Protecting Performing Aircraft on Static

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Event organizers: your pilots may not complain or give you any other indication that they’re worried, but all of them get concerned when the aircraft in which they are about to perform are positioned in a place where they can be fiddled with or stepped on or damaged by the public, particularly kids.

In many cases, the pilots are within a few minutes of betting their own safety on the fact that the aircraft is working properly. If they see spectators tugging or poking at the plane, they either worry that something will be damaged or they assign their own crew to keep an eye on the aircraft when they should be doing something else. Whether anybody damages the plane or not, this situation is an unnecessary distraction at the very least and a potential safety hazard at worst. Several performers have written to or called ICAS saying that the problem has become so bad at certain shows that they are considering not going back.

This is an easy one to solve. Take control of this situation yourself. Assign volunteers to control the crowd. Or rope the aircraft off. Or both. We want the aircraft and the pilots to be accessible to the public, but not to the point where it becomes a distraction to our pilots.

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ICAS
The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) is a trade association dedicated to building and sustaining a vibrant air show industry to support its membership. To achieve this goal, ICAS demands its members operate their air show business at only the highest levels of safety, professionalism, and integrity.