Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

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

Postby Blackbird on Sat 28 Sep 2019, 4:19 pm

FGR2 wrote:Unfortunately the event is getting a bit of a panning on the Facebook page.


I can't say I'm surprised - and I say that more in sorrow than anger :sad: . I came away disappointed for a number of reasons.

I arrived about 9.30 in good time to see the Puma arrive, and to be honest I could have left before 10.30. There were a few Police and Air Ambulance movements during the morning but that was pretty much it. I dawdled around for a couple of hours and went to have lunch only to find that "The Squadron" cafe/bar was open only to Aero Legends ticket holders. I don't know whether that's permanent or just for the Jet Fest. Does someone know? I also got the feeling that the event was somehow getting above itself, trying to be something that it demonstrably wasn't. Puma aside, the aircraft on view were pretty much exactly those that were there last year with no additional participation although I appreciate the blustery weather may have had something to do with that. Worst of all were the (small) number of funfair/amusements and fast food caravans which really doesn't bode well. I fear it may become like Duxford but not on steroids - just yet. There were no announcements that I heard to tell you what to expect or when - until something actually happened. I did see the JP3 take off and it then disappeared for about 15 mins by which time I was back at the car. Sods Law says I just missed something if I'd hung on another a few minutes! I'm sure someone will let me know.

I had only a 50 minute journey and felt is was marginally justifiable. I would have been very unhappy if I'd driven much further for this.

I will have some photos to post in due course.

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

Postby UKAirshowTour on Sat 28 Sep 2019, 6:36 pm

I have to say I left bored to be honest. I didn’t take my camera and just wanted to enjoy the day but it just didn’t happen. I know the weather scuppered a lot of it but even things like the mug 17 being nowhere near the event was a shame and the atmosphere was just a bit flat. I know I would have loved it if it went to plan but it’s just a shame
UKAirshowTour

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

Postby Billydog on Sat 28 Sep 2019, 6:54 pm

Sounds like the star of the show was the Puma then!

Not seen any photos of her as yet- was she parked in a decent spot for photography?
Billydog

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

Postby Blackbird on Sat 28 Sep 2019, 7:00 pm

Yes I think it was. It was just about ok-ish for photography. Could have been better. I’ll post some later or tomorrow - you can let me know what you think!

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

Postby Tom105 on Sat 28 Sep 2019, 7:05 pm

I felt it was a poor event, mig-17 had a flat tyre so couldn't be towed. Felt there was a lack of info on why aircraft were not present i know some were defeated by wind and accept that but what about the likes of KP220, the flying promised the aerolegends fleet. If i'd have paid 60quid for the squadron bar to watch aircraft depart all day i would have been annoyed to say the least! Don't think ill bother again waste of £20 quid of fuel.
Thomas
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Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby LN Strike Eagle on Sat 28 Sep 2019, 9:57 pm

I'm hesitant to be too hard on it as classic jet events are always welcome on the calendar, but today was rather disappointing all told. The weather had a big impact and it was basically just the based stuff we were left with. If we'd had last week's weather, I'm sure we'd all be talking about the event very differently, but as it was it was pretty much devastated by the wind and rain elsewhere in the country.

Thank god for the Puma! Having said that, I shot the arrival from the S1 gate on the market side and might as well have called it a day there and then for all the photos I took after that, so I didn't actually need a ticket!

The event has potential, but we already knew that from the dry-run last year. My fear was that last year was pretty much as good as a classic jet event could get in this country these days. We had Gnats, JPs, Strikemasters and an L-29. The only other jet type I can think of on the UK register is the Vampire? Beyond that, you'll be needing to have the Norwegians or something else from the continent to add variety year on year.

They'll probably need to think of a way to encourage more people to fly their jets over the course of the day too. We all know these are not cheap machines to operate, so they won't be flown without reason, but it seems a waste to have so little going on. 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?

Re: the MiG-17 - it's been sat in the same position for several weeks now, so one can only assume the flat tyre is the reason for that as it's normally kept indoors. If that is the case, it could have been notified as a cancellation in advance, although it can be seen/photographed from the Wings Cafe.
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Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby UKTopgun on Sat 28 Sep 2019, 10:20 pm

Police helicopter was highlight of the day.
One gnat sortie at 4:30 pm seemed like less than an average weekend?
Huey and Puma nice to see, and interesting to go aboard the Skymaster but heck that thing will need a bucket of cash to fly again.
Well done Ben D for trying to make proceedings sound interesting!
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Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby Mike on Sat 28 Sep 2019, 11:39 pm

So there wasn't even the promised Gnat single-seater taxi run?
Mike

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

Postby UKAirshowTour on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 6:17 am

Mike wrote:So there wasn't even the promised Gnat single-seater taxi run?

