|2013 Bill Barber Award for Showmanship recipient, Skip Stewart. (Photo by Eric Coeckelberghs)
|Skip Stewart cuts the ribbon with his Pitts Prometheus. (Photo by Jim Froneberger)
June 5, 2013 - Aerobatic performer Skip Stewart, EAA 864349, of Wheeling, West Virginia, has been named recipient of the 2013 Bill Barber Award for Showmanship by World Airshow News. Skip joins a growing list of honorees that reads like an air show hall of fame.
Stewart is known worldwide for his innovative, high-energy performances in his highly modified Pitts biplane, Prometheus. He is a master at grabbing the audience's attention with his spine-tingling tumbles, ribbon cuts, and knife-edge passes. Stewart has also been an innovator with multi-dimensional theme acts like the Tinstix of Dynamite routine and flying under a jumping motorcycle.
Stewart has been infatuated with airplanes for as long as he can remember, and built RC model planes as a kid. But it was the flying of 1990 Barber Award winner Leo Loudenslager that inspired him to set his goals high and eventually pursue aerobatics.
He learned to fly while in college and quickly went into aerobatics. Stewart began his aviation career with a variety of jobs with commuter airlines and corporate flight departments, and eventually saved up enough to buy a Pitts S2A.
As many do, Skip started out in competition aerobatics before moving into air shows. 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-hp muscle biplane.
Today, in addition to an extensive schedule of North American air shows, Stewart 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 air show 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