Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby harkins on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 10:08 am

I’ve recently been looking through my flipbook photo albums of snaps I took at air shows in the 90’s and trying to identify them and scan them. Whilst doing this, it has made me feel deep regret for several reasons. For starters, I know for sure that the 90’s were the peak for air shows in the UK as they were still so plentiful and there were so many types from so many countries at all shows – and all the exotic eastern bloc aircraft!

So now I look back and I regret not appreciating what I was seeing by;

1) Taking truly awful photos (ok, I had very poor kit but still, you have to work with what you’ve got).
2) I took so many photos of tiny black dots in the sky.
3) I couldn’t frame a static aircraft to save my life (Who’d have thought that seeing the whole aircraft would look better?)
4) I attended several air shows without a camera at all - Boscombe ’90 for one.
5) Having trawled the internet trying to identify what air shows I took my photos at (they’re all mixed up), it became apparent that my choice of subject left a lot to be desired – two photos of the same RAF Hawk, none of an F-14.
6) I recall being as fascinated by the many army surplus stores as I was the aircraft and it’s clear I never did grab a good vantage point at the fence line.
7) That I didn’t get just that one extra roll of film for each show – usually it looks like I had a roll of 24 or 36 exposure film per show.
8) Whilst I recall understanding shutter speeds, I don’t think I knew anything about aperture and I obviously didn’t twig that shooting into the sun was pointless.
9) It’s hard to say this would have made any difference but, I always got my photos on 6x4 prints from Boots one hour service. Maybe the handful of half decent shots might have been helped by better processing.

All that beats the fact I’ve been to Japan 12 times at least and only on the last visit did I get to an air base (and not on a good day).

So what do you regret during your time as an aviation enthusiast?
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby AlexC on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 11:10 am

That's easy. I had a email from a aircraft owner a few years ago asking if I'd send him the photo of him taxiing his aircraft that I'd taken at Oshkosh, and that he'd seen on A.net, it was a black and silver Stearman N347KF, and I said yes of course. He also said that if I was ever at Oshkosh again when he was there he'd take me up for a flight in the Stearman. So the next year I did return to Oshkosh, and he was there. We had a chat for a while, and then he got to talking with his fellow pilots. Well, with so many great aircraft all around just asking to be photographed I wandered off. When I came back about half an hour later he said sounding a bit pissed off (couldn't blame him really) 'where were you, we've missed our slot!' So that's it, my biggest regret, and not just in aviation enthusiasm!
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby CJS on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 12:19 pm

Not paying enough attention to what I was seeing flying at RIAT in 2007 (my first one).

Apart from that, not going to RIAT until 2007, when I could have been going on my own since 1997, and with a parent since about 1990 - doh :facepalm:
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby Airwolfhound on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 12:42 pm

Losing my photos that I took at an Air Fete many years ago of the Blackbird display, catching the plume of flames from the tail :-(
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby iainpeden on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 12:55 pm

Not going to the 1977 Silver Jubilee show at Finningley and not spending enough time on the fences at Coningsby, Wattisham and Alconbury when the F-4 were stationed there.
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby jasonT1981 on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 12:58 pm

Not getting to see the 2 Lancaster's in person. They had to cancel Portrush NI on the Saturday, and I was unable to travel up on the Sunday.

Another would be missing so much between 2000 and 2010. Newtownards 2000 was my last airshow until 2010 when my home town show started up. I still had a massive interest in aviation but other things in life had me not going to shows.
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby Skyflash on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 1:09 pm

Never seeing an SR-71 in flight, and only making it to RIAT from 2003 onwards.

But no use in crying over spilt milk, and all that.
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby D90Man on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 1:24 pm

Not taking enough photos of the 'boring' stuff because they'll always be around won't they?... and now not having enough (any) photos of the boring stuff...

And I'm going back to days of Viscounts, Vanguards, Yorks, Comets, DC-8s, B707s, VC10s, Valettas, Varsitys, Hastings, Pembrokes, C119s, Noratlas', Connies....oh how the list goes on :sad:

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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby st24 on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 1:43 pm

Probably two-

- Not getting to the states for "spotting" until the '90s
- Not grabbing a fistful of dollars and heading into the former Iron Curtain when the wall came down to have virtually free reign in East Germany... :sad:
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby Marathon Milkshake on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 2:58 pm

No point looking backwards, there's so much to look forward to, grab those Tonka photos, go to the airshows, go see the twin stick Typhoons at Coningsby. In ten years everything will have changed again, the photos of today are history tomorrow.
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby harkins on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 3:27 pm

Marathon Milkshake wrote:No point looking backwards, there's so much to look forward to, grab those Tonka photos, go to the airshows, go see the twin stick Typhoons at Coningsby. In ten years everything will have changed again, the photos of today are history tomorrow.


