Monday, 13 July 2009

Flying Legends. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I'm glad to say that apart from a little reduced visibility just after departure, the weather was pretty stunning for the rest of the day! Looks like the BECMG was right after all.

This was my first Flying Legends, so I don't have a huge amount to compare it with, but here goes anyway.

The Good
Booking a slot and flying in was easy, marshalling was great and the transport to north side friendly and efficient. Check in and pilot processing also worked well. We were lucky enough to enjoy a seat in an enclosure and enjoyed the show in a very civilized manner with a great picnic (thanks Martine). The show was great, but most of The Fighter Collection's aircraft remain grounded thanks to a CAA audit. There were a few barbed comments aimed at the CAA by the commentary team. Bernard Chabert and others pointed out that the DGAC, the French National Aviation Authority, has a safety-driven but pragmatic approach to historic aircraft. Could this have been a veiled threat or a hint that The Fighter Collection may find a new home if the current troubles cannot be resolved to everyone's satisfaction? Highlights of the show for me were the FW190, the Gladiator and the Lysander. Bernard Chabert shoudl also get a mention in the 'good' section, he enthusiasm is infectious.

The Bad
Bernard Chabert, great commentator that he is, needs to learn that sometimes less is more. The only other minor thing is that Duxford must be trying hard to take the prize for the UK's most expensive avgas (£1.60/litre) - sadly, they have some stiff competition.

The Ugly
There was a small issue with a foreign aeroplane who someone thought was trying to push into the departure queue. I know that it can be frustrating, but the radio, which was very busy with all sorts going on, is not the place for pilots to get into a discussion about queue etiquette, 'suck it up' as they'd say in the US. Nicely handled by air traffic though.

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