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Scotlands National Airshow is a spectacular day out for all the family. Aircraft old and new take to the skies for an afternoon of breathtaking aerial displays. The RAF’s supersonic Typhoon display team will take centre stage, with a Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. We welcome back the breathtaking Breitling Wingwalkers, the P51 Mustang and the Sea King helicopter amongst others.
Another year has passed and here we are again preparing for the Airshow at National Museum of Flight - this is therefore part 1 of my ‘East Fortune 2013’ story.
Last week a meeting took place at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune to discuss the coming show and to ensure coordination between the National Museum of Flight team, the emergency services and other interested parties. I always look on this meeting as the start of the display planning ‘proper’, as it’s the first time all those involved get together to talk about our aspirations and plans.
The display planning involves quite a number of different agencies including the police, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Ambulance, East Lothian Council and St Andrews First Aid for emergency planning and support, the AA, Traffic Scotland and BEAR Scotland for road and traffic management, and various companies dealing in security, marshalling and car parking, as well as the usual agencies and the museum staff involved with actually delivering the show on the day. I am pleased to say that the meeting was successful on all counts, with everyone satisfied with their place in the plan and all the changes from last year understood.
This meeting was only the start of a busy couple of days for me, so from East Fortune It was back in the car to Edinburgh Airport to speak with the Airport Authority, Air Traffic Control and the aircraft Handling Agents. It would be impossible for me to organise the flying display without the help and assistance of these three organisations as Edinburgh is a busy airport, and the coordination plan for getting aircraft in and out on display day can be quite complex. With this in mind, a face to face meeting with all concerned is always a good idea, and also helps build good working relationships. I shall be parking several aircraft at Edinburgh for the display, and as always the Edinburgh authorities were helpful and understanding which gives me a warm fuzzy feeling about the developing plan. It was also a fine opportunity to sort out display day domestic issues for the crews – even pilots have to eat!!
After all these meetings I always try to find a little ‘me’ time while I’m up here, as it’s such a beautiful part of the world. This time it took the guise of a flight in a pre-war biplane. It was lovely to fly over the Bass Rock, and to check out all the golf courses along the Forth, especially Muirfield, with the stands in place ready for the Open. I picked the right time as well; although the weather was glorious for the flight, an hour after we landed it was throwing it down with hailstones!! I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to Scottish weather. Then it was back in the car for a relaxing (?) drive back to Gloucestershire.
It’s always a good feeling to have these initial planning meetings under your belt and some decisions made. Even at this early stage, the more things I have decided the easier the planning process becomes. I already have numerous aircraft planned and allocated to the display – you can find out more about the display highlights here. Suffice it to say that I think we’re going to have an excellent display this year, and I’m looking forward to another brilliant (and hopefully dry) day at the Airshow in July.