Airshow number two has been and gone! Sunday was the main day of the Old Buckenham Airshow for 2013 and what was essentially just a grand day out for the Little Gransden contingent – Adrian Willis of the British Aerobatic Academy and Chris Burkett of G-Force Aerobatics both accompanied me over to display too – 3 ship transit flying is always a good laugh, and I think our arrival together out of the clutches of the rain made for a good initial impression.

There’s something altogether surreal about arriving at an airshow to find yourself watched by hundreds, if not thousands of people, whilst trapped inside the confines of your cockpit for several minutes as the rain hammers on the fabric of the wings and perspex canopy, the controls moving around of their own accord in the wind as a storm blows over. It didn’t bode too well for the show in those moments I must say.


The rain did stop, at least for the odd while. Sadly it seemed to wait for my slot to give us another short burst of wetness! The wind didn’t abate either, the display conditions were certainly some of the most challenging I’ve ever faced – flying aerobatics in such extreme winds whilst dodging the rain really does present some issues!

June 23, 2013 - IMG_2185-Edit - G-BKDR, Pitts, S-1S

June 23, 2013 - IMG_7778-Edit - G-BKDR, Pitts, S-1S

June 23, 2013 - IMG_7783-Edit - G-BKDR, Pitts, S-1S

Despite the sub-optimal display conditions and rain showers the show was actually a very great success. Just as with the Welshpool show I spent a great deal of time on the ground meeting and talking to people, both before and after my display. Watching my friends perform is also always excellent, and with this show being Adrian’s first ever I felt very privileged to have shared in the day with him and to have watched him fly a really rather fantastic display. The stresses and emotions are very unique and the camaraderie between fellow show performers is rather unique.

I adore display flying and airshows in particular really do feel quite special to me for so many reasons. Seeing so many people waving and cheering watching my flying just doesn’t feel real.

I love this photo taken on my last pass – the capture of my grin and wave to the crowd as ‘KDR and I float down the display line sideways really does seem to picture for me something of how it all feels:

June 23, 2013 - IMG_7796-Edit - G-BKDR, Pitts, S-1S

I managed to throw together a short crop of one of my camera angles during the show to publish, hopefully this gives a good idea of the vibe and conditions of the day!

Many thanks to Adam Duffield for the use of his images here.