Fri 21 Jul 2017, 11:43 am
Really I just wanted to thank some of the staff at this years show for helping me.
I have autism, well it's Aspergers but thats a mild form of autism, a series of events led to me becoming a little distressed on departures day, which caused me to nearly have a meltdown.
I went for the Sunday and Monday and I came with 2 friends, unbeknownst to me they had both paid extra to be in the FRIAT enclosure so when we got to the show I was kind of left to do my own thing and we met up again afterwards, I was not to bothered by that but on the Sunday things got awkward for me.
I was not exactly sure what was going to happen because I had only paid to go to one of the P&V areas I did not think the FRIAT enclosure would be still accessible as I thought the show was officially over, but I was wrong so of course that is where my friends went, they dropped me off outside the entrance and then I was like ok so where do I go now, my only option was to walk to one of the P&V areas. One of the staff who was at the entrance was on a break or something and very kindly offered to drive me down to one of the places, which was the east, as it happens I really wanted to be at the west side as I wanted to get photos of the aircraft whilst airborne, but even so I am still grateful for the lift.
After a while I started not to enjoy being there, I couldn't get the pics I wanted, I was starting to get a bit hot and could not find any shade, one person pissed me off by moaning at me for standing in front of him, if he had just been more polite and said excuse me but he was very rude and came across like he had more right to be there than me, well that was stressful, considering other people did not give me the same consideration. anyway another thing was playing on my mind, my phone was running low on battery and silly me had forgot to take my charger, I only really needed to have the phone because it had my e-tickets on it, i was not really expecting to have to use it to call my friends and arrange a time and place to meet, which was pretty vital considering my bag with my keys was in his car and was my only way of getting back to Swindon for the train home, I was really starting to get distressed by this point, well another staff came to my rescue and kindly offered to charge my phone up for a bit so i could at least contact my friends, lucky she had a Samsung charger!
But i still did not feel to good, eventually i had enough and i wanted out, well more than wanted, i needed out, i no longer cared i had paid to be there, even the sound of the aircraft was starting to stress me out, normally I love the sound of them but not then, i started to feel a bit sick and dizzy and rather exhausted, it may have been something to do with the heat but it also felt like when i have a panic attack/meltodwn so i decided i had to go, so i left but then i did not know where i was going to go, i just wanted to find somewhere dark, cool and quiet so i was wondering about and eventually spotted by yet another very helpful staff who said i was looking a bit lost, i explained my situation and he droive me back to the FRIAT enclosure, this will probably piss of the FRIAT member but he spoke to one of the other FRIAT staff and they allowed me to come into the enclosure so at least then i did not have the stress of having to get my friends to come and find me, i was not allowed in the grandstand of course but was able to take pics from ground level , although by then I had missed the 2 planes i most wanted to get a pic of airborne, the phantoms as i dont think i will have any more opportunities to get a phoito of a phantom flying.
Even after we left i did not feel very good and it has now left me questioning if I will go to another airshow, as much as I love the planes, the stress of having to get to and from the show (i have to rely on public transport and i find that alone very stresfull) then there is the large crowds of people which freaks me out, and all the hustle and bustle and noises it all gets a bit overwhelming for me in all i would say airshows are probably not the ncest places for people with autism to be but until now i have always thought why should i let that stop me from seeing planes. I also did not like being on my own, that was strange because I am normally happy to be on my own but for the first time i felt somewhat abandoned! perhaps if i do go to another airshow i might pay to go in the disabled area I'm not sure how different that is but i think its more geared to people with mobility disabilities. Anyway so thank you to all of the staff members who helped me and despite it may sound like i did not enjoy it, i did enjoy the flying displays, especially the surprise B-2 flypast, seeing not 1 but 2 U-2s flying (I've only seen them on static before) the second U-2 was a surprise as there was only one on static! and the SU-27 was excellent, i was concerend it would not fly as the weather had turned a bit grim before it displayed but i think we were lucky that it cleared just in time for it to do its display, The SU-27 was one of ther main attractions for me (after the A4 Skyhawk cancelled)
Fri 21 Jul 2017, 11:55 am
Glad you enjoyed the show and good on the RIAT staff for getting you back to the FRIAT enclosure on the Monday.
Its a shame if your friends didn't explain what would happen on the Monday and that they didn't drop you off at your preferred Park and View initially before heading for the FRIAT car park.
You picked a good show, I think its been 10 years since any former of Flanker appeared in a UK flying display.
Fri 21 Jul 2017, 12:21 pm
I don't think they knew what was happening on Monday as it was the first time they had done departures, but they knew they would be going to the FRIAT enclosure so perhaps could have dropped me off at the p&v
Fri 21 Jul 2017, 12:37 pm
Sorry to hear you didn't have the best of times on Monday, nice to hear the RIAT staff were looking after you though
As capercaillie says you picked a great show! But possibly the busiest in the UK. Hope you do attend more in the future!
Fri 21 Jul 2017, 12:38 pm
In all honesty, you need some better friends.
Fri 21 Jul 2017, 1:27 pm
Hi Jay, I've sent you a PM.
Fri 21 Jul 2017, 2:28 pm
Jay, if you're going to return to RIAT next year, drop me a PM.
Fri 21 Jul 2017, 2:57 pm
I really feel for you, I'm prone to panic attacks in situations like that and it sounds like that's what you were having. Glad the staff were so great with you, well done to them.