In my last editorial I wrote about the tragic accident at Shoreham (UK) in which 11 people were killed when a vintage Hawker Hunter jet crashed on a motorway. The accident investigation is still underway, however the impact of this incident has rocked the air show scene (at least in UK) to its core. Already, some privately organised shows have been cancelled due to the restrictions placed on them by the authorities and there is no doubt more cancellations will follow. For the time being the remaining air shows (eventually there will only be the big players) have been reduced to what I call a “German level”. Germany had a fantastic air show scene up until August 1988, however after the tragic accident at Ramstein AB this great scene disappeared almost over night. What’s left today is a far cry compared to what you could have seen before. Safety first – Absolutely, there is no denying that, but what I do argue is what actually constitutes a safe airshow and what does not!
What authorities have done in the UK might please the politicians and mainstream media, both of whom actually believe these restrictions will make airshows safer. Of course there would be no more accidents if you simply killed off airshows completely! If this was the case then why don’t we also stop all forms of motor racing along with a whole myriad of other sports and entertainment so we can all then live in a “safer” world? I think you can figure that one out for yourself. Whenever something goes wrong at an air show its always the same people that are the loudest. These are the same ones telling the “public” that WE have to tighten safety measurements following another terrorist attack and from this moment we are all now safe – thank you.
PS: To be honest, I never thought I would discuss my political views in any of my editorials. After 20+ years of covering these great events worldwide I am just upset with all these ignorant ....... (well, I can’t write down my true thoughts here, but I think you know what I mean). I’m also terribly sorry for all those people whom I met (or not ) in the past, the organisers, air show pilots, supporters, etc, all of whom are affected by these absolutely stupid and senseless new rules & regulations now being enforced in the UK. They are as stupid and senseless there as they are here in Germany and they make very few people happy – myself included!
Rob Kysela / CHK6
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