Dawlish Reds

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Dawlish Reds

Mon 22 Aug 2016, 8:09 am

Did anybody get any shots of the reds at Dawlish Friday night, I have heard that they flew a different display line and missed the hill completely?

Re: Dawlish Reds

Sat 27 Aug 2016, 8:28 am

Hi, apologies for late reply. I watched the display from the hill by the leisure centre (the old golf course) as it backs on to my house. I noticed that they displayed much further to the east than normal, with the centre-line being nearer Dawlish Warren than Dawlish! I thought that if you were sat watching from the town centre/green, you would have missed most of it as its not in line of sight of the display. A bit of a shame that really as it was a great display, with the dark stormy clouds to the west and bright blue sky right in front over the sea.
The usual spot I would have watched the air show from was closed off for bizarre safety reasons, but would have been to far away anyway. For note, I am not trivialising the need for tighter laws, it's just closing the cliff paths in case the Reds needed to make a forced landing (the councils words, not mine) seemed weird as the cliff path is about 5ft wide and, well.....set in a cliff which would make any landing forced or other wise rather tricky! The only large expanse of open green area near the display was the old golf course which I was standing on was open for all. Neither wall nor nor field should be closed for a display over the sea in my opinion.

Anyway, I did get some pics, and wil post when I can open the necessary photo-thingy account, sorry, I feel I ranted a bit there! It was a lovely display and I for one really enjoyed it and appreciated them coming back to Dawlish.

Re: Dawlish Reds

Sat 27 Aug 2016, 8:54 pm

[quote="Tim Dix"].
The usual spot I would have watched the air show from was closed off for bizarre safety reasons, but would have been to far away anyway. For note, I am not trivialising the need for tighter laws, it's just closing the cliff paths in case the Reds needed to make a forced landing (the councils words, not mine) seemed weird as the cliff path is about 5ft wide and, well.....set in a cliff which would make any landing forced or other wise rather tricky!

So did the Red Arrows themselves ask for the cliff paths to be closed or is this another case (see Eastbourne thread in this section) of someone feeling the need to be seen to be doing something post Shoreham but actually achieving nothing whatsoever?
I'm no pilot but I would be pulling the ejector handle before thinking about a forced landing in the area you have described.

Re: Dawlish Reds

Sat 27 Aug 2016, 11:16 pm

I am afraid I don't know who deemed it necessary to close the cliff paths. I would like to think it was a group decision of all the stakeholders involved rather than just one party making the decision by themselves (i.e the local council). I say this because if a group of interested parties made the decision, then it can be reviewed for the following year by all involved and then, armed with the experience of how to improve, maybe make a different call moving forward. If it's just the one party making the decision, then the chance for debate is diminished and we are less likely to see a change.

In the first year post Shoreham I don't really blame all parties for being over-cautious, but I would like to see a more common sense approach to the rules regarding the safety of the public for such shows moving forward. Not a complacent one at all, but one that allows the possibility of debate regarding what is deemed 'sensibly safe'. I actually thought the rule change for Yeovilton and RIAT didn't spoil my enjoyment at all, barely noticed any change in the display line/ height and the closing of the space behind the display line rather sensible (long over-due in fact).

Now...all I have to do is work out how to put pictures on this pesky iPad!!!!! :smile:

Re: Dawlish Reds

Sun 28 Aug 2016, 7:04 pm

Despite the tone of my original reply to you, I have to say I don't envy anybody involved in organising a display post Shoreham and as you said, hopefully the whole thing can move forward with a common sense approach for the next few years..

Re: Dawlish Reds

Mon 29 Aug 2016, 8:08 am

I completely agree with you sir, I can only imagine how difficult it must be be to put these shows together and am extremely grateful that there are still people and organisations that are willing to continue making the effort!

Hope to see the excellent Dawlish airshow return next year.

