Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby capercaillie on Wed 10 Aug 2016, 5:15 pm

Do you think he left after the Bearcat and just listed the rest of the programme? :dunno:

All I can say is he was easily pleased. IAT's static gets 7/10 compared to Farnborough 8/10, IAT venue 7/10 compared to Farnborough 9/10 - seriously? :whistle: :facepalm:

Quite what the photo of a USAF C-17 is doing in the RIAT review as well, I have no idea? :dunno: Quality stuff.
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby WG655 on Wed 10 Aug 2016, 5:23 pm

FIA was far from a perfect show in 2016, particularly up against the likes of RIAT and Yeovilton. Why, therefore, does the review do nothing but praise? The criticisms offered seem fairly picky in the grand scheme of things.

Can the author of the piece confirm whether or not they had a press pass or if they really stick by those views? A reminder of why UKAR is prepared to go against the grain where necessary rather than pander to the wishes of organisers in return for cheaper/free tickets.
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby Rampvan on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 7:48 am

But UKAR didnt do a review...... They felt FIA16 not worthy of one, so you cant really say that they were prepared to go against the grain :whistle:
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby Rampvan on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 7:55 am

Something i posted on FC a while back

Well once again the Moaners have had their field day be saying how bad the show was going to be, displays over the wilderness, displays at heights airliners cross the atlantic, overpriced excuse for an airshow blah blah blah, yet once again a sellout, twitter has seen nothing but praise for a great show, people oohing and arring at the displays presented..... Even one or two enthuisasts on the aviation forums saying it was actually quite good considering the negative feed back the show was getting beforehand, almost like the stay campaigners were with brexit ! So has anyone considered that perhaps, for joe public anyway, that Farnborough offers the correct mix of aviation related displays, has anyone considered that RIAT (for example) is just a collection of rather noisy grey fast jets flying around the hard to get to countryside that is Fairford, joe public doesnt understand the enthusiasts joy at seeing a grey plane with a bit of colour on it (special schemes to you and me) and frankly nor do I but thats a different story. The stars of this years show at RIAT, 2 x F4 with gauwdy tanks, they flew in, they parked up, they didnt move for a week and they flew out again after the show :dunno:
I'm sure 2018 will again be a sellout for FIA18 I'm sure that in january the same old faces will start their hate campaign against FIA18... And 2 years from now we will be in exacly the same place we are now !
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby Dragon Rapide on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 8:06 am

Rampvan wrote:! So has anyone considered that perhaps, for joe public anyway, that Farnborough offers the correct mix of aviation related displays, has anyone considered that RIAT (for example) is just a collection of rather noisy grey fast jets flying around the hard to get to countryside that is Fairford, joe public doesnt understand the enthusiasts joy at seeing a grey plane with a bit of colour on it (special schemes to you and me) and frankly nor do I but thats a different story.!


I think you are probably spot on. I think many of us find it hard to detach ourselves from our enthusiasm and see the shows form the public's perspective.
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby st24 on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 10:27 am

Dragon Rapide wrote:
Rampvan wrote:! So has anyone considered that perhaps, for joe public anyway, that Farnborough offers the correct mix of aviation related displays, has anyone considered that RIAT (for example) is just a collection of rather noisy grey fast jets flying around the hard to get to countryside that is Fairford, joe public doesnt understand the enthusiasts joy at seeing a grey plane with a bit of colour on it (special schemes to you and me) and frankly nor do I but thats a different story.!


I think you are probably spot on. I think many of us find it hard to detach ourselves from our enthusiasm and see the shows form the public's perspective.


Indeed, and I think Rampvan's post speaks a lot of sense. However this is an aviation, moreover airshow forum and so the majority of points of view will be biased from "our side of the fence" so to speak. I do however find the lack of a UKAR review very poor form and one that stinks a bit of photo-snobbery. I've also lambasted "This is flight's" reviews before as they are written in a very immature, unprofessional manner (IMO).
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby Rampvan on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 10:46 am

Well its the only review I've seen so thats the one we have, of course if UKAR, the self proclaimed best air show site on the web cant be arsed to review it what choice do we have ! :question:
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby Dan O'Hagan on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 9:20 pm

An airshow which treats the paying punter and enthusiast as a mug and cash cow, in the way modern Farnborough does, does not deserve the publicity of a review on UKAR.

UKAR quite right to avoid this show like the plague.
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby LN Strike Eagle on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 9:35 pm

Rampvan wrote:Well its the only review I've seen so thats the one we have, of course if UKAR, the self proclaimed best air show site on the web cant be arsed to review it what choice do we have ! :question:

Where does UKAR make that proclamation?

