Greg Shelton has offered his signature daytime wing-walking act for almost 15 years (photo by Jim Froneberger).
Greg Shelton to Receive 2018 Bill Barber Award for Showmanship
EAST TROY, WISCONSIN, June 11, 2018 -- World Airshow News has announced that Greg Shelton is the 2018 recipient of the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship. One of the most prestigious awards in the airshow industry, the list of Barber honorees reads like an airshow hall of fame.
Like many in the airshow business, Shelton’s interest in aviation started as a child. His father flew fighters in the U.S. Navy and Greg grew up watching fire bombers operate in northern California. He started flying lessons in 1982 using a Piper J-3 Cub, but before he could finish his license, Shelton traded in the Cub for a Starduster Too in order to fly aerobatics. Less than a year later, he bought a T-6 Texan project, spent four and a half years restoring it to flying condition, and then started flying airshows in the T-6 in 1990. Over the ensuing years, Shelton also performed in a Yak-52 and a Yak-55M.
In 2003, Shelton sold his Yak and bought a 450 horsepower Stearman so he could start a wing-walking act, the act that has been the centerpiece of his airshow offering for almost 15 years. Greg also flies a solo aerobatic routine in the Stearman.
Today, Greg and wing-walker Ashley Shelton offer a unique night wing-walking performance in addition to their traditional daytime show. For the night show, Ashley wears a special lighted costume that allows her to be seen atop Greg’s wing as she waves to the crowd during their fully-aerobatic night airshow.
In December 2006, Shelton sold his T-6 and purchased a rare FM-2 Wildcat in which he also flies a fully-aerobatic airshow routine. Wildcats were the primary Navy and Marine Corps fighter at the start of World War II and fought in all major battles including Wake Island, Battle of Coral Sea, Midway, and Guadalcanal.
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 magazine and the friends and family of the late Bill Barber present the award annually.
The Bill Barber Award for Showmanship will be presented on Tuesday evening, July 24 during EAA AirVenture at EAA’s Theater in the Woods.
Past Bill Barber Award winners include:
2017 Kyle Franklin
2016 Manfred Radius
2015 Bob Carlton
2014 Greg Koontz
2013 Skip Stewart
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
1987 The French Connection
1986 Eagles Aerobatic Flight Team
Greg Shelton’s unique night wing-walking act features wing-walker Ashley Shelton in a special lighted costume (photo by Jim Froneberger).