With a just over a couple of weeks to go to Scotland’s National Airshow, things are organised and it’s given me a chance to reflect on some past East Fortune moments. I’ve been involved in this event now for seven years, so fond memories have built up over the years at this friendly event.
East Fortune memories
Some of the highlights for me include:
- The first Huey display we had, when our commentator Ben Dunnell said nothing and just played The Doors’, Riders on the Storm over the PA – hair-raising stuff.
- The slow speed formation flypast of the Swordfish and Sea King.
- The Norwegian Air Force P3 Orion in 2015. It looked spectacularly large over the site and was very impressive.
- The visit of the Swiss PC7 team in 2016. This was a truly brilliant display, and the team won the hearts of the whole audience.
East fortune hilarities
My memories have also included some funny moments
Every now and then the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will carry out an inspection of a flying display, looking at all aspects of the event and its organisation. Well, we were being inspected and I’d arranged to meet the inspector at the aircrew flying display briefing, which is carried out at an Edinburgh Airport on the morning of the display.
All the crews were present, and the inspector was waiting in reception. My team and I parked the car and opened the boot to get the laptop, projector etc. to set up the briefing room – deathly silence as we looked at an empty boot!!
I knew exactly where everything was of course – it was safe and sound where I’d left it, on my bed in Aberlady, 22 miles away and it was 40 minutes to briefing time. I can’t really describe my feelings – apparently I went a very strange colour.
So, send the team into the hotel to buy the inspector a coffee, back into the car, and back to Aberlady pick up kit, then back to Edinburgh
In the end, the briefing was only 15 minutes late and we got an ‘excellent’ from the CAA. Not very funny at the time, but hilarious now, especially to my colleagues who watched my face drain of colour.
Splashing in puddles
The second one concerns a couple of the audience. We were waiting for the Typhoon to arrive I think, and as I looked out of the control cabin I saw two small girls, about 5 or 6 years old, who had obviously been bought new wellies. They very obviously couldn’t care less what aircraft we were waiting for, or even if the display was going to carry on – all they wanted to do was jump up and down in muddy puddles (shades of Peppa Pig – I do have grandchildren) and they were having an absolute ball. We cater for everybody at the East Fortune show.
Air display stars for 2017
We will be presenting another excellent afternoon’s flying for Scotland’s National Airshow 2017. Once we know what timings the military participants we place them on the display timeline. They become the fixed points in our air display, around which everything else is built.
Our air display order will be under wraps until 22 July, when it will be revealed in all its glory in the printed programme. Of course there can be last-minute operation changes out of our control, but at the time of writing in ascending order is this year’s air display line-up:
- Avro Lancaster
- BAC Jet Provost Pair
- Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress Sally B
- Boeing CH-47 Chinook
- Bristol Blenheim
- Dornier Do 228-212
- Eurofighter Typhoon
- Grob Tutor
- Hawker Hurricane
- P-51D Mustang
- Percival Pembroke
- Piper J-3 Cub
- Pitts S-2S Special
- Red Arrows
- Rockwell OV-10 Bronco
- RotorSport UK MT-03 autogyro
- Supermarine Spitfire
- Twister Aerobatic Team
- Westland Wasp
Keep an eye on flying features of our air display stars here: http://www.nms.ac.uk/airshowstars
Find out all you need to know about Scotland’s National Airshow 2017 at nms.ac.uk/airshow
Event programme subject to change.