We had nobody there. We had nobody at Legends either AFAIK. I don't think we had anybody at East Fortune. We'll probably have nobody at Hearne Bay. We may not have anybody at Little Gransden. Need I go on? We're not obliged to attend any airshow, regardless of how much you think we should - it's a hobby for us, just like it is for everyone else on this website.

We review airshows on tickets we buy, not on free press passes. If Farnborough doesn't entice any of us to put our hands in our pockets, it won't be reviewed. We're under no pressure to waste our money on events we have no desire to attend - whether that's because of ticket price, participation lists, poor weather, a bad reputation, a clash of dates or any other reason, is irrelevant. We will attend events we want to attend.
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby TKK 140 on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 10:44 pm

I volunteer to report on Lt Gransden.
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby Rampvan on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 10:51 pm

Can someone remind me what UKAR stands for? ... Perhaps I'm missing something translation !
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby LN Strike Eagle on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 10:55 pm

Rampvan wrote:Can someone remind me what UKAR stands for? ... Perhaps I'm missing something translation !

Yes - everything I said above.
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby Dan O'Hagan on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 10:57 pm

TKK 140 wrote:I volunteer to report on Lt Gransden.


It doesn't work like that.

UKAR might decide to ask someone for a guest report, and the decision is made with standards of written English and photography firmly in mind. Geoff (st24) has been approached in the past, for example.

The standards UKAR set have been the highest over 20 years for good reason.
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby boff180 on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 11:32 pm

st24 wrote:
Indeed, and I think Rampvan's post speaks a lot of sense. However this is an aviation, moreover airshow forum and so the majority of points of view will be biased from "our side of the fence" so to speak. I do however find the lack of a UKAR review very poor form and one that stinks a bit of photo-snobbery. I've also lambasted "This is flight's" reviews before as they are written in a very immature, unprofessional manner (IMO).


Author of the 2012 and 2014 UKAR review here....

Whilst I can't speak for other staffers I can assure you my non-attendance in 2016 had nothing to do with photo-snobbery, I find the runway handy for some unique shots.

Instead my non-attendance was a choice following the abysmal experience of the overall show I had in 2014 and the fact that due to pay days falling where they are in relation to it and Fairford for me, I could not justify or afford the expenditure and annual leave to attend two shows back to back. Particularly as the only reason I would have been attending FIA was to cover it for UKAR. I'm not made of money or leave!

As Dan says we are all volunteers. When I read comments like this, considering a number of the Staff team (including me) spend our own money and use our own annual leave to generate content for the site for you to read (especially the features section during the off season), it does make me wonder why any of us even bother.
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby TKK 140 on Fri 12 Aug 2016, 7:11 am

Dan O'Hagan wrote:
TKK 140 wrote:I volunteer to report on Lt Gransden.


It doesn't work like that.

UKAR might decide to ask someone for a guest report, and the decision is made with standards of written English and photography firmly in mind. Geoff (st24) has been approached in the past, for example.

The standards UKAR set have been the highest over 20 years for good reason.



It could work like that, if no one from UKAR could attend a show, it could ask members to submit reports for a members report section or similar. That way it might also find some new contributors.
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby Dragon Rapide on Fri 12 Aug 2016, 7:49 am

Just what crossed my mind in view of the previous and entirely justified comments from the staffers. After all the forum is for its members so if they can help why not, accepting a degree of QC over content.
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby Dan O'Hagan on Fri 12 Aug 2016, 9:22 am

TKK 140 wrote:
Dan O'Hagan wrote:
TKK 140 wrote:I volunteer to report on Lt Gransden.


It doesn't work like that.

UKAR might decide to ask someone for a guest report, and the decision is made with standards of written English and photography firmly in mind. Geoff (st24) has been approached in the past, for example.

The standards UKAR set have been the highest over 20 years for good reason.



It could work like that, if no one from UKAR could attend a show, it could ask members to submit reports for a members report section or similar. That way it might also find some new contributors.


Somewhere where people can submit photographs and a write-up?

You mean, like, er, a forum? :roll:
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby Pringles on Fri 12 Aug 2016, 10:15 am

Okay then, I'm the deputy editor of This is Flight so would like to respond to a few of the points raised:

capercaillie wrote:Do you think he left after the Bearcat and just listed the rest of the programme? :dunno:

All I can say is he was easily pleased. IAT's static gets 7/10 compared to Farnborough 8/10, IAT venue 7/10 compared to Farnborough 9/10 - seriously? :whistle: :facepalm:

Our RIAT report score was the result of several contributors providing their opinions and scoring an average based on that. The FIA report was one single person's opinion, and I myself raised objections to it; in response we at TIF have introduced a set of specific scoring system guidelines in an attempt to avoid a repeat. Our FIA reporter was kind to Farnborough, however he strongly feels that opinion was justified.

