Thursday, 28 June 2007

Old Buckenham Airshow is a No-Rainer

There'll be a few scraps of video here when I get time to edit it all together.

Old Buckenham bribed the weather gods to give us a great display on Sunday. It all began pretty inauspiciously with a cloudbase you could reach by standing on a chair. The rain would have dug holes in the umbrellas if it had further to fall. Then it was time for Denny Dobson to start the displays and - tzing - 10,000 feet of fresh air.

I had a few battery challenges, so I managed to miss some great moments. When Will Curtis took off and flipped his Sukhoi inverted less than 20 feet above the runway, I wasn't filming. When the Swift sailplane induced collective respiratory suspension as it tail-slid, flip-flopped, made an impossibly low final and fast-taxyed by us, to gently drop its wing next to its service truck, I wasn't filming.

But the camera was turning over as Gerry Honey, Bruce Monk and Dave Bagshaw showed their mettle in the Stearmans (Stearmen?). It was sad to see Martin's No 26 looking wistfully up at its skymates, grounded by the weight of CAA paperwork. Dave, Bruce and Gerry showed their customary mastery. Various problems meant that their only rehearsal was one single practice the night before the display. It didn't show.

BBMF displayed their Dakota. It seemed strange to see a non-Classic Flight Dak flying by, but the Coventry boys received some good mentions from the commentator for overhauling the BBMF Lancaster, and for their imminent restoration of the Dak.

Peter Lawton was distressingly accurate in the Bucker Jungmann, but typically modest on the ground afterwards. Hopefully the video will show what a great job he did.

The day finished with the impossible calisthenics of Will Curtis in the Su26. It was during this performance that the battery finally died so the final madness as he hovered, hanging from the prop, is missing. The man has no respect for physics.

Old Buck's a small, aero club airfield. But Paul Layzell and his team put together an afternoon that would have done credit to the major national displays. We saw superstars like Hurricane, Mustang, Spitfire, and Seafire, along with beautiful performances from world-class local pilots.

As well as a great day it was a demonstration of what determination and resourcefulness can achieve.

1 comment:

danny said...

Must have been a great day.
Remembered the Stampe Fly-in last May. As i live near Antwerp airport, it is a real treat to see all those planes fly over....the event is probable not as big as the one at Old Buckenham