You wouldn’t believe the change in the weather. I realise that those of you in Scotland reading this are still being rained on, but here in Gloucestershire summer has finally arrived, if only for a few days. It’s almost 30°C outside, with not a cloud in the sky. It would be wonderful if I could bring this weather with me for Saturday.
Just a few days to go and I have had my first, and hopefully only, cancellation. At this stage there’s not a lot I can do to replace things as there isn’t time enough left to complete the necessary paperwork. We’ve unfortunately lost (or probably lost) the Hot Air Airship due to a technical problem – a great pity as I had hoped to have it flying around before the display proper as homage to the beginnings of East Fortune as a Naval airship base. My one consolation is that it doesn’t leave a hole in the display. The operating company is still hoping to be able to resurrect it, but the chances of this happening are very slim, and I have to plan accordingly.
The cancellation of display items is one of the Display Directors greatest headaches, as the knock on effect can be immense. For those of you that read my blogs last year you may remember that we had a whole host of cancellations over the last three weeks before the show, a problem which we only overcame with great effort. This time though the show is so close, and I have only one full day left in the office (I leave here for National Museum of Flight on Thursday), that the chances of finding a replacement and carrying out the copious paperwork involved is very slim indeed. Never mind, these things are sent to try us.
I have been busy over the past few days trying to make sure that everybody concerned with the display, be they pilots, airfield staff, air traffic control or anybody else has all they need to successfully support the display. I think I have it all covered, but as we all know, something will have been missed which will only become apparent on Friday or Saturday. My view is that as long as I have a robust plan and a strong team, anything that arises will be dealt with efficiently and successfully. In my mind, I have that plan, and I couldn’t wish for a better team.
I’m gathering all my kit together now, radios, books, files, office stores; everything in fact needed to run a display from a ‘bare bones’ site. My management are also keen that we have our ‘branding’ in place, so I have a large banner folded up in the corner of the office waiting to be loaded into the vehicle on Thursday morning; I just mustn’t forget the means to hang it up.
I think we are all concerned about the weather this weekend. I have purposely not checked the met office web site as I feel that it can only depress me, and as we can’t do a thing about the weather the best thing I can do is carry on regardless and concentrate on running the display as planned. If I have to modify it due to weather, I will deal with that on the day and not before.
So: here’s looking forward to another enjoyable and successful Airshow, or should I more rightly call it, the Scotland’s National Airshow. We have the aircraft, we have the team in place, and with a bit of luck we’ll have a small break in the weather. See you all on Saturday.