjoyed flying small aircraft, and they met while skydiving.
The Bill Barber Award for Showmanship began in 1986, and goes to airshow performers or teams that have demonstrated great skill and showmanship. World Airshow News and the friends and family of the late Bill Barber present the award annually. To submit a nomination for the 2012 award, please see www.airshowmag.com.
Past Bill Barber Award winners include:
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
1988 - No Award
1987 - The French Connection
1986 - Eagles Aerobatic Flight Team