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Greg Shelton to Receive 2018 Bill Barber Award for Showmanship
June 21, 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 air show industry, the list of Barber honorees reads like an air show hall of fame.
Like many in the air show 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 in a Piper J-3 Cub, but before he could finish his certificate, 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 air shows in it in 1990. Over the years, Shelton has also performed in a Yak-52 and a Yak-55M.
In 2003, Shelton sold his Yak and bought a 450-hp Stearman so he could start a wing-walking act — the act that has been the centerpiece of his air show performances for almost 15 years. Greg also flies a solo aerobatic routine in the Stearman.
Today, Greg and wing-walker Ashley Shelton offer a unique nighttime 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 routine.
In December 2006, Shelton sold his T-6 and purchased a rare FM-2 Wildcat in which he also flies a fully aerobatic routine. Wildcats were the Navy and Marine Corps’ primary fighter at the start of World War II and fought in all major battles including Wake Island, Coral Sea, Midway, and Guadalcanal.
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 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 Oshkosh at EAA’s Theater in the Woods.