World Airshow News has named Skip Stewart the 2013 recipient of the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship.
Skip is known worldwide for his high-energy airshow performances in his highly modified Pitts biplane. He is a master at grabbing the audience’s attention with his spine-tingling tumbles, ribbon cuts, and knife-edge passes. Skip has also been an innovator with multi-dimensional theme acts like Tinstix and flying under a jumping motorcycle.
Skip has been infatuated with airplanes as long as he can remember, and built remote-controlled models as a kid. But it was the flying of the great Leo Loudenslager, another Barber Award winner, which inspired Skip to set his goals high and eventually pursue airshow flying.
He learned to fly while in college and almost immediately began to learn aerobatics. He began his aviation career with a variety of jobs with commuter airlines and corporate flight departments, and eventually saved up enough to buy his first aerobatic airplane, a Pitts S2A.
As many do, Skip started out in competition aerobatics before moving into airshows. After taking an airline job with a major overnight freight carrier, Skip was able to sell the S2A and buy a stock Pitts S2S. Over the years and through numerous modifications, the S2S has morphed into Prometheus, his 400-horspower-muscle biplane.
Today, in addition to an extensive schedule of North American airshows, Skip is one of a handful of performers who flies worldwide, with shows in the United Arab Emirates, Australia, the Caribbean, and Latin America to his credit. He now has two Prometheus biplanes to help facilitate his wide-ranging schedule and has a new, custom-designed all-composite biplane under construction.
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 and the friends and family of the late Bill Barber present the award annually.
Tentative plans call for the award to be presented during EAA AirVenture 2013 at EAA’s Theater in the Woods.
Past Bill Barber Award winners include:
- 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
- 1988 No Award
- 1987 The French Connection
- 1986 Eagles Aerobatic Flight Team