Preparing for Worst Case Scenario


In the event of an air show accident (fatal or non-fatal), every air show and every performer should have a previously agreed upon procedure to ensure that next-of-kin are contacted. 

Over the years, in several instances, tragic accidents in the air show community have been exacerbated by indecision or complications related to delivering news about deceased or injured air show performers to family members. Air shows and fellow performers should not leave this difficult, but important step to chance or close friends who may – or may not – be present at the time of an accident. 

ICAS recommends that both performers and event organizers take specific, pro-active steps to avoid this kind of situation. 

Performers – Include detailed contact information for both a primary and secondary contact on the contract and/or support requirements that you send to the air shows with which you contract. At a minimum, this information should include names, cell phone numbers, home phone numbers and email addresses for not less than two different people. 

Event organizers – Develop a process with your operations personnel to ensure that – in addition to required pilot-related paperwork – you request and receive this same contact information for all of the individuals performing in your show, including individual contact information from each of the pilots in a formation team. As difficult and heartbreaking as it is to make that call to a loved one, do not assume that somebody else will do it in the sometimes chaotic minutes following an accident or incident.  

For our part, ICAS will be developing a new element of our Emergency Extraction database that includes emergency contact information for each performer who downloads emergency extraction information into our database. But don’t depend on that capacity just. Make your own arrangements to help ensure that a tragic situation is not made more difficult unnecessarily.

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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.