I do need to give credit for that and for the traffic, which is always the worst part of a show. It seemed well handled with the buses and dispersed enough that we didn't really wait to get out at all. Maybe others had a different experience.
One thing that I ALWAYS appreciate at shows is combining elements to make new performances. To that effect I really loved the Harvard/Hawk formation and the CF-18/Vampire flight. I'm sure I would have enjoyed the CF-18/F-16 arrival if I had been able to see it...
I did like that the hot ramp was opened up in the morning, though the whole thing with roping off every static airplane is stupid. At least it was understandable on the hot ramp.
I am not a fan of the layout. The general admission fence line was small and the issues with the fence on 9-27 never seemed to be resolved. I saw one volunteer moving people's chairs from the front row to the fourth or fifth row in the grass to keep the pavement clear. There was nothing coming through, and they were behind the rope that was already behind the rest of the fence. That whole area was handled extremely poorly.
I can see how some would find having the planes parked out front to be cool, but for me it detracted from the photo ops significantly and their idling drowned out not only the speakers but also any attempt at conversation and even the aircraft flying overhead. It got annoying fast.
I wasn't too upset by the schedule changes, I know they happen but also there was no clear schedule for me to hold anyone to. I'll agree on the poor communication complaints, though I definitely appreciate the efforts to keep us informed here. Ultimately I just waited to be surprised.
I was extremely disappointed that all of the Sunday departures were one and done. That was really the whole point in going for me. I remember St. Thomas having like 8 or 9 sets of low approaches back in the day. Anyone going in the future should maybe plan to see arrivals instead of the actual show. I also wish the flying had started at noon, particularly with the heat. It seemed to drag on with a lot of gaps.
The airboss and tower situation was quite strange and it seemed like things were poorly run. I definitely understand coordinating with the tower for commercial ops but many other shows do that much more smoothly. Everything had to be repeated multiple times in a weird game of telephone and there were a number of testy exchanges that caught my attention. The Skyvan and Eagle both got some grief for their flybys, whether it was warranted or not I can't say but I am damn glad I saw the first pass from the Eagle!
Hopefully they can bring the rest of the organization up to the standard of air ops in the future, and give the pilots more gas to burn!
I definitely echo your complaints about the photo pit.RyanS wrote: ↑Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:52 am Not sure what to say about today other than it was one of the worst days I have ever spent at an airshow. There is always confusion at a show, but this was on a whole new level. Media relations (which I know few deal with) are the worst I have ever experienced. The photo pit was clearly oversold by at least a factor of two and between the media people who got screwed and the photo pit people who paid a ton of money to get screwed, there were a lot of angry people all day long. The lineup was great, and none of this is a blast on air ops, but it was largely marred by all of the obstructions. I know there are many constraints that shape the layout and I'm not saying I could do better, but it really kills the ability to take photos and I want to put that out there as a warning to other photogs lured in by the lineup.
The absolute lowest point was when we were kicked off of the roped off static runway to move a plane in. Then we had to move further. And then further. All to avoid a plane that didn't even come close. Then we sat and sat and sat waiting to get back to the normal fenceline. We had to shoot the CF-18 departure from behind the photo pit tent. Although we were told the area would be opened back up for general admission seating 'soon', it never opened up for the rest of the night. We wasted about two hours waiting for it, since it was the only fenceline space left at this point. All of our eggs in the wrong basket because the volunteers had no clue what was going on. Missed the awesome opening flybys and finally gave up and went to sit in the field somewhere well back from the fence. I gave up on photos and watched.
Colossally disappointed and frustrated. All I can hope for tomorrow is good seats and a stable flow to the day.
It was my first time doing the photo tour at a show, and it has certainly discouraged me from doing it again, despite wanting to see the arrivals and getting some good pictures.
We showed up at about 8:40am (well within the 8:30-9am check in time) and arrived, like you, to find the fence line basically full. After trying to get shots through the morning of the arrivals, we asked the photo pit area coordinator, who was one of the nicest volunteers there, if we could slide over to the the fence line in the Flightline Pub VIP area, since it was also fenced in and wasn't used until the evening. She allowed us to.
However when we went to leave the photo pit area to go over there a number of the volunteers asked where we were going (rightly so, security and all), and after explaining the conversation I had, I was confronted by a volunteer who proceeded to tell me that we should have shown up earlier.
I'm not sure where exactly he gets off telling me to show up earlier, when we showed up within the clearly stated check-in time. I definitely agree that the photo pit area was oversold.
Oh well, despite that unfortunate exchange I was overall very happy with the show. The food in the VIP areas left a little to be desired. The food trucks were a little tastier, especially after being there for 3 days. The same chicken, burgers and salads gets a little repetitive.
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I was at the Oceana air show the previous weekend, and I always struggle with the haze and performer smoke which always has a negative impact on photographs. The view lines (distance to runways) in London appear to be quite a bit closer that they are at Oceana, and the sky was amazing; for once I wasn’t totally backlit.
On an interesting note, it was amazing to see F-35s from the Air Force and Navy. I know that Canada’s Prime Minister she’s previously asserted that the F-35 doesn’t work. Yet there were two flying at the show, and they clearly worked. I left the show feeling very deceived by my current government. (Sarcasm)
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- An exceptional line up of aircraft both static and performers, I would like London to become the RIAT of North America.
- Impeccable shuttle service on Saturdays, entry and exit in less than 15 minutes
- Access to the Hot Ramp before the show, great idea
- The Hour of Power on Friday night was fabulous
Negative points :
- A great lack of trash on the site, and those present were never emptied.
- The great lack of updated on the website, cancellations which was still indicated confirmed ...
- Low speaker quality on site
- The F-15s that fly before the opening of the site on Friday .... ridiculous
I think the organization has done a great job overall, but I think it has a lesson in communication to learn. The aviation enthusiast knows that there is no F-15 demo, but the average viewer who sees the F-15 under "performers" page on the website, expects the same kind of performance as the Super Hornet, and after the 2 fly-by, it is very disappointing. The same applies to the A-10s. Be honest with people who pay (the big price) to attend your show.
I do not want to be negative because I loved my weekend, and once again congratulations to the organizer!
P.S. Some wishes, next year we want bombers!
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