Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby Blackbird on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 1:47 pm

sebcoe wrote:No constructive comments from ‘JetFest HQ’ on Facebook re the customer feedback from yesterday just a defensive unapologetic tone littered with sarcasm. Breathtaking arrogance quite frankly which is such a shame as the event could have so much potential.


Glad I'm not on Facebook as I can do quite a good line in sarcasm myself. They've got a lot to learn, I somehow they were just a bit up themselves yesterday. I can't put my finger on it, but just felt that kind of a vibe. Anyone else feel likewise? As I said in my opening remarks yesterday, this is more in sorrow than anger as I was hopeful that this event may become established in the calendar as the jets answer to Legends, and it still might but not on yesterday's evidence.

Nevertheless, I did come away with a few photos - [url]https://forums.airshows.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=84678[/url]

Andy
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Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby st24 on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 2:04 pm

Well I took a last minute punt yesterday based on me having an unexpected free day and on the back of a very enjoyable run of hairyplane actvities from some useful days at Waddo, 3 excellent European events and a cracking day last Saturday at Duxford- more than making up for the dreary RIAT I had. I love JPs, I love Gnats, I love Chippies, Bulldogs, Austers and most of the stuff on the very strong list so for 15 notes even the 270 mile round trip on 2 of my most hated roads and even mixing with you Southern (South of Coventry) Cockerny types didn't put me off. However, even getting on the airfield I found a little problematic, bearing in mind I haven't set foot on the place since 1992 and seeing the huge traffic jam (admittedly moving very quickly) mixing with the rather fruity market trader types and zilch signage didn't help at all. I really don't think the over -used, unappreciated air cadets were best placed to be taking and checking peoples money and tickets, I really feel I could have shown my receipt for Tesco shopping on my phone and I would have been waved through. Letting the great British unwashed public do their own parking is not always going to be a good idea either!....
Given the strength of the wind I knew there'd be weather casualties and wasn't overly surprised to see the dearth of vintage types but, I've seen lesser types in worse conditions so set up and awaited the mass of promised movements to taxy past with the sun behind me...........After 2 Vans, a TB20, Tiger (AA5, not F-5E) and the second Bulldog of the day I retired to the car for lunch. The Huey was good value, a JP did some touch and gos but the most talked about movements were the comings and goings of the Police and Ambulance helos. I note a fairly stern FB post from the organisers saying they didn't want to risk flying "just to please someone" but hell, surely 50% of what was on the flight line could have been taxied a bit - it was certainly the Indian Gnat (now it has roundels and looks more the part) that I was hoping to see under it's own steam but no, it just sat there along with everything else. I understand a Gnat went up later but the will and enthusiasm of even the hardiest enthusiast and general punter had long since gone by half past 4 - the last dregs of which were sated by the RAF Tiger Puma pirouetting before a tasty low departure that I captured from my car before leaving with equal gusto . Everyone went for a bit of jet action and that could still have been delivered albeit on the deck. Okay the MiG-17 had a flat tyre but surely on an airfield associated with jet and vehicle operations for decades someone would have had access to a pump of some description??
I felt sorry for Ben Dunnell, that consumate professional who must have been at his wits end trying to come up with a nugget of action on which to comment and describe in his usual detailed way but there was so little to see that even he had stopped talking as the Police EC135 went up or recovered for the 10th time, it was definitely a case of RIAT Friday deja vu.
A word too about the small, nay medium -sized army of hi-viz clad marshallers/ops/crew/guests that at some occasions seemed to outnumber the paying punters. Fortunate however at some dull periods of the day as their massed refelective yellow material lifted the ambient light levels by at least 2 f stops. Also, if walking on the concrete pad in front of the Police hangar sets off an alarm and triggers into action a SWAT team (I'm still waiting btw!) then a cursory sign would be useful - not reliance on bored cadets or hi-viz crew, probably blinded by the aforementioned reflected light from their jackets to keep people off. Similar signage on the ramp where the MiG/Lim was would have been beneficial, being as it was next to a public cafe and kids play area and so virtually invited jet hungry photographers onto it.... :oops: I also must mention the (by now I'm sure) voiceless cadet who was comically bellowing and gesturing at the public to keep to the side of the road in fear of being mown down by the constant passage of hundreds of vehicles. By road I mean 80 foot wide taxiway and by constant passage of hundreds of vehicles I mean the odd car or two. Again, I know that there's a helluva lot of incredibly thick, stupid ignorant people out there but still maintain a certain degree of self preservation by keeping safe distance between them and a moving car. Again, perhaps a sign or two would have sufficed....
I fully appreciate the vagaries of the British weather, I have been punished by it at airshows annually for the past 54 years and so absolutely get it, but it's what you do even when it's not playing ball that sets a good event from a poor one. There were opportunities yesterday to do more that may have eased the fairly venomous responses on SM to the event in general - one that has so much potential and one I'd be more than happy to support in the future.
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Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby Blackbird on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 2:23 pm

A good and fair summary ST24. I thought the same about the "alarmed area" in front of the police hangar!

