Posts Tagged ‘Airscene’

Two-penneth – for what its worth

Saturday, March 5th, 2016

The aviation feeds on Twitter have been buzzing since thursday when Andrew Haines published a statement on the CAA website (and quoted in the Times) taking a stab at the aviation industry and air show community as being in opposition to new safety practices.In support of BADA’s address to Mr Haines to retract his statement, it should be pointed out that no pilot or organiser that Airscene has spoken to has voiced any opposition at all over the changes now put in place. Not one single person wants to see a repeat of the Shoreham crash, not the organiers, not the pilots and certainly not the watching public.

Mr Haines comments seem to be about preservation and politics more than anything else. There hasn’t been a single fatality at a British Airshow for 63 years – a fact that I am sure gave Mr Haines comfort when making his decision’s to downsize the CAA and offer out the reponsibility of Airshow Management to BADA.

That’s a pretty good safety record – in fact more people have died on their journey to those airshows in all those 63 years, than as a result of an aeroplane crashing – and then Shoreham happens…. Shoreham happens and the organisation under Mr Haines suddenly have a job to do again. Mr Haines now has to earn his £250k per year salary, be seen to be making effective decisions and all in the very public spotlight.

So Mr Haines attacks the air show community, perhaps because he feels it is something he must do to defend his own position, a position of exorbitant increases in CAA fees, and his own departments failure to deliver full details of the regulatory changes in a timely manner.

Another possibility is that Mr Haines failed to deliver on the targets set by the Secretary of State to return profits of 6% per annum before tax. Last years Annual Return shows only 3.1%, with a reduced target for 15/16 of 3.5% (agreed by the Secretary of State).

(Wondering if Mr Haines ever worked in the Banking sector)

Perhaps Mr Haines still hasnt met those targets and his quarter million pound job is in jeopardy? Perhaps though the increases should have been expected, after all the signs were there in 2010…

“When the day is filled with billion-pound investments, toppling tour companies and strident debates with airlines and civil servants, it seemsperverse that the CAA must concern itself with penny-ante puddle-jumpers with no revenue sources that must, by any measure, cause more grief to the Authority than we are worth. Are we not an irrelevance and a distraction? We fly in the air, but so do pigeons. Is the regulation of GA not disproportionateto its ability to fund CAA regulation?

One of the first things I got stuck into at the CAA was this question of costs, Haines says. In fact, based on the information we have available to us CAA costs are very marginal.”

(Interview with Pat Malone – IAOPA Europe)

This kinda makes his declaration that “Safety must be the Priority” questionable – your priorities are pretty clear Mr Haines!. Airshows are being cancelled BECAUSE THE FEES ARE TOO HIGH – industry will suffer, charities will suffer, tourism will suffer, the public will suffer. The increase in fee’s should be reconsidered, an apology from Mr Haines should be considered, and perhaps he should go back to playing with his train set.

Airscene Awards 2015 – Results

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

Vulcan bomber at Beachy Head

If you are an aircraft enthusiast you are unlikely not to have seen the youtube video featuring the Vulcan Bomber at Beachy Head (as seen in the image above).

The video gives Airscene it’s headline news for the Airscene 2015 awards, as the passion for the Vulcan bomber (in her final display season) resulted in over 50% of overall votes casts going in her favour. Vulcan XH558 received twice as many votes as the RAF Chinook (last years winner and 2015 Runner Up) and places her as Airscene readers favourite Solo Display.

That brings us quickly on to Beach Head at Eastbourne, which is home to the winner of the Best FREE Airshow “Airbourne”… summed up quite neatly by Mrs Paula Borthwick from Peacehaven “Eastbourne Airbourne …an amazing day out … goodebumps!” – for clarification, Airscene hasn’t checked if this is a typo.

Airbourne missed out last year to Dawlish Airshow, and to South Coast Rivals Bournemouth Air Festival in 2013, but there is no doubt that the public loves Eastbourne Airshow, and they deserve to be back at the top this year.

RAF Cosford slip down to 1st Runner Up place as Airscene readers give Duxford Flying Legends the nod of approval this year in the Best Airshow category.

Best Display Team goes (for the 5th year running) the the Red Arrows, although it does appear that the gap between the Reds and the other display team is narrowing – perhaps The Blades will win it next year?

Finally in the Best Aviation Museum Category, Cosford RAF Museum cling on to the top spot, narrowly beating IWM Duxford by just 15 votes. North East Aircraft Museum squeeze out Fleet Air Arm Museum this year and are placed 3rd with 10% of the votes.

Thank You to everyone who voted – these are not industry awards, they are YOUR awards and do provide a valuable window on the public perception of how the airshows and museums are doing. That is not to say that we shouldn’t all as aviation enthusiasts be extremely proud of them ALL… now start planning your visits for 2016.

*For full results please visit

Airscene Awards 2013

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Bournemouth Air Festival 2013

Each year Airscene asks its visitors to choose their favourites from the UK airshow scene. The top 3 nominations in each category are then shortlisted for a further round of voting in order to determine the best in each category.

This years votes have now been counted and counted again and the winners can now be announced…

Yeovilton Air Day won Best Airshow this year, closely followed by RAF Cosford Airshow in 2nd place and Royal International Air Tattoo in 3rd place. RIAT has now appeared in the top 3 for the 3rd consecutive year.

The Best FREE Airshow category has in previous years seen a bit of southcoast rivalry going on between Bournemouth and Eastbourne with Eastbourne taking the crown every time (last year receiving 65% of the votes). This year see’s Eastbourne remain in the top 3 but rather robustly put in its place by Bournemouth Air Festival who have been voted Best FREE Airshow this year.

The feedback from voters praising Bournemouth’s efforts show that they have raised their game, as Amanda Lawrence from Bournemouth states “We have been to every show since it began & it just improves year after year! (Weather permitting!)

Laura Edwards says

Bournemouth air show is the best free air show I have ever been to.

Bournemouth organises this event and promotes it well too. They ensure everyone is safe and having fun.

The traffic is well organised, sign posted etc and the council even make sure there is not a spot of litter the morning after each day on the beach. Bournemouth free air show deserves to win!”

And it did Laura! Whilst the weather clearly has a big part to play, these comments serve to show it is the dedication and hardwork of the teams behind these events which keep them in the top 3.

Sunderland Air Show came 2nd whilst Eastbourne held on in 3rd place.

No Contest in the Best Display Team category with the Red Arrows scooping the majority of the votes for the 3rd year running. The Blades made a bit of a dent in the Red’s popularity and placed 2nd but there can be no doubts that the Red Arrows are firmly rooted in the public’s affections.

Runner Up last year, the RAF Chinook had a close run battle this year with Vulcan XH558, and secured 1st place as Best Solo Display by a margin of only 21 votes. Airscene loves the Vulcan but is not surprised by the Chinook taking first place – the display just keeps on evolving with pirhouettes, pedal turns and nose down quick stops… All that is left to say is Wokka Wokka Wokka…

Finally… RAF Museum Cosford have beaten IWM Duxford to be crowned Best Aviation Museum 2013 by just 9 votes! Cosford also won this category in 2011, however were the only museum nominated that year. 3rd place went to the Fleet Air Arm Museum who scooped 30% of the votes – all in all a very tight category this year.

A full breakdown of the voting can be seen at:

Thankyou to the teams behind the Airshows, Museums and Displays Teams for educating and entertaining us over the last 12 months.

And Thankyou to all who voted this year, and for giving a little something back in recognition of the hard work and dedication of all those shortlisted.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Great 2014!



(Photo credit: BBC News)

Airscene Awards 2012 results

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Eastbourne “Airbourne” Airshow supporters have voted en masse in this years awards, pipping Bournemouth to the title of Best Free Airshow by a ratio of almost 2 to 1.

Both airshows are always very well received, and are two of the biggest draws each airshow season – to be fair the airshow itself is pretty much the same throughout at each venue. Airscene wouldnt like to pick a favourite – the beaches are similar, as is the weather, and once you have had one hot dog, then you have had them all. Perhaps the secret is in the hospitality, and very likely in the organisation – Eastbourne is certainly very good at rallying its support, calling on the following to tick their box a full 3 weeks before Bournemouth did.

For the second year running the Red Arrows have won Best Display Team, and by a whopping margin – receiving 77% of the votes, beating airshow newcomers “The Korean Black Eagles” into 2nd place.

The iconic Vulcan Bomber achieved the same number of votes in the Best Solo Display category – and Yes, it would appear these were mostly the same people who voted for the Reds.

In the Best Aviation Museum category Duxford Imperial War Museum storms ahead with 69% of the vote against just 31% for RAF Museum Hendon.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, last years winners of Best Airshow (RIAT) were just squeezed out by Duxford Flying Legends. All three airshow nominated in this category are regarded by many (well Airscene anyway) as the Big Three, so the result is no surprise – just 14 votes difference (from a total of 454 cast in this category). Waddington Airshow did not fare as well, receiving just 60 votes – Airscene thinks it should have been a 3-way tie with each scoring 33% – but then who will cast the deciding vote?

Thankyou to everyone who took part, and to see the full results from this years awards please visit:

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Airscene 2014 Airshow Calendar Competition

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

Next years competition will officially open on 1st May 2014, there are a few changes from previous years, and it starts with the early entry phase, which opens today.

2013cc winning entry <<< The 2013cc winning entry.

The early entry phase is for photos which were taken during the 2012 airshow season, max 1 entry per person/household in the early entry phase. Shortlisting for this phase will take place in April and there are only 25 places on the shortlist for early entries.

Other changes to nexts years competition include a maximum number of available shortlist places (150 in total including the early entry phase) – each of the 5 months from May to September will have an allocation of 25 places, however unused places will be carried over to the next month.

As usual sponsors will be contacted in the new year, so there are no prizes currently listed, but rest assured there will be a whole pot of goodies up for grabs again.

For further information and to enter please visit

Good Luck!

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Airscene 2013 Photobook

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

The Airscene 2013 Photobook is now available for sale:

The photobook is made up of selected entries from the Airscene 2013 Airshow Calendar competition. As with previous editions, not every entry has been lucky enough to be selected for an appearance in the book, however a number of entrants do appear twice – such was the quality of their submissions.

In the 2011 and 2012 editions images were grouped by aircraft type and were accompanied by textual information in a few places. This year the images have been grouped by airshow – with images accompanied by the photographers name. In addition to the photographs, one page has been used to show off free Airscene Calendar (useful for winners to showcase their own work) and the final page details the fundraising Red Arrows prints that artist Terry Jones created earlier in the year to raise money for the Jon Egging trust and the RAF benevolent fund.

News on the next competition will be announced this week, in the meantime I hope you enjoy your book.

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What are you doing on sunday 7th July 2013?

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Wrong! Well at least one of you is… One of you (namely the winner of this years calendar competition) will be going to RAF Waddington International Airshow (Waddo as it is affectionately know by its tens of thousands of fans) with a vehicle pass (for vehicle and up to 5 persons) courtesy of the team at Waddington.

Waddo is one of the UK’s biggest and favourite airshows, with typical crowds averaging 140,000.  This year saw the arrival of the Black Eagles in the UK, now there will be some who stop me to credit RIAT with this, but hey… Waddo showcased them first – all credit for having an earlier date in the calendar.

The main purpose of the event is to increase public awareness and understanding of the RAF and its role today. All proceeds from the Air Show are donated to RAF and local charities each year.

The spectacular 7-hour flying display normally features the fabulous Red Arrows, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, the RAF Falcons freefall parachute team and many more military and civilian aircraft from the UK; it is also heavily supported by military forces from around the world. Ground displays include 2 exhibition hangars, funfair, classic cars display, pleasure flying and much more!

To find out more about Waddo Airshow visit

To enter the Airscene 2013 Calendar Competition visit

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2013 Calendar Competition

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Less than 4 weeks to go folks, so if you havent got any entries in yet – best pull your fingers out.

Still in discussions and hoping to make at least one more prize announcement later this week.

And finally, all entries submitted now MUST be taken during 2012.

I look forward to receiving your entries,

Good Luck ,


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Airscene Ebook

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

The Airscene 2012 photobook is now available in ebook format.

The publishers have recently made the format available so I jumped at the opportunity of getting the book converted for those who expressed an interest earlier in the year.

The book is prices at £4.99 and contains a selection of winning entries from last years calendar competition.

*All profits from the sale of both the print and ebook formats are used to cover the costs of hosting fees and administration in running the Airscene competitions.

The Dambusters Raid

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

On May 17th 1943 the Royal Air Force carried out one of the most remarkable raids ever undertaken by any aircrew. On that night a squadron of Lancaster heavy bombers flew at low level across a blacked out Europe, towards the four great dams that delivered water and power to the German industrial heartland of the Ruhr.

That raid is immortalised on the front of the Dambusters T Shirt, and is being given away as runners up prizes in this years Calendar Competition, courtesy of RAF Museum Cosford.

For full prize table so far, and to enter this years competition please visit

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