Ops Bull at Ten Years


The first issue of the ICAS Operations Bulletin (Ops Bull) was published ten years ago. The email newsletter was conceived and written as part of the larger ICAS initiative to change the culture of air show safety.  

At the time, our air show community had just had a particularly bad year that included two military jet team accidents and a number of high-profile civilian fatalities. Our collective response was to create a program that would bring safety to top-of-mind awareness for the entire business and then keep it there. And Ops Bull has been one of the tools we’ve used to do that. Since May of 2008, ICAS has published 387 separate safety-related articles in 82 different issues of Ops Bull. 

In the ten years immediately preceding the ICAS initiative to change the culture of air show safety, our industry suffered through an average of 3.3 fatal air show accidents per year. In the ten years since the beginning of that initiative, we have seen a drop of 42% to 1.9 air show fatalities per year. Obviously, neither Ops Bull nor the larger ICAS initiative to change the culture of air show safety has been entirely responsible for the decrease in fatal accidents, but they have certainly played a contributing role. 

To mark the ten year anniversary of the first Ops Bull issue and the role that it has played in changing the air show industry’s safety culture, have a look back at some of the more popular and thought-provoking articles from past issues, including… 

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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.