Our scoring system is unique to airshow reviews and is very much in it's prototype period, hopefully by our 20th anniversary such anomalies will no longer be an issue :biggrin:

capercaillie wrote:Quite what the photo of a USAF C-17 is doing in the RIAT review as well, I have no idea? :dunno: Quality stuff.

The C17 was part of the arrivals in support for the US aircraft on show, captured during the week; therefore is surely as justified as any photo of the F4s/C130s arriving?

WG655 wrote:FIA was far from a perfect show in 2016, particularly up against the likes of RIAT and Yeovilton. Why, therefore, does the review do nothing but praise? The criticisms offered seem fairly picky in the grand scheme of things.


You mean like UKAR's (F)RIAT review? :whistle:

WG655 wrote:Can the author of the piece confirm whether or not they had a press pass or if they really stick by those views?

Our reporter stands by his views, which he shares with many others; TIF caters both for enthusiasts and also "Joe Public", and has been largely well received by both camps. He also bought a ticket, deeming the show "worth putting a hand in his pocket"

WG655 wrote:A reminder of why UKAR is prepared to go against the grain where necessary rather than pander to the wishes of organisers in return for cheaper/free tickets.

Going against the grain by not providing a report at all? :whistle: In no way does TIF "pander" to the organisers in the hope of free tickets, this was simply our reporter's own judgements. Both our Cosford and Singapore reports were extremely critical.

st24 wrote:I've also lambasted "This is flight's" reviews before as they are written in a very immature, unprofessional manner (IMO).

Geoff I'd like to think that since those earlier days, TIF has matured. We started in 2014 but really grew last year, and this year's reports are largely of a higher standard.

I'd also like to point out that our Cosford report was written and published within a week of the show yet was still of a high standard, whereas the UKAR's equivalent has only just been published 2 months later? Also, TIF provides a much broader spread of shows, with many more overseas reviews, rather than restricting ourselves to limited UK shows and the occasional overseas report.
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby WG655 on Fri 12 Aug 2016, 10:17 am

Hope I speak for other staff members as well, but I'd rather the forum produced a smaller amount of high-quality content each year, rather than simply opening the floodgates to as many articles as possible. As a result, the diminishing airshow scene at the present time is leading to a smaller output right now as everyone's seasons shrink. In some cases, the articles you read have been almost completely modified from what was initially submitted - our editing process can be fairly brutal and we would consider it unfair to do that to someone not actively involved themselves in the editing and production process.

Here's an idea: assemble a full and frank review of events you attend, with picture content, and if it is deemed acceptable I see no reason why we couldn't link said photo threads to our social media now and again for events which UKAR won't be reviewing themselves.
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby Dan O'Hagan on Fri 12 Aug 2016, 10:32 am

UKAR has never had blanket coverage of every show and piddling little fly-in, it has traditionally discriminated, hand-picking events worth featuring, and indeed hand-picking, at least back in the day, Staff members based on the intelligence of their forum contributions as well as their ability to write and photograph. How many other sites can say the same?

As a result, UKAR reports have influence, and features hit reader figures into the thousands, and the podcast topped the iTunes chart.

The bottom line is that Farnborough, I'm sure, would have been covered if it was WORTH covering.
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby WG655 on Fri 12 Aug 2016, 10:34 am

WG655 wrote:FIA was far from a perfect show in 2016, particularly up against the likes of RIAT and Yeovilton. Why, therefore, does the review do nothing but praise? The criticisms offered seem fairly picky in the grand scheme of things.


You mean like UKAR's (F)RIAT review? :whistle:

WG655 wrote:Can the author of the piece confirm whether or not they had a press pass or if they really stick by those views?


Our reporter stands by his views, which he shares with many others; TIF caters both for enthusiasts and also "Joe Public", and has been largely well received by both camps. He also bought a ticket, deeming the show "worth putting a hand in his pocket"

WG655 wrote:A reminder of why UKAR is prepared to go against the grain where necessary rather than pander to the wishes of organisers in return for cheaper/free tickets.


Going against the grain by not providing a report at all? :whistle: In no way does TIF "pander" to the organisers in the hope of free tickets, this was simply our reporter's own judgements. Both our Cosford and Singapore reports were extremely critical.