Not that I disagree with your sentiment overall, but I'm not sure there's a great deal to look forward to. This is a hobby in decline and as you pointed out, it's now a race against time to catch a few more types before they're gone. Can't say I'm overly looking forward to when all of Western Europe is operating flight simulators and a tiny handful of F-35's that they can't even add a coloured roundel to - let alone an anniversary tail scheme.
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby Wrexham Mackem on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 3:57 pm

harkins wrote:3) I couldn’t frame a static aircraft to save my life (Who’d have thought that seeing the whole aircraft would look better?)
.
.
9) It’s hard to say this would have made any difference but, I always got my photos on 6x4 prints from Boots one hour service. Maybe the handful of half decent shots might have been helped by better processing.


Those two might be connected - the worst developers used to crop as much as 30% of the neg when printing. Go back and check your negs. And with a neg scanner, you'd be surprised at what you can salvage now.

I have no huge regrets. I wish I'd done more of the smaller shows at military bases back in the 80s, and I have a couple of the 'classics' missing from my history such as Great Warbirds and the Biggin Hill Air Fair. And I wish I hadn't bothered with a mirror lens!.. but minor stuff really, I haven't got any real 'wish I'd done that' moments.

Alex, my heart bleeds for you there, missing a flight out of Oshkosh in a Stearman must be gutting.
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby LN Strike Eagle on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 3:57 pm

harkins wrote:
Marathon Milkshake wrote:No point looking backwards, there's so much to look forward to, grab those Tonka photos, go to the airshows, go see the twin stick Typhoons at Coningsby. In ten years everything will have changed again, the photos of today are history tomorrow.


Not that I disagree with your sentiment overall, but I'm not sure there's a great deal to look forward to. This is a hobby in decline and as you pointed out, it's now a race against time to catch a few more types before they're gone. Can't say I'm overly looking forward to when all of Western Europe is operating flight simulators and a tiny handful of F-35's that they can't even add a coloured roundel to - let alone an anniversary tail scheme.

I'm inclined to agree. Thank goodness we have the US bases over here, or my interest in modern military would have died several years ago.
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby harkins on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 4:25 pm

Wrexham Mackem wrote:
harkins wrote:3) I couldn’t frame a static aircraft to save my life (Who’d have thought that seeing the whole aircraft would look better?)
.
.
9) It’s hard to say this would have made any difference but, I always got my photos on 6x4 prints from Boots one hour service. Maybe the handful of half decent shots might have been helped by better processing.


Those two might be connected - the worst developers used to crop as much as 30% of the neg when printing. Go back and check your negs. And with a neg scanner, you'd be surprised at what you can salvage now.


That's interesting and a little frustrating. While I did make some bad mistakes, such as shooting the shady side or only photographing the cockpit (possibly lens restricted?) I did wonder how I'd managed to chop the last couple of inches off so many nose cones. Sadly the funny brown strips that were in the envelopes with the prints have almost certainly long gone.

LN Strike Eagle wrote:I'm inclined to agree. Thank goodness we have the US bases over here, or my interest in modern military would have died several years ago.


And one of those won't be here much longer either.
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby toom317 on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 4:57 pm

Not bothering to go back to the block to get my camera when 2 F105's came into Lossie late 70's. (Really!!!)

Not getting all the JP's and Gnats that were always in at Lossie in the late 70's, plenty of chances to get them later eh.

Not being able to get across the other side of the airfield, when the desert cammied Bucc with the red star, came into Lossie, prior to their first Red Flag.

Not getting White/Grey Nimrods at Kinloss prior to having our photo permits withdrawn before the Falklands War, and they were all painted hemp.

Not checking the film had wound on correctly, on Ascension, and didn't have the Vulcan/Shrike shots I thought I had.

Some very poor composition of shots in my early days of photography, concentrating and only seeing the aircraft, and not seeing all the clutter around them.

