The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) has awarded Air National Guard Lt. Col. John Klatt the airshow industry’s top award for showmanship.
Klatt, owner of Owatonna, Minn.-based John Klatt Airshows, earned the Art Scholl Memorial Showmanship Award, which recognizes his commitment to the ideals of airshow entertainment.
Best known for his performances in his Air National Guard MX-S aircraft, this year he introduced a new act by fastening a General Electric CJ-610 jet engine to the bottom of a reproduction 1929 Waco biplane. Nicknamed “Screamin’ Sasquatch,” the modified aircraft can perform maneuvers no other aircraft in the world can, according to Klatt.
“For nearly 15 years, John has developed an ideal combination of piloting skills, entertainment instincts, and a businessman’s ability to put those talents to effective use for spectators and his corporate sponsors,” said John Cudahy, president of ICAS. “For airshow fans, he is one of the most recognized and popular performers and he continually finds new ways to enhance the quality of his act. We are very proud to recognize John for his contributions to the air show industry.”
Each year, the International Council of Air Shows presents the Art Scholl Memorial Showmanship Award to the airshow act or performer which best exemplifies the qualities of showmanship demonstrated by Art Scholl. Scholl was killed while filming a flying sequence off the coast of California on September 16, 1985. A long-time and active ICAS member, he was a renowned aerobatic pilot and consummate air show performer. He flew his Pennzoil Chipmunk aircraft before an estimated audience of 80 million people over 20 years and appeared in more than 200 motion picture films, documentaries and television commercials.