Yes, it was made clear in our review that in the grand scheme of things the FRIAT issues were the only issues which affected the enjoyment of the show, and Andy was more than allowed to make that critique. My major concern is that your piece makes no mention of clear issues identified both in the run up to and during the event, such as the hugely watered-down weekend lineup and the increasingly restrictive box available for aerobatics. Reference is made to this, but more detail is needed if you're trying to aim these reports (even partly) at enthusiasts. Lots of the points read as rushed and simple - much of this could, hypothetically, have been written by someone who didn't attend given how topics are covered. It also talks about the "impact of the CAA" in very general terms - how did the reviewer feel it affected Farnborough in particular, what effect did this have on the enjoyment of the event?

Only trying to be helpful here as I know its not easy, the report could also do with an in-depth spelling & grammar check - lots of comma splicing in particular which limits the effect of the text that is written.

Has TiF ever utilised press passes for events it has attended, out of interest?
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby lucas1860 on Fri 12 Aug 2016, 10:47 am

I did the report on FIA 2016.

I base my reports on a number of factors.

These include actually speaking to the public there to get their views, some are not AV nuts like us but families out for a day with the kids, some attend because they have corporate passes. Some pay to see a show because aviation is a passion.

The flying displays. They have been governed by the CAA this year and face greater restrictions on flying, to through criticism for doing their best would be wrong. There were some lets downs, the BBMF, but overall they flew within the confines of the show that day. So is it fair to down mark them for doing their best on the day? If all were crap then clearly the results would reflect that.

Static, although sparse, were hands on. I asked quite a number of people about this, they enjoyed it, some actually referred to RIAT as a let down.

The venue is good with easy access. You all know when you go how it is to get in and out. Get up early and be prepared for the exit times. It's been this way for years. To mark it down would be wrong. The only way around it would be to build a purpose made airfield in the middle of nowhere with entrance and exit routes on every point of the compass.

Organisation. My experience was sound, no issues in our out. There were many volunteers and guidance boards around for those not familiar with the show. So why would I mark it down for that?

Value for money. I think the crowds said it all. You could pay the same to see a premier side team or a pop concert, one lasts 90 minutes the other around 2 hours. This is an all day event. Those flying need to be paid, the aircraft need fuel. What would you say was fair?

I paid for the entrance ticket, grandstand and parking, £75. I gave my grandstand ticket to a man at the show. I did this is because I wondering around. I could have done what many do and find a secluded spot outside and pay nothing and get a show for free. I did have a pass......but still paid.

As with UKAR, we do this as volunteers, it costs money to attend even if you do get a pass.

What my I see another may not, so I do the report based on that. As I mentioned I also take on the views of others there. Isn't that what a report is about, what I see and what others think.

I look at images on here and could give critique all day long, it's their photograph. They are pleased with it. They took it. Isn't guidance better than moaning and doing nothing to make it better?

The reports are a general view, not all displays are reported on in depth.

Forums are fine, however, live reporting at the time and reports after are still a valuable piece of work. it's not easy and hard work, so to throw criticism at UKAR staff and others is fine, wear the boots then comment.

I'm not a journo, I'm an average Jo who likes to take images and videos.
Last edited by lucas1860 on Fri 12 Aug 2016, 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby PeterR on Fri 12 Aug 2016, 11:02 am

Pringles wrote:I'd also like to point out that our Cosford report was written and published within a week of the show yet was still of a high standard, whereas the UKAR's equivalent has only just been published 2 months later.


Tin Hat on...

Google gives the definition of a review as; "a formal assessment of something with the intention of instituting change if necessary. Sometimes seen as a critical appraisal." That;s the difference between the UKAR reviews which are of a constantly high standard and those produced by other, less established websites. UKAR reports often give constructive criticism of the event, pointing out the flaws and highlighting the positives. This then gives organisers the chance to know what visitors enjoyed and what they should work on improving. On the other hand, a "review" which just lists the participants in order that they flew is of little use to anyone, and are boring to read. Even if the report comes 2 months later, which admittedly was an unacceptable delay, it's better for everyone for it to be a of high standard of writing, with a good assortment of images, and provide useful feedback.
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby Pringles on Fri 12 Aug 2016, 11:11 am

Peter, we provide "reports" rather than "reviews", specifically because sometimes they sometimes don't meet the criteria you highlighted in your definition.
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Re: Farnborough - a shadow of its former self?

Postby Pringles on Fri 12 Aug 2016, 11:15 am

Dan O'Hagan wrote:UKAR has never had blanket coverage of every show and piddling little fly-in, it has traditionally discriminated, hand-picking events worth featuring...

Dan I'm struggling to see your point? Are you suggesting it would be better to only report on a few shows every year, rather than cover a broad range of shows from big to small, in the UK as well as overseas? :question:
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