Red Bull helicopter pilot Charles 'Chuck' Aaron has written his name into the air show performers hall of fame by winning the prestigious Art Scholl Showmanship Award.
The International Council of Air Shows presents the award each year to the performer or air show act that has best demonstrated those qualities by which Art Scholl himself set the standard for all other performers to try to follow.
Chuck is the only FAA-certified helicopter stunt pilot and is a master at making a helicopter do things ‘it isn't supposed to do’. He taught himself how to fly the aerobatic routine he performs at air shows in the Red Bull helicopter and now has 23 years and over 17,000 hours of experience.
Rated by many as the most talented air show pilot of his generation, Art Scholl was a renowned aerobatic pilot and consummate air show performer. Scholl flew before an estimated audience of around 80 million people over 20 years and he appeared in over 200 films, documentaries and television commercials.
The Selection Committee are therefore tough to impress; just to be in contention for this award, the nominee must fulfill a number of specific criteria, such as: What does the performer do and how has he structured his act to improve its entertainment value? How has the candidate distinguished and differentiated himself from other, more traditional air show performers? What has the candidate done to improve and increase the overall level of showmanship in the air show community? Does the candidate deserve to be recognized in the same context as Art Scholl and the 22 past recipients of this award?
More than 1,500 members of the aviation community were in attendance in Las Vegas at the awards banquet following the International Council of Air Shows’ annual convention on December 9 to witness Chuck receiving his award. His acceptance speech was rounded off with an enthusiastic exclamation of ‘Yeah Baby’, to the delight of the audience.