Greg Koontz has been named the 2014 recipient of the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship.
Koontz is known throughout North America and parts of Latin America as a foremost authority on American Champion Super Decathlon aircraft, according to officials with World Airshow News, which bestows the award.
His aerobatic routines in both the Super Decathlon and the new Xtreme Decathlon have been featured at airshows from coast to coast and internationally, and culminate with an inverted ribbon cut in a stock aerobatic training airplane.
His comedy act – The Alabama Boys – features Greg as “Clem Cleaver,” an Alabama Good Ol’ Boy who steals a 1946 Piper J-3 Cub. The act concludes with Greg landing the Cub on top of his pickup truck.
Koontz learned to fly in 1969 while he was still in high school and got his start in the airshow business at the age of 20 with Ernie Moser’s Flying Circus based in St. Augustine, Florida. While with Moser’s flying circus, he began perfecting the comedy act, the truck top landing, and began performing low-level aerobatics in the Great Lakes and the Decathlon. Greg stayed with the flying circus until 1981 when he began pursuing a corporate flying career.
Until 2002, Koontz flew jets for a corporation in Alabama while flying airshows part time. Today, he is a full time airshow performer and teaches basic aerobatics at the flight school/bed & breakfast called Sky Country Lodge that he runs with his wife Cora.
He is a former chairman of the ICAS ACE Committee, holds an unlimited aerobatic waiver, and has been designated a Master Certified Flight Instructor-Aerobatics by the National Association of Flight Instructors.
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.
Plans are for the award to be presented on Tuesday, July 29, during EAA AirVenture at EAA’s Theater in the Woods.