Yes, the cadets seemed little short of clueless as was the one bloke checking tickets when I arrived at 9.30. Some of the high-viz clad marshalls and the like also seemed, let's say, a bit over enthusiastic from time to time - although also probably bored witless too.

Andy
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Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby FGR2 on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 2:30 pm

The very blunt highlighted message on Social Media: "We will not fly illegally and risk our friend's/pilots lives to make everyone happy. For that, we offer no apology..Jetfest HQ" I thought could have been worded much more professionally. Surely giving an explanation rather than a very defensive statement would have been better.

As said by others here, I think they have a lot to learn about communicating with their customers.
FGR2

Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby LN Strike Eagle on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 4:38 pm

A proper statement:
JetFest Facebook wrote:We'd truly like to thank all of those who came this weekend and braved the weather.

We'd like to take this opportunity to explain the aircraft situation and how it can effect the show.

As you know, we updated our confirmed aircraft list every time an owner or a service confirmed their attendance. Naturally, this will always depend on aircraft serviceability and weather. Unfortunately luck was not on our side on our arrival day on Friday. This meant a lot of the lighter aircraft could not travel across the country and risk a diversion or risk flying illegally. We tried again on Saturday but the wind was too high for many aircraft and pilots. It was difficult for us to keep you updated as this changed minute by minute. We have noted that we need a system that updates you accurately and in advance. We will put this in place next year. The next difficulty was the weather on Sunday. Some of those that could not fly in on the Friday or the Saturday were booked in for arrival on the Sunday but as luck would have it, the weather was to blame again. We fully appreciate this was frustrating for some as it cut the size of the show down significantly but, safety must come first!

Please further note that JetFest is not an airshow as clearly stated in the confirmed list. All flying is normal operations only which means a non-display flight within the legal limits of both pilot and aircraft.

We are going to get our thinking caps on to come up with something to give back to you as a thank you for your patience and your continued support.

Despite the weather, we have had a fantastic weekend and will continue to grow JetFest as much as we can. We have truly enjoyed speaking to all of you and having a good laugh and a joke too!

Let the planning for JetFest 2020 begin!
"You really are an oafish philistine at times!"
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Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby MiG_Eater on Mon 30 Sep 2019, 8:02 am

I was pretty shocked by some of the organisational aspects of JetFest. I arrived early (a little before 9) and was pointed to a car park where there was no marshalling whatsoever - so I parked up at my discretion. When I asked where to go for the actual event I was pointed in the direction of a taxi-way which I followed, only to end up standing on the pan next to the L-29. I didn't cross any barriers! The signage was non existent by road and, strangest of all - at no point throughout the day did anybody check I had any tickets.
MiG_Eater

Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby LN Strike Eagle on Mon 30 Sep 2019, 10:19 am

How did you manage that? Tickets were being checked on the peritrack and wristbands issued. From there you were directed into the event parking, south of the Police hangar, and there were marshals in high viz jackets manning the pedestrian entrance to the showground because it involved crossing the live taxiway.

I can only assume it was because you arrived so early - the car park was advertised as open from 9am, and the showground 10am.

The arrangements for this were fairly consistent with most other events at North Weald. It is a site that is home to many other activities, from the market to archery, motorsport to aviation, so there are always lots of people accessing various areas of the airfield for different reasons, even on event days.
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Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby MiG_Eater on Mon 30 Sep 2019, 10:31 am

I wasn't alone - there were a few of us milling around with bemused faces asking each other if we knew where we were supposed to go.
MiG_Eater

Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby cg_341 on Mon 30 Sep 2019, 12:14 pm

"Car parks open from", for me, should mean that all staff and procedures are in place at least 15 minutes before that point, and the gates are closed/traffic turned away up until the point the car parks were due to open...
cg_341

Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby MiG_Eater on Mon 30 Sep 2019, 12:55 pm

Totally agree CG. My journey was significantly quicker than expected and so I was quite prepared to be turned away, or left in a holding pen.
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Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby LN Strike Eagle on Mon 30 Sep 2019, 1:03 pm

Where did you park, and which taxiway were you directed towards?
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Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby Stagger2 on Mon 30 Sep 2019, 1:05 pm

LN Strike Eagle wrote:A proper statement:
JetFest Facebook wrote:We'd truly like to thank all of those who came this weekend and braved the weather.
Edited
We are going to get our thinking caps on to come up with something to give back to you as a thank you for your patience and your continued support.
Edited