Re: Dawlish Reds

Tue 30 Aug 2016, 6:51 pm


I was the FDD for the Dawlish event and the planned lines were as below, working off the same Datum. The cliff path and the hill fall within the Display area, hence their closure. New planning and Risk Assessing requirements, mean the need for a wider area to be taken into account as part of the safety mitigation. The lines were angled to miss Holocombe and the Hill this year, with the need to also close the hill. The line was also a mitigation against the field being opened. It may be that if the land owner would guarantee its closure in future years the line could be re adjusted providing the public dont ignore the land owner and enter anyway. As for the Reds being off centre, the wind wasn't great, which also prevented the buoys being placed on the 230m line, meaning there were no visual references on the display line.

Re: Dawlish Reds

Tue 30 Aug 2016, 10:06 pm

Thank you sir for that info, it's really good to have the opportunity to hear from both the organisers and the people viewing public.

I do understand your need to comply with all the new risk assessment rules and I hope I didn't offend. As said before, I admire and thank all who are involved in working to help put on these shows and you all do so much good work to keep the shows going.
I guess I, like a lot of show going public are still coming to understand the new rules all display organisers are having to work with and weighing up the risk of certain viewing areas around a display line. It is not the organisers of the show but the new rules, that appear to put such restrictions on how and where to enjoy these fabulous events.

This is why I hope that groups of all the stake holders involved in putting on shows/ displays get their voices heard when reviewing an airshow season. I assume that something like this does happen each year rather than just reviewing after an accident or 'event'.

The hill I was one was not smugglers, but the one set back from the town behind the leisure centre. Was this the hill you were referring to considering being closed for future events maybe, or smugglers hill (I've never watched from there but it is very popular)?

It must be very difficult for you all to decide what is or isn't safe to remain open. If the beach isn't closed, then how come the raised paths behind it have to be closed? Is it a height thing?

Anyway, the display itself was still great despite it all! We mentioned amongst our group how hard it looked fighting the wind and still keeping a precise and brilliant display.
Regards again for taking the time to post sir, most appreciated.

Re: Dawlish Reds

Wed 31 Aug 2016, 9:06 pm

Hi Tim,

No offence caused at all, I would rather inform than just let people think we are all just making things as bad as we possibly can.

In answer to your questions, yes we do have a post season symposium, which is a joint military and civil forum, which also provides training and education sessions, which is backed by a pre-season symposium in the early part of the year. It involves everyone concerned from pilots, organisers, media and the regulators on both sides. Whilst all the voices can be heard, we are all working to different agenda's, albeit the main aim to make airshows and display flying as safe as it can be. The regulators are responsible directly to the government and like the FDD's, Pilots and Organisers could find themselves in court on charges if a deficiency was found in their particular area, whether being the rule maker or the decision maker on the ground. 2016 was always going to be a difficult year, with the relevant enquiries and investigations still ongoing, a super cautious approach will be taken by all. In the words of the head of the CAA, it was either the new rules or no airshows for this year.

The only hill closed for the Carnival was the Smugglers Hill as it lies directly within the line of flight. If the Reds were to have an issue, particularly the Synchro pair, where one had to eject, there is a high possibility the aircraft would impact in that area, hence its closure. Hills behind the crowd line shouldn't have been effected by the flying display, if they were it may have been for another reason.

The Beach would have been open if it was low tide, in fact as the tide was in and there were some fairly large waves, the sea wall was closed to the public, largely so they didn't get swept away. The display line was taken from the beach at low tide, so effectively where the sand meets the water at low tide is the crowd line. Similarly a Maritime Exclusion zone was put in place to prevent boats from gathering.

In effect all areas are perfectly safe, but we tend to work in the 'what if' environment. The words of the council, rightly so will be non alarmist, mentioning the words 'crash into' would have course draw negative press. Also remember that they tend to be non aviation minded and their terminology such as forced landing will be something they may have picked up elsewhere. It does sound better to the general public than crash, plough into, explode, smash etc.

Always happy to answer any queries, the discussion was had about distances seeming along way out on the evening with Red10. It may be possible to alter things in the future, should another event occur. Fingers crossed!


Re: Dawlish Reds

Thu 01 Sep 2016, 10:36 pm

Another vote of thanks from me SF, for a most comprehensive view of life on the inside as it were.
There is obviously a bit more to it than simply turning up to watch and then giving one's opinions.
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