Every briefing at a North American air show includes a variation of the phrase, “No brief, no fly.” The pre-show safety briefing is a critical safety event that helps set the stage for a successful show, clarifies possible areas of confusion or misunderstanding at each individual air show site, and assists all personnel involved in the show to provide appropriate and precise feedback and to ensure that all aspects of the show go off without a hitch. It is the place to identify and deconflict hazards…hazards of which others may have otherwise been unaware.
Regulatory officials, ICAS and most veteran air show professionals have long considered attendance at the pre-show briefing to be a mandatory requirement for all performers. Regulatory guidance in both the United States and Canada mandate that at least one flying member of a performing team should represent that team. Occasionally, conditions such as remotely based aircraft or weather-related problems can mandate that a performer be given a phone briefing or individual briefing. But missing the group briefing for matters of convenience rather than necessity should be absolutely prohibited. At every air show, attendance at the briefing must supersede any other obligation or commitment, including autograph signing, sponsor interaction, and press flights and interviews.
The FAA has made attendance at the pre-show briefing an item of emphasis for the remainder of the 2018 and into the 2019 air show season. Due to the incalculable benefits to safety, ICAS fully supports these efforts and encourages all performers to maximize their participation in this critical facet of air show preparation.