I guess one has to understand that it's never necessary to 'give back' anything if as an event organiser you have done your level-best to deliver the hype & been defeated by weather, serviceability & overall safety concerns, but for the Saturday offering I witnessed this DID NOT happen!
Potentially the highlight of the day, whose idea was it to initially park the Puma where at no point during the day was it going to be in the sun (plenty of it!) when viewed from a publicly accessible position? Then to manually push it to a worse position! I personally waited the entire time it was further out on the disused while the plague of Hi-Viz interlopers gorged on the ideal photo-position, & the rest just butt-kissed the crew & yabbered away on the 'darkside'. Why can't people not directly needed to secure the Puma do their meet & greet AWAY from the aircraft?
If they had temporarily moved the fence back (like they had to for Departure :biggrin: ) for arrival of the Puma it could've nosed-in chevron style like the jets? Then put fence & rope into an access point for visiting it. 'Persist-up in a Brewery' springs to mind!
Given the Fresco was of great interest, & that side of the airfield was 'off-limits' (cue Public Announcement!) why couldn't somebody just pump-up the flat tyre? It aint like it JUST got flat overnight!
The black JP just sitting outside all day over that side too??
I thought that the 'new Dak' Aero Legends KP220 was based their, but didn't see it?
How was even a single taxi-run in the Ex Indian Gnat F1 not possible? Weather / Serviceability (cue Public Announcement!)
Given the wind was broadly down the runway, I really can't understand why it wasn't possible to do 'local sorties' with more based aircraft? Aero Legends privatising The Squadron & not flying any punters also seemed like a wasted opportunity & poor business model! Not to mention being snobbishly elitist & peeing away sales opportunities to the proletariat. :loser:
2018 was a great event, blue skies & free. 2019 was weather & organiser-apathy decimated & cost minimal 'early-bird' , but a mental £25 on the day! Way-to-go NOT !
All the goodwill, increased attendance & support of 2018 has been p***ed away in one weekend of lost opportunity. :facepalm:
Stagger2

Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby MiG_Eater on Mon 30 Sep 2019, 1:12 pm

LN Strike Eagle wrote:Where did you park, and which taxiway were you directed towards?


I parked in the main event car park.

I was directed directly towards the L29.

I must say - I agree with virtually everything that Stagger just said. Although truth be told, I think I enjoyed my day more than him by the sounds of it!
MiG_Eater

Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby LN Strike Eagle on Mon 30 Sep 2019, 1:23 pm

The Weald Aviation side of the airfield is never "off limits" - there's a public cafe and a children's play area over there that are always open, and were open as usual last weekend.

KP220 hasn't yet been in to North Weald. It will be based there, but they were waiting on paperwork when it scrubbed from Headcorn back in July. Since it's not been seen since then, I can only assume it's the same thing they're still waiting for a resolution on.

I agree with you about the parking of the Puma - the sunlight as it was doing it's warm-up was all wasted unless you were on the live-side, and by the time it took off and did a little bit of posing for the crowds, the light was gone, typically. I shot the arrival from the market side as I knew it would be back-lit from the crowdline, although the sun was absent again for that. Two minutes earlier or later and it would have been beautifully lit! :mad:
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Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby BPAG on Mon 30 Sep 2019, 4:50 pm

Speaking from the point of view of an exhibitor, we had a very enjoyable weekend. It really is a terrible shame that the weather played such havoc with the schedule and the availability of a lot of the aircraft listed in the published line up. The team at the Heritage Aircraft Trust could not have been more welcoming and helpful to us and with them all being enthusiast types themselves through and through, we are sure that they are devastated about the way things turned out on Saturday. They should also be commended for their bravery in not cancelling Sunday’s event after one glance at the forecast on Saturday night. In the end it was only the bad squall that came in around 4pm that put the lid on things.

As mentioned by other posters earlier, it is great to see a new event centred around classic jets, especially given the difficulties they are still facing post-Shoreham. It would seem from some of the comments on social media from the JetFest team that they are facing up to some of the perceived failings of this year’s event and are resolute that JetFest 2020 will be better for it. We will certainly look forward to supporting it should we be invited back.

Thank you to everyone who dropped by the BPAG stand, your donations and purchases- and also your kind words- are all very much appreciated, and every penny made will go to support our preservation efforts. We couldn’t be what we are without you. Thank you again.
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Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby Spotty_Jag on Mon 30 Sep 2019, 7:25 pm

I have to say, I'm getting bored of all the negativity from the JetFest organisers and supporters against paying visitors who offered any criticism. People are entitled to their views, good or bad, about your event. When your ticket price is circa that of a number of highly respected UK airshows, punters expect a high quality product. Which was not delivered on Saturday (from what I have read on multiple sites).
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Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby Roger_Over on Mon 30 Sep 2019, 9:15 pm

