Worst Airshow

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21 years

Posts: 251

What are people worst airshows here, for whatever reason i.e. Weather, Aircraft content e.t.c ?

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Member for

20 years 4 months

Posts: 5,588

Although the weather was great and there was some awesome flying, the Wings Over Waikato 95 airshow was the worst I have been to. This was held at nearby Hamilton International Airport, at Rukuhia.

The reason I found it disappointing was that the organisers, who were largely the Tainui Maori tribal leaders, a bunch of greedy bloodsucking businessmen who do little for their tribe or the greater community, did what they do best, sucked all the money out and left many people bitter. They had advertised for months that a Russian Su27 display team was coming, because the team was doing a world tour. Because of that I bought a Gold Pass ($150) which only got me a seat on a pitiful grandstand and nothing else.

The day before the weekend show began they announced the Russians were not coming. It was revealed in the press this was simply because the organisers refused to pay for th team's overnight accomodation. Simply ridiculous. Considering all the advertising they'd done and all the pre-sold tickets from people who wanted to see them, it was a disgrace.

Secondly they also advertised a flyover display by a Stealth bomber, on its way back from a big Aussie airshow. Yes, there was a Stealth visiting that week in Australia which was at a notable airshow, so this was highly plausible. But no, it was a hoax. All they did was have the commentator say here it comes can you see it.... and then let off a pyro on the airfield. Total wankas.

The worst thing of all was this was set up to be the alternate year airshow to Wanaka. There was much in the press and much support from local businesses and the community. But the Tainui refused to pay visiting warbirds exhibitors. So the idea of an ongoing two-yearly show was canned because no-one wanted to come back here, and there has never been an airshow of any merit in Hamilton since. I do not blame the warbirds operators one bit!

Those who did display were fantstic, such as Trevor Bland and the NZ Warbids, Sir Tim Wallis and his collection, and the late Sir Kenneth Hayr. And other highlights for me were meeting Ross Mcpherson (the late, great editor of NZ Wings magazine, whom I'd coressponded with often but only met him on this occasion, and he died not too long afterwards from cancer :( ), also meeting up with Sir Tim and Ray Mulqueen again from the AFC, I hadn't seen them in a while. And also a great laugh hearing some Warbirds expert spouting how Sir Tim have bought Motat's Lancaster and was going to have it flying by the next year's Wanaka airshow. I love hearing idiots compel stupid rumours like that!

But overall the airshow leaves a very bitter taste in the mouth thinking about what it could have been, and what it could have developed into. Now the two-yearly big airshows are only in the South Island at Omaka and Wanaka, where they have fantastic organisers. We still have Ardmore's annual show which is also fantastic but the AFC don't come all that way up to Ardmore any more. And Masterton's airshow is too far from anywhere to travel to.

Hamilton is the centre of the North Island and could have been brilliant, world class, if they hadn't had the inherently greedy tribal leaders involved. Grrrrrrr!!!!

Member for

20 years 5 months

Posts: 1,612

Ah well, I can concur on what those leaders are like !!!

You'll just have to make the 400km trip to Masterton (which is only 2 months away!!).
Now that is getting better and better !!

Cheers
TNZ

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20 years 4 months

Posts: 5,588

Yep, it might be well worth it, as they are advertising a Kittyhawk and Spitfire on the tele, and they've got their own resident Corsair now too. hmmm, if only I had the money. Does the train go to Masterton - might have to do a hobo trip, lol

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20 years 5 months

Posts: 1,612

The setting is really great with a wide airfield and Masterton is really beautiful.
They normally have the WW1 & WW2 reinactors there also (similar to Classic Fighters).

Oops, getting off the worst airshow thread....

TNZ

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19 years 11 months

Posts: 98

Flying Legends 2003

I think most people will know why

Jim

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21 years

Posts: 474

One year at Fairford, about 1987/88/89 it rained solidly all day. Had trouble seeing anything in the air

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20 years 11 months

Posts: 18,357

Leuchars a few years ago. Cold, wet, and had to endure a day with a right bunch of tossers, going to and from the show! AND we missed the BBMF! :mad:

Member for

20 years 4 months

Posts: 217

The last Bankstown "airshow"; an absolute fiasco! :eek:

G'day ;)

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24 years 6 months

Posts: 16,832

One of the later Air Fetes at Mildenhall

Included an above-the-overcast fly-by executed by some Lakenheath based F-15s. Gripping. The long straight display line does nothing for the excitement level, huge gaps between the acts. Even the burgers seemed below par that year.

Moggy

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20 years 9 months

Posts: 2,778

I remember Norwich City Council one year decided that they'd have an airshow at Norwich Airport. At the time The council had decreed that Norwich was a nuclear free zone(go figure) so there could be no military involvement. Well, that pretty much killed that airshow--there was no nothing! The bleakest airshow I ever attended. No war birds, no military jets--in fact no nothing.
I reckon this was about 1984-ish. Anyone else remember it? The sad contrast was that I also remember the official opening airshow there in about 1970 when I saw the best Lightning display ever.
I also the Red Arrows for the first time that day.
Cheers
Andy

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20 years 1 month

Posts: 690

I remember that! For the previous 2 years(ish) there'd been a reasonable little show - Vulcan, BBMF, Red Arrows and all the usual performers - and then there was THAT show with an F27 and a couple of C172's :(

Thought it was a bit later than that - 1988? Pretty sure that there was Camel sponsored Lotus F1 car there.

