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Review of Day

Posts relating to information and discussion on the Scampton Airshow
Billyzinc
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:46 pm

Review of Day

Post by Billyzinc » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:10 am

Having attended airshows since the 50s (when me dad took me), the Brilliant annual B Of B shows where the aircraft toured the country from display base to display base, the innovation of Farnborough, and the flair of the USAF shows that included The Blackbird U2 (TR1) B1s, not forgetting "multi kite displays" involving opposing WWII aircraft or F5 aggressors flying with F15s. I have, of late, greatly lowered my expectations and the scheduled Scampton flying display did nothing to raise them, unless I can get to RIAT or Farnborough again, airshows will be spared my moaning face. I booked early with the expectancy of seeing some 21st century hardware (we are 17 years into it).
Setting off from the north east at 6:30 am, I made good time stopping, but off at Ferrybridge, briefly for a toilet stop "just in case" was a good decision. I didn't think the mobile speed cameras that my sat nav warned me about on the M180 (I think) would have been operating on an empty motorway before 8:00am., but they were so I may yet have more to pay for the my day out. Roads were good until (by my sat nav) I was 5 mins away from Scampton on the A15. The traffic then stopped and moved just a few car lengths every few minutes. After about a hour, and about half a mile I reached the junction where apparently the park and ride merchants were being diverted. The airport bound traffic were stopped (as were the P &R) while cars coming in from the side road to the west, were being turned around, and sent back. When we did get passed the 6 marshals, the road was clear right into the airport parking area.
I've detailed the traffic problem in the hope that it won't be repeated. I know we keep hearing that Scampton have not hosted a show before, but notes posted by the airshow people regarding lack of participating RAF frontline aircraft, informed me that it wasn't the RAF who put the show on, but the charity (who hosted RIAT and the previous Waddington shows) and they "borrow" the airfield for the show days. I was bluntly told that it had "nothing to do with the RAF".
The usual price control was in force at the venue but I think £4.20 for a lager and £2.20 for a ice cream is still expensive. Worse was to come, after paying another £50 on top of the £39 entry, to enter the Lincolnshire Garden (and park at the field with my disabled wife, who can walk more than the 3 steps which, if she couldn't would allow a Blue Badge, but who suffers with epilepsy often having seizures several times a day and for whom I carry emergency medication), I discovered that the barely edible buffet has no drink provided with which to wash it down. After complaining about this, credit to the staff, I was re-reimbursed the £9 cost of a cup of tea and cake (which was really nice) for the pair of us. We'd visited the creditable static display after first checking into the "garden" but on our return we were met with the "German towel style" seat booking. Most front row seats were empty, but had bags on "booking" them for when ever the owner decided to return, some didn't for the couple of hours we spent in the enclosure. Previously "VIP" type enclosures (Waddington) have given us our seats for the day, which is why I booked early as the early bookers got the best seats, not the ones with the biggest bags. The buffet was dire, though the ham was alright the pies were dry (luckily I had a bottle of water in my pocket) the salads were terrible, all mixed up in sauces. A bit of fruit would have been nice, we were promised drinks by one of the staff and told where to collect them, but on attending the drinks counter, we were refused drinks, until after my very strong complaint, others accepted the situation.
As for the display, the content of which I had already expressed my disappointment at on facebook, having attended the birth of my children, I can understand the arrows pilot not wanting to miss the birth of his, if it was the actual birth that he missed the show for. The other breaking down leaving the display team with 4 planes is another matter. The Pembroke breaking down was something which should have been allowed for, and a operational RAF airfield shouldn't be paralysed by one plane having problems, such a long break at that time of the day wasn't welcome. The cold wind coming straight into the enclosure bringing occasional the heavy shower wasn't a fault of the organisation, but didn't improve the experience. I had intended to leave the field half a hour before the flying ended, as being stuck in one lane traffic when my wife's condition manifests itself, would have caused more traffic chaos, but as the rain fell and the 4 arrows took to the air, I could see many already heading for their cars. I love the F16, but have seen them perform many times, as I have the Typhoon and, though they were the highlight of the day and it was like going to a concert and leaving before the main event - or missing a penalty shoot out, given the problems egressing the field at such an early time of day I couldn't risk being caught up in the exiting traffic. Red Arrows and ISTAR fly pasts and The Sally B made the trip almost worthwhile, but after today I think I'll have to hang my airshow binoculars up.
Last edited by Billyzinc on Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Grahame W
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Location: Rotherham, South Yorkshire

Re: Review of Day

Post by Grahame W » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:17 am

Well, if you go to an air show expecting cheap prices and gourmet meals, you're always going to be disappointed! Do what I do, and take sandwiches. Apart from Flying Legends, this was the first large air show I've attended for a while, and I must admit I quite enjoyed it. The atrocious weather and technical issues are really outside anyone's control. I thought the Arrows did well to get a four ship display airborne, particularly given the conditions. I too noted the mass exodus of punters during their truncated display. All I can say is, they should've stuck it out. The weather improved, and they missed some good displays by the Belgian F-16, the Norwegian Vampires and the Typhoon. And the light was perfect for photographing the statics at the end of the flying display. I sailed out of the airfield at 4.30 with no trouble at all.