Probably a few/lot more than that, I can't recall right now.

Some hard lessons learned, and yet even today I can still get caught out.
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby Spiny Norman on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 5:16 pm

Quite a few over the years but the biggies:

not going to see Concorde arriving at Leuchars (bringing golfers in for the Open)

not going to see the space shuttle on the 747 overflying Glasgow

taking too many black and white shots at Mildenhall and Leuchars in the 1980s.
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby 106500 on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 5:34 pm

1. The Shoreham tragedy - quite apart from the sad loss of life, the situation of a pilot through his woeful incompetence ruining it for all classic jet enthusiasts.
2. the Sea Vixen crash landing last year - will it fly again?
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby TYPHOON3 on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 5:41 pm

Not seeing the two Lancasters together,probably never to be repeated unless Just Jane ever gets back in the air.Making a trip to Leeming to see the Tornado F-3 before they were retired.
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby Chris IL-76 on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 6:31 pm

Probably not taking enough Tridents at Heathrow. I have 3 photo's, which I guess is better than none.

Obviously many 'sod's law' moments.......arriving when something you want drifts across your view. Or leaving when something you want drifts across your view.

Plus the 'If only the sun had been out moments'....but I have no complaints really!
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby Unknown74 on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 6:44 pm

My biggest regret(s) in Aviation Enthusiasm? Now let me think?.........

1) Not starting my hobby earlier than I did in 1986, when I started to hear about all the aircraft types I had missed.
2) Not having bought my Video Camera sooner.
3) In my first full Year 1987 my Dad and I went to a couple of shows with Cameras and my spotting kit only for me to discover later
that I hadn't taken very many pictures (particular disappointment when I found out neither of us had taken any pictures of the
US Navy Contingent at 1987 Leuchars Airshow :oops: :mad: :wat: :wall:
4) Not being able to spend enough time in recent Years enjoying watching Aircraft due to either Work or Family commitments.
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby Darren50 on Tue 20 Feb 2018, 8:40 am

Going to my first ever airshow at Mildenhall as a non enthusiast, so no camera and not realizing that you don't get B2's doing flypasts in this country at every airshow

Playing in my parents back garden as a child and not realizing the significance of a space shuttle going past on its way to Stansted.

Walking down Brantham hill in Suffolk again with no camera,just as an Antonov flew very low overhead having just taken off from Wattisham.
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby Pat Murphy on Tue 20 Feb 2018, 8:46 am

Not many really but the standouts are missing the Phantom retirement bash at Wattisham due to work.

Yeovilton D-Day Celebrations, also work but the worst ones are SR-71 related.

First was Mildenhall airshow 1987, 200 film at 100 on the camera, mostly blown out shots :clown:

Oh and then turning up at IAT for the first time in '89, just for the one day mind, the Saturday. Hottest day of the year, people dropping like flies, and the Blackbird flew.........on Sunday :mad: :grin:
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby premislao on Tue 20 Feb 2018, 9:20 am

Marathon Milkshake wrote:No point looking backwards, there's so much to look forward to, grab those Tonka photos, go to the airshows, go see the twin stick Typhoons at Coningsby. In ten years everything will have changed again, the photos of today are history tomorrow.


Very true! There is still so many "last opportunities" to catch so there is no point to look back yet. In 10 years will be really boring I think, in civilian and military aviation.

I just regret I didn't went for planespotting to catch some rarities when weather was poor. Now if something special happen I don't mind the weather :) And I'm happy with whst I get - no regrets.
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby Wes_Howes on Tue 20 Feb 2018, 9:29 am

Biggest regret (apart from not being born sooner) is not backing up a hard drive properly so in 2008 when mine died, I lost a lot of photos (not just aviation) :sad: I still haven't learnt my lesson though... :hypno:
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Re: Biggest regret in aviation enthusiasm?

Postby Ian G on Tue 20 Feb 2018, 9:31 am

I've missed something fly through the loop too many times to mention because I've come down the hill too early.....

Waddington, early 2000's - I was meandering through the static, got to exposure 36 on my camera and wondered why the film kept on going on. Yes, I'd not put any film in the camera.....

For some reason, deciding not to go to the Cottesmore IAT shows - why, oh why we didn't go I do not know!

Just going to weep silently now
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