Just wondered what are your thoughts on Totterdown and do you think it is bad in some way for RIAT ?
Ticket sales-wise:- I believe Saturday was a sell out (which would suggest that Totterdown being there is academic). I don't know how close Sunday was to selling out.
I've not seen from there myself, but would have thought the views on arrivals/departures days wouldn't be as good from Totterdown as the P&V's, so I don't think that would affect those parts of RIAT?
Totterdown's always been an option for those attending more than one day at RIAT needing to stay somewhere.
Disclaimer - I'm not a pilot, aircraft designer or expert in aviation/airshow safety, just an enthusiast with a camera.
Safety-wise: Obviously there's potential for an aircraft, or part of one, to end up at Totterdown, just the same as there is for other places within a fairly large area around Fairford.
Airshows are always going to involve some amount of risk. Don't be near a Helicopter when the tail rotor fails.
Yes, organisers can do some things to minimise risks but will not be able to completely eliminate them.
People have mentioned the risks involved with overflying. Also the idea of keeping areas free for potential emergency landing sites/avoidance of crowds.
That last one is presuming that the pilot will still have control over his aircraft.
The 'elephant in the room' is that an aircraft (or parts of it) could potentially end up anywhere within a several mile radius (including the crowd centre, approach roads, official campsite, houses) should there ever be some catastrophic incident where the pilot has no control (e.g. collision with another aircraft, aircraft structural failure, controls failure, pilot blackout), especially if this occurs at some height.
I'm 'painting a bleak picture here' but the more you think (about how insurers might think) about the possible potential risks with airshows, it's a miracle they take place at all, especially if looking at footage of incidents like Ramstein, Reno and Sknyliv, from where I think a combined total of 154 people in the actual airshow crowd were killed (you can find the footage on google/youtube but I won't link here and it's not easy viewing).
Talking generally, not just about Fairford, for a moment; minimising that risk to an official airshow crowd might at some stage have involved pushing the display line back, but this might have correspondingly increased the potential risk to outlying areas - (and just thinking about Shoreham as an example here for a moment), that can affect the risk to people who have no interest/nothing to do with the show, e.g. on a road on their way to somewhere. Conversely, keeping things tight to the crowdline might increase this risk to the show goer, but decrease it to the local area.
Personally, I choose to accept the risk when I go to an airshow (as I'm sure many do - also probably many of those at Totterdown), but didn't see a disclaimer on the ticket and don't know how insurers/solicitors think regarding liability in these situations - I'd be interested to know, though. I think Rhymes used to say 'the owners accept no liability/responsiblity for.......on their land' or similar, but can't be sure.
I'd be happy to agree to a disclaimer although I'd bet solicitors/insurers would probably say that organisers would still have a 'duty of care' whilst on the premises, or something?
My point here is that by raising concerns and singling out Totterdown, (where people have actually chosen to gather to see the spectacle and probably accept some risk), concerns could correspondingly be raised about other outlying areas where people are, who are not interested in the Air Tattoo (and therefore a whole can of worms). They (and their solicitors/insurers) might start demanding that they should not be put at increased risk and threaten the existance of the whole thing.
Do they still keep the M11 open during Duxford shows? I believe a '109 'hopped low over this once and a Delphin actually ended up on the carriageway?
Risk wise, I do wonder about some crossover manoeuveres (esp. the Frecce Tricolori multi aircraft, multi direction one) and some formation crossovers/breaks which are often at crowd centre.
Tip: Don't watch online footage of Helicopters losing tail rotor control and then shedding rotor blades on impact just before watching one doing a hovering display in front of the main grandstand.
Viewing flying display from the Airshow-wise: I didn't notice any difference this year to the other years I've been in the crowdline. They still appear further away than I'd personally like them to be.