Pre-Show Performer Safety Briefing Checklist


Over the last several months, ICAS has been communicating with veteran members throughout the United States and Canada to develop a single checklist that air bosses and other operations personnel can use to plan and conduct the mandatory pre-show performer safety briefing.

Prior to the pre-show performer safety briefing

  • Verify the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) has been issued (2 days out)
  • Review emergency plan with:
    • Crash/Fire/Rescue (CFR)
    • Security
    • Announcer
    • Air show public relations
    • Air show management
    • Radar Approach Control (RAPCON) and Air Traffic Control (ATC)
  • Assure the FAA Waiver (7711-2) is on hand for performers to read
  • Secure an aerial photograph or backup field map
    Large copy for briefing
    Small copy for pilot handout

o   Identify alternate/emergency divert airports with:
o   Distance
o   Heading
o   Frequencies
o   Runway length

o   Develop aircraft/performer list for roll call

o   On map/aerial photograph, mark/identify aerobatic box markers:
o   Crowd line
o   500’ line
o   1000’ line
o   1500’ line
o   Corner markers
o   Air show center
o   Parachute Landing Area (PLA)

o   Meet or call the FAA/Transport Canada Inspector In Charge (IIC) and invite him/her to the brief

o   Secure most recent local weather report
o   Forecast
o   Winds aloft
o   End of show departure forecast

o   Coordinate with the local control tower personnel
o   Receive and release field procedure
o   Radio frequencies for air show control
o   ATC control frequencies
o   Emergency plan
o   Local area information

o   Ensure the control point functionality
o   Ensure the public address system is operable (understanding that this may not be               available until the practice day)
o   Ensure radio(s) at control point are operable
o   Have a backup radio

o   Develop detailed schedule for all flight activities, including:
o   Order of performance
o   Time needed for each routine
o   Primary and discrete radio frequency

o   Conduct pre-show briefing with the air show chairman

o   Meet the air show’s announcer and brief the show

o   Test out all briefing equipment
o   Computer
o   Overhead/projector
o   Sound

The Pre-Show Performer Safety Briefing

(Not all of these checklist items will apply to every air show.  Although they need not be addressed in the order in which they appear here, all of the relevant checklist items should be addressed during your show’s pre-show performer safety briefing.)

o   Attended by flight crews and required personnel only

o   Time hack

o   Introduce key officials (IIC, air show chairman, special guests, VIPs)

o   Conduct roll call to confirm presence of and identify following personnel:
o   All air show pilots
o   Tow/jump aircraft pilots
o   Skydivers
o   Military flight demonstration pilots
o   Pyro/shooter in charge (SIC)
o   Jet vehicle drivers
o   Announcer(s)
o   At least one (1) representative pilot for each military team
o   At least one (1) representative pilot for each military aircraft
o   Air boss, who should be the principal briefing officer
o   Air show director
o   FAA/Transport Canada IIC (or assigned) monitor:
o   Air traffic control
o   Fire chief/CFR first responder
o   Emergency Medical Services (EMS) helicopter – if in attendance [get pager number]
o   Smoke oil/refueling chief
o   Lead aircraft marshaller
o   Maintenance chief
o   Weather briefer

o   Remotely deployed aircraft pilots must be briefed via telephone

o   Weather briefer provides weather report, though may be given by the air boss
o   Winds aloft from the surface to 15,000 AGL

o   Contingency plan in case of bad weather
o   Verify performance minimums

o   Review waiver/NOTAMs
o   Cover special provisions within the waiver
       • NOTAMs
       • TFRs
o   Have all sign the waiver/briefing acknowledgement sheet


o   Review airfield/aerobatic box information
o   Airspace (including altitude)

  • Show lines and box dimensions
  • Corner markers
  • Spectator areas
  • Pyro areas
  • CFR locations
  • Air show center
  • Runway in use and taxi routes
  • Barriers and arresting cables
  • Obstructions and hazards
  • Pyro briefing
  • Unique local items
    • Noise abatement procedures
    • Sensitive areas
    • Obstructions

    o    Over water shows

    • Show lines and marker identification
    • Hold point for next act
    • Obstacles
    • Communications

    o   Remote launch points

    • Hold point for next act
    • Communications

    o   Ride helicopters and aircraft

    • Load/unload point
    • Egress route
    • Ingress route
    • Ride area
    • Altitude cap
    • No fly acts


    o   Have all radio frequencies/procedures on a handout for all in attendance
    o   Airboss frequency
    o   Discreet/air to crowd frequency
    o   Backup frequency
    o   Divert airport frequencies
    o   Local airspace (in case of air boss loss of radios) frequencies
    o   Lost communication procedures
    o   Stuck microphone procedures


    o   Cover all air show specific information that may not be covered in any of the other briefing items


    o   Explain all emergency procedures


    o   Distribute and review the air show performance sequence/schedule


    o   Allow air show director to give administrative notices and field questions


    o   Specifically ask if there are any other questions


    o   Have all in attendance sign the waiver acknowledgement sheet

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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.