Well, it’s been a couple of days now and I’m pretty much recovered from the Avalon Airshow (although my feet are still a bit sore now & then :)
The big thing about this airshow was that it all just worked (aside from the traffic jam on Monday :). This was the first time that we had an AGO rep in the box with the “Ring Master,” allowing them to discuss the impacts of changes to plans, placement of aircraft and so on. In the past, this had happened via relaying between multiple people over radios and so on. Now that an experienced ground control person was involved from early planning through to execution, good decisions were made, people knew what was going on and bottlenecks were, on the whole, avoided.
This was reflected in comments from pilots saying how well it worked and that it was the best organised airshow they’d been to. It was also reflected in my general feeling that a lot of the chaos, madness & stress I’d experienced in past shows wasn’t present in this year’s show. Sure, we were running about and busy at times, there were occasional stuff ups but, on the whole, it just flowed.
A couple of negatives were the lack of radios for the ground staff (it’s frustrating trying to sort things out when there’s not enough people around with a good picture of what’s going on – doubt they can ever fix this one) and (the biggest annoyance of all) serving tuna sandwiches for the lunch. Not all the sandwiches were tuna on a given day, but if you were a bit late getting back to the Green Room for lunch, the “real food” would have already have been eaten. Bad luck if you hate fish, eh?
Another interesting item from this airshow included a friend of mine launching a new flight simulator based company, Flight Experience. They have a fixed-base 737-800 simulator and are offering flights to people – you can come in and see what it’s like on the cockpit of a new jet. You can also get type endorsement training and so on. Their big market though is people who just want the experience.
Once again I was able to bring Kitt and Nykolai down to have fun at the show on the Sunday, although they weren’t really impressed with the traffic hassles. Perhaps next time we can look at getting them in & out via train to Lara and the shuttle bus over. At least they had a great time and I got Nykolai into the cockpit of the Kittyhawk thanks to Steve Death (the pilot).
All up, I enjoyed it immensely and will definitely volunteer again (if I’m in Melbourne, etc :)