July 15, 2014 - Greg Koontz has been named the recipient of this year’s Bill Barber Award for Showmanship, according to World Airshow News, and will be presented with the award in front of his peers at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh on Tuesday, July 29, at Theater in the Woods.
Koontz is known throughout North America and parts of Latin America as the foremost authority on American Champion Super Decathlon aircraft. His aerobatic routines in both the Super Decathlon and the new Xtreme Decathlon have been featured at air shows 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,” who steals a 1946 Piper J-3 Cub and lands it on top of his pickup truck.
In 1969 and still in high school, Koontz learned to fly and got his start in air shows at age 20 with Colonel Moser’s Flying Circus 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.
Koontz flew corporate jets in Alabama while flying air shows part time. Today he is a full-time air show performer and teaches basic aerobatics at the flight school/bed & breakfast, called Sky Country Lodge, that he runs with his wife, Cora.
Koontz is a former chairman of the ICAS Aerobatic Competency Evaluation Committee, holds an unlimited aerobatic waiver, and is a NAFI Master Instructor-Aerobatic.
The Bill Barber Award for Showmanship dates back to 1986 and is awarded to air show performers or teams that have demonstrated great skill and showmanship. The award is presented annually by World Airshow News and the friends and family of the late Bill Barber.
Past Bill Barber Award winners:
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
1988 No Award
1987 The French Connection
1986 Eagles Aerobatic Flight Team