The International Council of Air Shows Foundation (ICASF) will induct three into its Air Show Hall of Fame during the 2009 convention, will will be held Dec. 6-9 at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. This year’s inductees are Bobby Younkin, Tom Poberezny and Charlie Kulp.
Bobby Younkin performed his first air show at 18 years old, using the Decathlon in which he learned to fly. His aerobatic/airshow career included a stock Stearman act through the 1970s, and AT-6 in the 1980s, his famous Twin Beech in 1989, and Steve Wolf’s “Samson” in 1991. In 2002 he secured a sponsorship from American Champion Aircraft, and returned to his roots with a low-level airshow in a Decathlon. In 2003 he stunned the airshow world by adding a smoke system to a Learjet, becoming the only performer to fly an aerobatic airshow routine in the Lear. Younkin passed away in 2005 in an airshow accident in Moose Jaw, Saskatchuan, Canada. He joins fellow performer Jimmy Franklin, who passed away in the the same accident, in the Hall of Fame.
Tom Poberezny could have easily qualified for Hall of Fame status either as a performer, but also as an event organizer and industry leader. As a performer, Poberezny’s 25-year career with the Eagle Aerobatic Team was legendary, as the three-ship team (including fellow airshow legends Charlie Hillard and Gene Soucy) became the most successful civilian aerobatic team in airshow history. As an airshow organizer, he has overseen the growth of EAA AirVenture over the past 30 years.
In 1971, Charlie Kulp became a charter member/founder of the famous Flying Circus located in Bealton, Virginia. Two years later, he became one of its star performers when he developed his famous “Silas Hicks, the Flying Farmer” routine, an act he continued to perform until his retirement in October 2007 at the age of 82. Charlie’s routine changed little over his 800+ performances in the U.S. and worldwide. Charlie’s comedy routine featured him “getting an airplane ride” in payment for mowing the grass at the airport. He’d approach the Piper Cub with his cane, the “instructor” would strap him in, then leave him unattended for a moment while he inspected the tail wheel. The engine would pop to life, and off he flew, on the verge of a stall, into a loop, a spin, and rarely more than 200 feet from the ground.
For more information: ICAS.org.