I reckon the show was well organised, apart from a hiccup when the on-base car park opened later than was printed on the ticket. I thought both the static display and flying programme showed good variety. It was worth the entrance fee alone for the Swedish historic types, and the HHA aircraft.

Will the Scampton show become a regular event? Probably not, but it would be a pity, because at the moment there is no major air show north of Cosford!
Grahame W

MRTT
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Re: Review of Day

Post by MRTT » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:31 am

According to a friend who was in attendance yesterday, the dates for next year are printed in the rear of the programme. :thumb:

David Thompson
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Location: Teesside

Re: Review of Day

Post by David Thompson » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:37 am

MRTT wrote:According to a friend who was in attendance yesterday, the dates for next year are printed in the rear of the programme. :thumb:
The 8th and 9th of September 2018 .
Youth is wasted on the young !

Unknown74
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Re: Review of Day

Post by Unknown74 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:43 am

RAF Scampton last held an Airshow in July 1991. I remember it well. If I remember rightly was A Support Aircraft for the Russian Knights on Static?

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Grahame W
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Location: Rotherham, South Yorkshire

Re: Review of Day

Post by Grahame W » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:59 am

Unknown74 wrote:RAF Scampton last held an Airshow in July 1991. I remember it well. If I remember rightly was A Support Aircraft for the Russian Knights on Static?
You're quite right, I was there! It was July 19th, and the aircraft was An-72, serial 949.

Good news about next year. Serves me right for being a cheapskate, and not buying a programme!
Grahame W

Billyzinc
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Re: Review of Day

Post by Billyzinc » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:48 am

Glad the previous guy enjoyed his day and sailed out at 4:30pm. I would have loved to do the same, but after 6 marshals struggled and held up the A15 in what was light early traffic I couldn't take the chance of being stuck. I was also thinking of others who I would have held up myself. Had the egress been smoother than I would have lingered longer. I do expect something edible for £50 per person, sorry if you think I'm being picky, I also expect so see a better array of RAF aircraft at a RAF show. The Swedes and the Germans really pulled the static out of mediocracy but the flying display was bitterly disappointing, even given the low expectations I went with. I know I've been spoilt by previous shows that I attended. An afternoon at Leeming during Joint Strike is often better than current airshows.

EGVP
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Re: Review of Day

Post by EGVP » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:56 am

Billyzinc wrote:I also expect so see a better array of RAF aircraft at a RAF show.
Being as it wasn't an RAF show, I'm not sure why you would expect this?

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Nighthawke
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Re: Review of Day

Post by Nighthawke » Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:04 am

It wasn't an RAF show - as you already mentioned being told as such in your opening post. It was also put on for the general public (as are virtually all events). I did not attend (would have loved to) but having seen what was there, something for everyone and "Joe Public" mainly wants to see 'planes of some sort as do their kids.

I know you're not alone in being very precise in your wants/expectations but these days there is little excuse for going to a show and not knowing what is or isn't going to be there. I always find it odd that people know what will be there, pay a fortune to go and then complain about the content.

Billyzinc
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Re: Review of Day

Post by Billyzinc » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:01 pm

It's not officially a RAF show but in all intents and purposes it is, as (hopefully) a RAF base doesn't hand itself over to a completely alien organisation. Tickets were purchased before the line up was known, I just supposed too much! I think I'm correct in thinking that some of the line up was announced only the week before, after the Lincoln Garden was sold out. I still went with the hope of more RAF and maybe some USAF involvement.

I know many people, including the great Air Cadets (an organisation that I was proud to be part of, and who took me flying and gliding, and who taught me to shoot a rifle), gave their time to make the show as best as they possibly good. The RAF Village and the Techno area were outstanding, there were plenty of stalls and eating places, many of these seemed to be sparsely attended, and so I wonder if they'll come back next year. My total spend of £1 on the day wouldn't have helped them, though my £178 to get my wife and I in, must have helped the charity.

Going back to the egress, I think that the misleading signage had much to do with it. A sign with a green triangle pointing forward and "Air Show traffic" written underneath then below a right pointer saying "all other traffic", would have lead anyone who hadn't a green card, to follow the airshow sign, as how would they know that the enclosure people were given green cards. Explaining that to them would have held up traffic significantly.

I agree the day must have been wonderful for novices and young people, but nothing can disguise the fact that airshows are, for whatever reasons, not what they used to be. Maybe its partly due to having one plane that does several jobs, instead of several planes doing one job (in the 60s we had 3 heavy V bombers and ,loads of fighters and fighter/bombers), though I still think that other RAF types could have been present or flown by.

