I liked this preflight video a lot. I’m definitely going to make on in the new year for my passengers.
As we head deeper into autumn and winter, the number of air shows or air displays in the northern latitudes like the UK is steadily dropping off. Nevertheless, here is a quick look at what’s scheduled for this weekend both in the UK or over in warmer areas of the continent:
Friday to Sunday
Festa Al Cel in Barcelona, Spain. What can be better than an air show in the clear skies over the Mediterranean as this video clearly illustrates?
The program starts at 5 PM on Friday and continues through to Sunday afternoon.
Tatoi Air Show at Athens, Greece. Part of Athens Flying Week, the military airport of Tatoi will open its gates to the public for three days to offer a unique air show and a series of individual events. Click here to see the program. Tickets are €5 for adults and children over 12 years old, €3 for children 3 – 12 years old and free entrance for children up to 3 years old on Friday; while for Saturday, tickets are €8 for adults and children over 12 years old, €4 for children 3 – 12 years old and free entrance for children up to 3 years old.
The Whole Weekend
Sywell Classic Piston & Props at Sywell Aerodrome, Northamptonshire. Held at Northamptonshire’s Sywell Aerodrome, the Sywell Classic Piston & Props will combine “high octane live action, amazing aerial displays breathtaking classic vehicle displays, great family entertainment vintage and classic traders.” Click here for ticket information.
Malta International Airshow in Malta. Should you find yourself in sunny Malta this weekend, participants at this year’s Malta International Air Show will include aircraft from the armed forces of Germany, Italy, Malta, NATO, Poland, Qatar and the UK. Tickets prices at the airshow gate are €12 for adults with children under 14 being free while pre-paid ticket prices are €10.
Journée Portes Ouvertes BA709 de Cognac at Cognac, France. Closer to home and held on the 709 Air Base Cognac-Châteaubernard, this air show is organized to benefit the Fondation des Œuvres Sociales de l’Air (Foundation Social Works of Air) and will provide an opportunity to see static and aerial air displays plus learn about the work carried out by the French Air Force. Click here to learn more about the aircraft you will see.
Near the end of August, a 93-year-old widower named Tom Lackey broke his own record to become the world’s oldest wing walker. The former builder from the West Midlands broke his old record by being tied to the top of a 1943 Boeing Stearman biplane which flew at an altitude of about 1,000ft from Castle Kennedy, near Stranraer, Scotland to Derry, Northern Ireland.
(Picture: Charles McQuillan/PA)
Tom had completed his first wing walk 13 years ago at the age of 85 after the death of his wife, Isobel, who had served in the Royal Air Force. He was recognized by Guinness World Records in 2005 as the oldest person on top of an aircraft that looped the loop.
Since taking up wing walking, Tom has raked in over £1 million for charity and was even named Fundraiser of the Year at the Mirror’s 2011 Pride of Britain Awards.
However, Tom’s last one-hour-21-minute stunt was his hardest due to the wind pressure on top of the biplane e.g. just try keeping your head above the sunroof of your car while going 75 to 80 mph!
In these first two video, Tom talks about how he got into wing walking at the age of 85:
Finally, this next video tells a little bit more about Tom’s latest record breaking wing walking exploit:
Winter tends to ground most recreational pilots in lower latitudes, but not in places like Alaska where cool weather still means cool flying and even cooler videos.
In this next video, also from the Alaska Dispatch, you will learn how to safely land your aircraft in a gorge during a blizzard:
Meanwhile, a quick look around on YouTube found this cool video (the person who uploaded it has a few other great videos as well) showing what to expect in good winter conditions for flying, skiing and sightseeing around the spectacular Glacier Bay National Park:
Finally, the Aviationist blog has found a really cool video shot from a cockpit of a NASA P-3B aircraft as part of an operation under a name of Ice Bridge which is intended to examine ice conditions at both the North and South poles. Its one of the largest surveillance missions covering both the Arctic and Antarctic regions with the main goals being to create a 3D map of the ice cover:
There are a couple of UK air shows or air displays worth mentioning this weekend:
Shuttleworth Uncovered Air Display at Old Warden, Bedfordshire. The Shuttleworth Collection will be having another air display on Sunday with eighteen aircraft scheduled to fly plus visitors can have a look at the static aircraft displays as well. Book online in advance and save £5 per person (Please note online bookings close at 3pm on Saturday). Otherwise, its £25 per person on the day at the gate while children are free.
East Fortune Wheels and Wings at the National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, Scotland. Get ready for a day of amazing stunts, over 200 classic cars and vehicles, a fashion show and different forms of transport with wheels and wings at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune. Ticket prices are the following: Adult £10:50 / £8.50; Child £5 (under 5 free); Family (2 adults, 2 children) £27.50; and National Museums Scotland Members free. Note that parking is £4.00 per vehicle.
The Whole Weekend
Royal County of Berkshire Show: Air Display at the Newbury Showground, Priors Court, Hermitage, Thatcham, Berks. The Royal County of Berkshire show will have something for everyone – including a RAF Falcon Parachute display on Saturday and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight with the Land Girls Salute on Sunday. Click here for the full schedule of activities along with ticket information.
Last Sunday, 130,000 visitors came to the centre of Dublin to watch FlightFest – an event modeled on the flypast that took place during the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. Some thirty aircraft participated with the event being brought to a close by the British Airways A380 Airbus.
This first short video explains the complicated behind the scenes flight planning that was required to safely pull of FlightFest:
This next video was actually taken a few weeks before FlightFest and gives you a good birds eye view of what the pilots flying the aircraft saw on Sunday (with 130,000 added in):
If you really want to know what it was like to see FlightFest live, there is a couple of hours of footage posted in three videos on Aertv.ie here. Otherwise, this following video shows all the important action in just three minutes: