Category Archives: Airshow news

Yak-52 crashes at Polish airshow, one killed

PLOCK | A German display pilot was killed in an accident at the Płocki Piknik Lotniczy on Saturday 15th June.

The Yak-52 aircraft crashed into the Vistula River after entering what appears to be a flat spin, from which the pilot could not recover.

The organisers said the airshow, who had been working to bring it back for several years, said: “Unfortunately, fate wanted that a tragic accident to happen at the very beginning of the show. We are terribly sorry and sad and we are very sorry for the family, friends and friends of the pilot Ralf “Buri” Burescha. Please accept the deepest condolences from us.

“We know he was very happy to be able to present himself to the audience.”

The organisers said many pilots were keen to go ahead with the following day’s displays, but this was disallowed by the authorities.

“Our greatest show” – Dunsfold organisers prepare for final ever Wings & Wheels

DUNSFOLD PARK | The organisers of Dunsfold Wings & Wheels have announced two special formations to feature at this weekend’s event, which will be the final airshow held at Dunsfold.

The airshow will pay tribute to the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings with a special formation display featuring B-17G Flying Fortress “Sally B” and Aces High’s DC-3, which participated in the ‘Daks Over Normandy’ event last week. They will also stage an ‘Ultimate Fighters’ formation comprising a Hawker Sea Fury and Hurricane Mk.I.

This is in addition to a host of other airshow acts, including the Little and Large Extra Duo, a pair of Strikemaster jets, the Red Arrows, a pair of Spitfires from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, The Blades, The Turbulent Team, O’Brien’s Flying Circus, Richard Goodwin’s Pitts S-2S, P-51D Mustang “The Shark” and the FireFlies Display Team.

Closing the show will be Hawker Hurricane G-HITT, owned by the family of Hugh Taylor. Mr Taylor, who met his wife at Dunsfold Aerodrome, passed away in March, making his former Hurricane a potent finale to the last ever airshow at Dunsfold.

Jamie McAllister, Event Director, Wings & Wheels said: “The history of the site is incredibly important and we have been able to reflect that throughout the Show and, more poignantly, in the air. Over the years we have tried to add a little extra magic in the air with some memorable and unusual formation displays. We are thrilled to have such iconic aircraft, with close ties to the Aerodrome, displaying together this weekend.

Mr McAllister said it is “bittersweet” to commemorate the show’s past achievements, but also to “say goodbye with one last hurrah.”

“It is something we are truly very proud of and are looking forward to celebrating,” he said.

Dunsfold Wings and Wheels began in 2006, but has been forced to come to an end because the airfield will soon be demolished to make way for new housing.

Bournemouth Air Festival release star-studded lineup

BOURNEMOUTH | The Bournemouth Air Festival – one of the largest airshows in the world in terms of attendance – has released its much-awaited 2019 lineup.

Photo: Paul Kolbe

Modern and classic jets will have a starring role in the show, with the headline acts including the RAF Typhoon FGR.4 and Saab J-35 Draken of the Swedish Air Force Historic Flight. This year is expected to see the first displays by the Swedish Air Force Historic Flight in the mainland UK since 2014.

Further classic jets will include the Norwegian Air Force Historic Flight MiG-15 and T-33 Shooting Star – the latter being a particularly rare sight in UK skies – and the BAC Strikemaster Mk.82.

Photo: James Connolly

Also eagerly anticipated will be the new Ultimate Fighters display team from Ultimate Warbird Flights, featuring the Buchon, Mustang, Spitfire and Thunderbolt, as well as more established Bournemouth favourites such as the Blades, flying four Extra 300Ls and Rich Goodwin’s Pitts S-2S “Muscle Biplane”.

The military will provide several acts; the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire), RAF Tucano T.1, RAF Chinook Mk.6, the Royal Navy Black Cats (Wildcat HMA.2) and the Army’s Tigers parachute team.

Photo: James Connolly

Participating in the traditional Night Air event will be the RAF Typhoon, the Army’s Red Devils parachute team, the FireFlies and O’Brien’s Flying Circus’ Schweiser SC300, “Otto the Helicopter”.

Notably, Bournemouth will not host a major jet team this year due to the Red Arrows’ North American tour.

The Bournemouth Air Festival will be held from the 29th August-1st September and is free to attend.

Air Tattoo confirm Romanian MiG-21 for the flying display

FAIRFORD | A rare Soviet jet fighter design will be making a long-awaited return to the Royal International Air Tattoo this year, it was confirmed today.

The Romanian Air Force will again attempt to display a MiG-21 LanceR in the flying display as part of the 70th anniversary of NATO celebrations. The type last participated in the RIAT flying display in 2001, and in the static display in 2005.

Last year, after much negotiation, Romania promised a MiG-21 for the show, but withdrew after a fatal accident during a flying demonstration in their home country just days beforehand.

The Romanian Air Force will also provide a C-27J Spartan for the static display.

UK and France mark D-Day anniversary with historic flypasts

Large-scale flypasts in southern England and northern France marked the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings on Wednesday 5th June.

The Daks Over Normandy event brought together over 30 vintage Dakotas from around the world, coinciding with official commemorations in Portsmouth and in Normandy.

The UK’s official commemorative event was be held at Southsea Common in Portsmouth on Wednesday 5th June, attended by the Queen, the British Prime Minister, the US President, 16 other world leaders and 300 veterans of the operation.

The event included flypasts of 25 military aircraft, including a Spitfire, Hurricane, Wildcat helicopter, two Merlins, two Hercules, a Sentinel, A330 Voyager, four Hawk T.1s, two Typhoon FGR.4s and the nine Hawk T.1As of the Red Arrows. The Red Arrows returned for a full flying display later in the afternoon.

On the same day, a formation of over 20 Dakotas, escorted by P-51D Mustangs, Beech 18s and T-6 Texans, took off from Duxford en-route to France as the culmination of Daks Over Duxford. In addition, Duxford saw warbird displays and flypasts, flying displays by C-47s and DC-3s and a flyby from the United States Air Force over the weekend.

The main Dakota formation flew low over Colchester, Southend-on-Sea, Medway, Maidstone and Eastbourne before crossing the English Channel to France, flying over Le Havre before commencing a parachute drop at Sannerville, landing at Caen shortly afterwards.

Also on the 5th June, a variety of aircraft staged flypasts and parachute jumps at Carentan, including Dakotas, Spitfires, a Staggerwing and military aircraft from France, the UK and the USA. Hundreds  of jumpers took part, including re-enaction groups and military teams such as the  Red Devils and Golden Knights. Several veterans of the operation also participated in tandem jumps.

The French and US heads of state met in France on the Thursday 6th June for further commemorative events, which included a flypast of specially-painted F-15s. On the same day, the RAF Red  Arrows staged a flypast over Arromanches.

Further jumps from the US military and historic aircraft continued around Caen over the following days.

Wings Over North Georgia Airshow cancelled for 2019

ROME, GA | The Wings Over North Georgia Airshow has been officially cancelled, but will return in 2020.

The airshow organisers confirmed today that this year’s event, scheduled for the 31st August-1st September, has been called off. No reason was given in the official media advisory.

The event was due to be headlined by the USAF F-16C Viper Demo Team and the Aeroshell aerobatic team, but no jet aerobatic team was scheduled to fly. The Thunderbirds will headline next year’s show, which will take place on the 24th-25th October.

At previous events, the Thunderbirds have operated from a remote location due to the size of the runway at Rome. With extension works due to be completed before the 2020 show, the Thunderbirds will stage out of Richard B. Russel Regional Airport for the first time. The organisers say this will provide “a better experience for air show spectators and the jet demonstration team.”

Tickets for the 2019 show will be refunded by ETIX and other fees, such as camping bookings, will be repaid by the airshow office.

RSAF prepares for Singapore National Day Parade flypast

SINGAPORE | The Republic of Singapore Air Force have released a rehearsal schedule ahead of this year’s National Day Parade, marking the bicentennial of the founding of modern Singapore.

The event, which will this year be held at The Padang, traditionally features flypasts and, on occasion, a short aerial display segment, featuring a variety of helicopters, jets and transport types from the RSAF’s inventory. This year, that will include the NDP debut of the air force’s new A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport.

Traditional favourites include the Red Lions freefall team, the flag tow (featuring a Chinook and two Apaches) and the Salute to the Nation bomb burst, usually performed by five F-15SGs.

As well as the main public event on the 9th August, airshow fans can watch a number of rehearsal sessions, which often attract smaller crowds and can take place in better lighting conditions. The best viewing spots are usually found around Marina Bay, with many spotters ascending nearby skyscrapers for a birds-eye view. This year’s rehearsal schedule is as follows:

Date Time (local) Event
Jun 4 08:30-13:00 RSAF Internal Rehearsal 1
Jun 7 08:30-13:00 RSAF Internal Rehearsal 2
Jun 15 11:30-14:30 RSAF Internal Rehearsal 3
Jun 15 17:30-20:30 Combined Rehearsal 1
Jun 22 17:30-20:30 Combined Rehearsal 2
Jun 29 17:30-20:30 Combined Rehearsal 3
Jul 6 17:30-20:30 National Education Show 1
Jul 13 17:30-20:30 National Education Show 2
Jul 20 17:30-20:30 National Education Show 3
Jul 27 17:30-20:30 National Day Parade Preview 1*
Aug 3 17:30-20:30 National Day Parade Preview 2*
Aug 9 17:30-20:30 National Day Parade 2019*

*Reserve slot scheduled for the same time the next day in event of cancellation due to weather.

Red Bull pulls the plug on the Red Bull Air Race

The Red Bull Air Race will wrap up for good after an abbreviated 2019 season, it was announced today.

In a surprise announcement, the Air Race said that “Red Bull has decided not to continue the Red Bull Air Race World Championship beyond the 2019 season.”

They added: “The Red Bull Air Race provided sports entertainment of highest quality but did not attract the level of outside interest as many other Red Bull events across the world. Red Bull thanks the pilots, their teams, partners, the host cities as well as the Red Bull employees for all they have done to make these enjoyable and memorable events.”

Just four of the eight planned races will go ahead this year: the Abu Dhabi round, which has already been staged, Kazan, Russia June 15-16), Lake Balaton, Hungary (13-14 July) and Chiba, Japan (7-8 September). Planned races in the USA and Saudi Arabia have been dropped.

Confirming the American race had been cancelled, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway said they and their fans would be “disappointed” not to host the air race again. “We enjoyed watching the pilots navigate the unique course over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway grounds,” they said. “We were especially excited to see American pilot Michael Goulian celebrate a well-earned victory last year.”

Customers who have already purchased tickets will receive a refund.

Martin Sonka, the 2018 World Champion, was the first pilot to comment online, describing the announcement as “really sad news” and indicating he had only heard of the decision earlier that day.

In a statement, Matt Hall Racing said: “While disappointed that a sport, which had significant potential to succeed, will be no longer, Matt Hall Racing express their gratitude to Red Bull for the opportunity to compete at the top level of aviation for the past eight seasons.”

The unique motorsport, which began in 2003, sees a selection of elite pilot flying highly-modified raceplanes around a course of inflatable pylons. More than 90 races have taken place around the world, in locations as diverse as Longleat in the UK, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the USA and the Swan River in Perth, Australia.

Blue Angels retire long-serving C-130T “Fat Albert”

PENSACOLA | The US Navy Blue Angels officially retired their C-130 support plane, affectionately known as “Fat Albert”, on Wednesday 22nd May.

Photo: David Leadingham

The aircraft, which joined the team in 2002, has had a decreased presence on the airshow circuit for the past few years after long-running maintenance and fleet groundings.

The Blue Angels described the retirement as “a bittersweet day”, saying that Fat Albert had served the Blue Angels “honorably” and accumulated over 30,000 flight hours with the team. They said: “While this may come as a shock to many of our fans, we have known this day was coming. Fat Albert will enjoy her retirement as a ground-based training aid in Fort Worth, Texas.”

The C-130T, which was formerly a much-loved part of the Blue Angels’ show, made its flying display debut at the Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow at Pensacola in 2002. In 2009 it became the last Hercules to use JATO rockets on take-off.

The aircraft was grounded in August 2016 for maintenance, when it was discovered that a complete overhaul was required. A year later, the entire C-130T fleet was grounded after a fatal accident. She re-joined the team in July 2018, but has rarely flown for the public since then.

The Blue Angels will use fleet-provided aircraft for transport and logistics until a permanent replacement can be identified. It has been speculated that the US Navy may acquire a C-130J Hercules C.5 from the Royal Air Force for this purpose.

Brand new Vintage Evening Airshow at Duxford cancelled

DUXFORD |Next week’s Vintage Evening Airshow at Duxford, hosted by the Historic Aircraft Collection, has been cancelled due to weather.

Photo: Roy Gore

The event, scheduled for Saturday 22nd June, was due to see all the Historic Aircraft Collection’s planes take to the sky, as well as a small number of visiting aircraft. This was to include the much-awaited display debut of the newly-restored Airco DH.9,

However, the Imperial War Museum said that the weather forecast for this week and for the day of the event now means that the DH.9 is unlikely to be ready in time, forcing them to take the “difficult decision” to cancel the show.

Historian Andy Saunders said on Twitter that he’d been asked to share the news that the event had been cancelled due to “technical reasons”.

Ticket holders have been contacted by the Imperial War Museum with further information.