I also cheated as I could watch most of the show from my parents' back garden if I wished :)

JC

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20 years 10 months

Posts: 7,048

:o Not the worst airshow because of content but because of the weather.
We had returned from Corfu the previous day and went to Alconbury airdisplay,it tipped it down and we reckon there was a 40 degree temperature difference as well.We got soooo wet someone took pity on us and let us sit in thier car to escape :)
This photo will give you an idea LOL,
Oh i remember also going to Finningley and it was thick fog,one of the USA display teams were there but i seem to remember they just disappeared from view,as did everything else :eek:

Attachments

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20 years 11 months

Posts: 1,001

Norwich 2000

Quite a nice line up what with the Invader, vampire, Meteor Mustang formation but...

very little static even the Cessna 172 I arrived in went on static! the stalls were miles from the flight line and the display was very disjointed, with acts displaying between scheduled flights.

Mildenhall 98 (I think)

Three Tornados Two Alpha jets, two F16s and quite a few more dubling up of types all got a bit boring.

Member for

19 years 11 months

Posts: 17

Andy in Beds and John C, I rember the event at Norwich you mean, this was Air Fair '85 which was the opening of the City of Norwich Aviation Museum, 5 May 1985.

You are right, Norwich had declared itself a nucular free zone, so no military involvement or warbirds were officially allowed. This is how the event was advertised.

Despite this I can remember two F-15 Eagles and a C-130 doing flypasts and a display by a RAF Sea King.

18,000 people attended the event (5,000 were expected) a good deal of money was raised for the City of Norwich Aviation Museum. The Council were so suprised that they allowed the Museum to arrange a further event in September 1986, this time th military aircraft and warbirds were welcome, but the Council took 50% of the income!

Further airshows took place at Norwich in the 1980's, these were organised by a privately owned company, set up for that sole purpose and not involving the Museum.

I'm sure that this is correct.

Kelvin Sloper
City of Norwich Aviation Museum

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19 years 8 months

Posts: 51

Mawgan some years ago, the only thing able to fly was the Harrier :rolleyes: weather :rolleyes:

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20 years 7 months

Posts: 1,453

I (fortunately) missed the Norwich show. One of the worst for me, due to the weather was the TVS airshow at Hurn in about 85/6(?). I left home at 2.00AM(!!!) to drive there, arriving at 7.00am to torrential rain which never stopped, so we gave up and left at 2.00pm. On the way back, we got stuck behing a gipsy (sorry travellers) convoy and didn't get home until late evening, by which time I was completely knackered, cold and thoroughly p*ssed off!

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24 years 6 months

Posts: 4,169

I seem to recall going to a show at Lakenheath in 1987/8 ish.
Paid to get in etc but still had to watch the show through a 6' wire fence thingy, can't remember much about what was there but probably not a great deal other than John Jordan's Stearman and it's barnstorming mates.

Member for

20 years 7 months

Posts: 1,494

Worst airshow

Without a doubt....I'm with Moggy on this one: Mildenhall. With so many potentially exciting aircraft in attendance, and the memory of fantastic late 80's, early 90's displays, it turned into the most dissapointing event.

The queue's to get in, the terrible weather, the much hyped american fighters and bombers, once only flypasts, with no aerobatics, at altitudes that make you wonder which airfield that they are displaying at!

On the plus side, their burgers are great, and the often outragous displays by European air forces!

Member for

20 years 1 month

Posts: 690

Last Mildenhall I went to would have been 1992 (or 3) - and that was a stunning event.

I'll go along with you Kelvin! I remember going to one based around the Museum and one or 2 others, with the rest watched from the garden :) I probably went to the September 86 one after avoiding the earlier one due to nothing interesting being on the programme, then a couple after that.

Last airshow for me was one of the Shuttleworth Evening do's in July/August 2003 and that was simply marvellous!

Member for

20 years 5 months

Posts: 731

Mawgan some years ago, the only thing able to fly was the Harrier :rolleyes: weather :rolleyes:

MMMM, weather and Cornish airshows, there is a whole thread in itself there :(

On a brighter note, the only time I have been to a show in Cornwall with good weather was at Culdrose a couple of years ago. The sky was unusually absolutely empty of clouds (the traditional weather for the day before airshows in those parts!), except for a single little wispy white cloud minding its own business above the middle of the runway.....

....until a certain Sea Vixen pulled up into a climbing slow roll, carefully ingesting the poor defenseless cloud into its intakes, never to be seen again :diablo:

(Just thought I might cheer the thread up with a brighter picture :) )