It could have been a great end to the season. I offered my weekend ticket (worth £17) for free on here on Friday as I couldn’t face driving down from Durham under the circumstances but there were no takers, and by the sound of it even people with low expectations were disappointed. It could have been so different depending on weather, the official line on Facebook sounds fair enough:

“Unfortunately luck was not on our side on our arrival day on Friday. This meant a lot of the lighter aircraft could not travel across the country and risk a diversion or risk flying illegally. We tried again on Saturday but the wind was too high for many aircraft and pilots. It was difficult for us to keep you updated as this changed minute by minute. We have noted that we need a system that updates you accurately and in advance. We will put this in place next year. The next difficulty was the weather on Sunday. Some of those that could not fly in on the Friday or the Saturday were booked in for arrival on the Sunday but as luck would have it, the weather was to blame again. We fully appreciate this was frustrating for some as it cut the size of the show down significantly but, safety must come first!”

The organisers have lessons to learn, not least don’t over promise and under deliver as already mentioned. Personally I think JetFest should focus on jets rather than try and be all things, I’m fully supportive of anything that keeps Cold War jets in the air post Shoreham and the CAA attitude, and potentially the event could drag in wider UK and European/Scandi airframes which could make it very interesting. No displays required, just arrivals, departures and practice flights. Alternatively ditch North Weald and create JetFest around a more central location like Bruntingthorpe.

If my £17 gets spent well on classic jet preservation I’m happy enough. Maybe they can sort out the puncture on the Fresco.
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Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby Jakub.Zurek on Tue 01 Oct 2019, 11:49 am

LN Strike Eagle wrote:Maybe condensing it into a single-day fly-in style event, so at least you could reasonably expect to see arrivals and departures of multiple jets, if nothing else?


Though I didn’t attend this year’s event, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Jetfest at the moment is essentially a fly-in + static display so it would make sense to turn it into a one day fly in. A lot of the jets arrive on Friday for the nightshoot and leave on Sunday evening from what I’ve seen.

I’m not sure why the Hindustan Gnat couldn’t be taxied? That was definitely the highlight last year.
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Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby lynothehammer on Tue 01 Oct 2019, 11:56 am

Spotty_Jag wrote:I have to say, I'm getting bored of all the negativity from the JetFest organisers and supporters against paying visitors who offered any criticism. People are entitled to their views, good or bad, about your event. When your ticket price is circa that of a number of highly respected UK airshows, punters expect a high quality product. Which was not delivered on Saturday (from what I have read on multiple sites).


I have to be honest the Facebook account left a very sour taste in my mouth, when the Puma was announced only for the Saturday I asked if something was planned for Sunday. The response was to accuse me of saying the Sunday goers were getting a bad deal and that the Gazelle Sqaudron was more than enough to make up for not having anything else.

It still didn't stop me purchasing a Sunday ticket, but after spending an evening in Wales on Saturday night getting soaked and reading the negative comments from punters of the Saturday i decided to sack it off.

Adding another event to the dwindling airshow scene is just what we need and last year Jetfest was unique, I feel this year they lost their way trying to incorporate too much into it. Keep it simple and please please please get someone with people skills to manage the social media, not a petulant child who spits his / her dummy every time someone posts something they don't like.
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Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby SilentFlight on Thu 03 Oct 2019, 8:49 am

LN Strike Eagle wrote:I agree with you about the parking of the Puma - the sunlight as it was doing it's warm-up was all wasted unless you were on the live-side, and by the time it took off and did a little bit of posing for the crowds, the light was gone, typically. I shot the arrival from the market side as I knew it would be back-lit from the crowdline, although the sun was absent again for that. Two minutes earlier or later and it would have been beautifully lit! :mad:


The parking location was dictated by the JHC Safety cell, it was to be parked opposite the Police Helicopter and the Helimed Taxyway. Whilst its not great for photography, the aim for the military in these events is to engage with the public, hence moving it to allow people on board. The original plan, would have resolved the issues everyone has flagged, however it became a condition of their attendance.
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Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby st24 on Sat 05 Oct 2019, 4:52 pm

SilentFlight wrote:
LN Strike Eagle wrote:I agree with you about the parking of the Puma - the sunlight as it was doing it's warm-up was all wasted unless you were on the live-side, and by the time it took off and did a little bit of posing for the crowds, the light was gone, typically. I shot the arrival from the market side as I knew it would be back-lit from the crowdline, although the sun was absent again for that. Two minutes earlier or later and it would have been beautifully lit! :mad:


The parking location was dictated by the JHC Safety cell, it was to be parked opposite the Police Helicopter and the Helimed Taxyway. Whilst its not great for photography, the aim for the military in these events is to engage with the public, hence moving it to allow people on board. The original plan, would have resolved the issues everyone has flagged, however it became a condition of their attendance.

Where it was was fine, it just needed angling to match the rest of the line up and public engagement could still have been accomplished ..
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