EGVP
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Re: Review of Day

Post by EGVP » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:12 pm

Anyone can hire a military airfield for the right amount. We did it at Middle Wallop in April, also for charity!

So, sorry to say, your "for all intents and purposes it is" just doesn't ring true, you are sadly misinformed.

page_verify
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Re: Review of Day

Post by page_verify » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:50 pm

From what I've heard and read, it sounds like a bit of reputation management for the RIAT/RAFCTE team was needed but overlooked. If the brand that hosts RIAT puts its name against another air show then punters quite rightly are going to expect a similar experience, whether that's quality of aircraft and flying display, ease of access to the airfield or overall value for money. Isn't RIAT/RAFCTE one of the world's leading air show companies?

romeo bravo
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Re: Review of Day

Post by romeo bravo » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:37 pm

So does holding RIAT at RAF Fairford make it an RAF Air Show or American !

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Nighthawke
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Re: Review of Day

Post by Nighthawke » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:43 pm

Neither!

jamesg23
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Location: Near sleaford

Re: Review of Day

Post by jamesg23 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:50 pm

Ive got to say the static was terrible. Thank god the swedish lot turned up. I thought the displays were often to high and far away. I find it hard to understand why they decide to hold it in september, surely it should be in august when kids are of school and the weather may be better and i dont know hpw they can justify charging 40 quid.

LecLightning56
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Location: Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire

Re: Review of Day

Post by LecLightning56 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:56 pm

Correct me if I am wrong, but if you go back to the raw beginnings of Greenham Common, it probably started off as an enthusiast's event. Things have mushroomed since into major marketing and merchandising activities by the organisers, albeit for charitable causes. I did attend on Saturday and enjoyed the event but did note that not every toddler running around safely enjoying life was laden with camera gear and a log book! My point being that a wide range of interests have to be catered for. On the civilian front, bear in mind that all fast jet pilots start off in humble prop-driven aircraft and so if we are to inspire youth into achieving high goals aeronautically showing them how they would start their training is not such a bad thing. I note also on the civilian side that BA did display an A380 at Fairford a number of years ago. I too felt that the display lacked in current military hardware but let's hope and pray that in time, things will pick up and we may hopefully be blessed with better things as the show finds its feet internationally. I am loathe to think that enthusiasts alone could aspire to the organisational capabilities that have been demonstrated by the Scampton team. I too would like to have seen a more impressive air display and was disappointed by the lack of American support, other than Northrop as sponsors, but having gone through this exercise let us hope that criticisms have been taken note of and let us not lose sight of the fact that this is the only such show in the North and as such we should afford it as much support as possible. I for one am optimistic and look forward to being pleasantly surprised by what the future may bring.

jamesg23
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Location: Near sleaford

Re: Review of Day

Post by jamesg23 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:35 pm

I do hope it suceeds in the future as its on my doorstep but it needs a lower price and more aircraft and not so late in the season. 2 top displays have already finished for the season (chinock and apache) so why is the airshow so late in the year?

britaylor
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Location: south lincs

Re: Review of Day

Post by britaylor » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:53 pm

Good luck for Scampton for holding an airshow years ago we had four BOB shows in this month and display aircraft did two shows in a day things are harder these days and more expensive to stage next year we have 100 years of RAF to look forward to and this show can only get better

reaper493
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Location: Waddington

Re: Review of Day

Post by reaper493 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:56 pm

I went today, and went with an open mind, not letting the negative comments tarnish my view.

I thought it was great for a first show, the static was well laid out, none of my photos have a fun fair in the back ground and the stalls were far enough away to not cause an issue.

I was stood as show centre all day, got some great shots and views of the display, with very few people around, they all seemed to be watching from further south West towards the grand stand. Traffic in and out was fantastic.

I guess it does help onky living 20 mins away, but I think it was a very good job well done, that went very smoothly.

Looking forward to next year!!

simon
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Re: Review of Day

Post by simon » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:11 am

I know this is a military forum so expect a lot on here are only interested in the military hardware on show and have been spoilt rotten by RIAT, but...if you look at it PURELY from an aviation related point of view, the static was actually a very good mix.
The flying was also varied with something for everyone who isn't just after jet noise. (Go on, admit it, you EVEN took a shot of the autogyro didn't you!! :halo: )

I don't see how it wont be a success if the crowds, even given the weather, are anything to go by.
I cant really comment on the parking as I parked on-base and had absolutely no problem at all getting in and unfortunately had to depart early due to prior commitments.

Was it worth the money?...for me, yes, being an aviation "atheist" and not pigeon-holing myself. Would I have preferred it to be cheaper...of course!! I don't have a money tree in my back garden. (I would of paid for a checklist though Mr/Mrs Organiser...hint, hint)

Here's hoping that next year goes ahead and please, if you didn't go this year, give it a go folks next...lets keep an air-show in Bomber County.

Looking forward to seeing all your show pics on here. :thumbs:

Cheers
Simon

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