Abingdon Air & Country Show 2019

Discussion relating to 2019 airshows/fly-ins/exercises/other events. Post news before the event and post your photos afterwards! Please create only one thread per event.
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Adam
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Abingdon Air & Country Show 2019

Post by Adam » Mon May 06, 2019 12:16 pm

My first (hopefully of many) show debrief of 2019.

Yesterday I attended the Abingdon Air & Country Show, traditionally the first major European airshow of the year, for the first time. This year's show was a particularly poignant one as, from next year, the aviation side of the event will be scaled back.

The show was hit by new insurance regulations regarding public flying displays on MOD property, which required all performers to have £50M public liability insurance. This was unfortunately out of reach of some of the acts that had been initially booked, however there was still a reasonably full flying display. The award for the best display of the day should perhaps go to Richard Grace's P-47D Thunderbolt routine, which was absolutely superb. Second place in my book goes to the Beech 18, a lovely display with plenty of topsides.

I also really enjoyed the two aerobatic acts; Rich Goodwin put on a great display in his Pitts "Muscle Biplane", including a 'formation' with an Audi down the runway. Chris Burkett also put on a very enjoyable show in his Extra 300, performing alongside a 25% scale remote control model which was flown from the ground. The two made for a great pair, with perfectly synchronised stall turns, loops, lomcevaks and even an opposition break! The only traditional formation team of the day was the AeroSuperBatics Wingwalkers. A perfectly-flown pairs display from them, but their smoke system did actually start to block out the sun by the end and made the atmosphere quite muggy and unplesant for a good ten minutes after they finished.

One act I had been looking forward to was the RAF Tucano T.1 solo display. It's the first time the RAF has staged a Tucano display in several years and the aircraft is due for retirement this autumn, so Abingdon was the start of its farewell season. Unfortunately I thought the display was quite high and not the best-flown routine of the day - it included a couple of other moves that just didn't look quite right, particularly a VERY slow stall turn and a hanging stall turn which was more like a slightly sloppy knife-edge pass than anything else. Hopefully the crew grow into the routine as the season progresses.

Also of note were the Gazelle Squadron (I'm sure a shorter display from them than we've seen from them before. By far the best moments came not during the display but as they hover-taxied to and from the runway), P-51D Mustang solo and a four-ship display from the Historic Army Aircraft Flight (Sioux, Scout, Beaver, Auster). I thought the latter was lacking a proper close formation pass from all four aircraft, as they generally flew as two pairs. Nonetheless there was continous action and it was a nice mix of aircraft.

The main static display aircraft was an RAF C-130 from nearby Brize Norton. One of the squadrons at Brize usually stages a flypast of a Hercules, Voyager or such like and this year's display was notable for not including one. It's a shame that of the couple of aircraft seen departing Brize in the distance or the C-130 at the show, which departed at the end of the flying display, none could apparently be rerouted for even a single proper pass down the show line.

All in all, a good day, which may have been a little short on 'killer', but certainly not overburdened with 'filler'. Traffic management was good, the showground was busy and the fly-in was well-organinsed - particularly the departures, which were very tight and started right after the last airshow plane touched down. Video below.

Last edited by Adam on Mon May 06, 2019 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by FlankerPhoto » Mon May 06, 2019 4:28 pm

Nicely written debrief and video, thank you! Was certainly a good show, just a shame the lighting was pretty horrendous for photography, very few worth keeping unfortunately.

One thing I will pick up on though, Brize hasn't performed a flypast since 2014, when we had a C-130J.
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Post by Adam » Mon May 06, 2019 4:48 pm

FlankerPhoto wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 4:28 pm
Nicely written debrief and video, thank you! Was certainly a good show, just a shame the lighting was pretty horrendous for photography, very few worth keeping unfortunately.

One thing I will pick up on though, Brize hasn't performed a flypast since 2014, when we had a C-130J.
Oh, fair point. I hadn't realised it had been that long. It was such a shame to have that Voyager go right overhead at about midday just a couple of thousand feet too high! Unfortunately I missed the Herc departure while in the take-off queue so I didn't get any 'heavy' action yesterday. It was a good day, some nice displays and great to hit the circuit again.
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Post by Flightline Uk » Mon May 06, 2019 5:16 pm

A few snaps from a very cold and mostly overcast Abingdon. I think the Abingdon Fayre volunteers and display pilots sent the flying display element of the show out in some style. It was a worthy celebration of the last 20 events and made sure it went out on a high

Sadly, that final Voyager you saw pass to the North just as the wingwalkers got airborne would have done a flypast but the timings didn't work out. We still had the unofficial fly-over much earlier in the day however.

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Finally, as some may have heard over the commentary, Abingdon 2019 marked the final display by John Davis acting as a Flying Display Director (Airboss). John has been involved with major UK air displays for 50 years in various capacities and has done a great deal to help develop them. At the pilots briefing he was presented with a small token of appreciation by the Abingdon Flying Control Committee

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Post by Adam » Sat May 11, 2019 9:23 am

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