Nope. That was the frustrating part. We did last year when it was free but not when we paid. I’m sure if it had been brilliant weather it would have been far better but they knew what the weather was going to be like and didn’t really offer anything as a backup. Something like a pilot talk on flying the aircraft would have been welcomed by many. I’m not sure about the spitfire enclosure or whatever it was called. If the aircraft had flown you’d literally have the worst view of it from where it is so I can’t see what the point of it was
UKAirshowTour

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

Postby cg_341 on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 7:36 am

Whoever's running their social media needs to get themselves the hell away from the keyboard!
cg_341

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

Postby sebcoe on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 7:47 am

Yesterday was a big let down. I understand it was never promised to be an air show and obviously the weather did not help...but.. what was delivered fell well short of their own hype. I believe new events should be supported given the decline of the UK scene and that’s why I went yesterday. Sadly they seem intent on self destruction though.. the overpromise pre event has left a sour taste but the response to their customers on social media is outrageous!
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Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby UKTopgun on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 7:59 am

The event was overhyped, there were not plenty of open cockpit opportunities or rare surprise visitors. Weather accepted, it was still a shadow of the marketing description.
I would not write it off next year but it needs a major rethink.
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Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby UKAirshowTour on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 8:41 am

I try to go to plenty of events to support them and help collections get some money but I don’t think I’ll bother next year. I’ll wait to see pictures and convince me it’s actually going to be worth the 200 miles round trip
UKAirshowTour

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

Postby Blackbird on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 8:58 am

UKAirshowTour wrote:I’ll wait to see pictures and convince me it’s actually going to be worth the 200 miles round trip


I had an 80 mile round trip and it was very marginal. I also hope next year will be better but they've got to do some serious thinking about their PR. Over promising and under-delivering is a fatal mistake.

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

Postby FGR2 on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 10:00 am

I was going to go along ( I am more of a fair weather event person these days), taking the parents along, until I saw the pricing structure.

I thought a £25 on the gate price for what was little more than wheeling home aircraft out of the hangar was rather extracting the urine. Even a £15 advanced ticket was borderline, but may have just been acceptable if the weather had been good. Seeing the weather may curtail any flying we gave it a miss.

I am not tight by any means, but I couldn’t really justify the price, effort and travel for what was on offer (and I only live in Laindon).

For those that were not die-hard enthusiasts and were expecting a kind of flying event, they seem to have been taken in by the overhype by the organisers. The Facebook page comments are rather damning, and so far no replies so far from the organisers.

Events like this are needed, but have a negative effect when they are overpriced and overhyped, and under-delivered

Glad I dodged this one.

Edit: I see there are two Facebook pages, one has some responses from the organisers.
FGR2

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

Postby FlankerPhoto on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 10:52 am

From 360, Strikemasters have left.
FlankerPhoto

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

Postby UKAirshowTour on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 11:37 am

Bit annoying they are now posting updates on social media. I understand things couldn’t fly but there wasn’t a single update the entire time I was there I had no idea of any events taking place
UKAirshowTour

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

Postby Blackbird on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 11:41 am

For the benefit of those of us not on Facebook, have they posted anything of any interest, or constructive responses to yesterday's non-event?

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

Postby UKAirshowTour on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 11:50 am

No just posting about aircraft departures and taxi runs. Yet yesterday everyone was left in the dark. I felt especially sorry for the people who stood near the runway all day. I just ended up on the sofa in the hangar out the wind waiting for some news
UKAirshowTour

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

Postby Blackbird on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 11:56 am

UKAirshowTour wrote:Yet yesterday everyone was left in the dark. I felt especially sorry for the people who stood near the runway all day. I just ended up on the sofa in the hangar out the wind waiting for some news


I'd have joined you if I'd known! - Not that I was standing by the runway. I seemed to spend a big chunk of time walking across to the Wings Cafe and back again! They were totally overwhelmed by the number of people wanting food so I'm guessing they didn't know that The Squadron had been commandeered by Aero Legends??

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

Postby UKAirshowTour on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 12:07 pm

Blackbird wrote:
UKAirshowTour wrote:Yet yesterday everyone was left in the dark. I felt especially sorry for the people who stood near the runway all day. I just ended up on the sofa in the hangar out the wind waiting for some news


I'd have joined you if I'd known! - Not that I was standing by the runway. I seemed to spend a big chunk of time walking across to the Wings Cafe and back again! They were totally overwhelmed by the number of people wanting food so I'm guessing they didn't know that The Squadron had been commandeered by Aero Legends??

Andy

I spent a lot of time over that side of the airfield. Considering the squadron was being used as a enclosure I didn’t see many people actually in there so it might have hindered their business substantially
UKAirshowTour

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

Postby LN Strike Eagle on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 12:08 pm

Blackbird wrote:They were totally overwhelmed by the number of people wanting food so I'm guessing they didn't know that The Squadron had been commandeered by Aero Legends??

They shouldn't have been - Aero Legends took over the Squadron in the spring and it's been closed for refurb since then. I suspect it was more a case of people preferring to eat at the cafe rather than the catering vendors on the showground.
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Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby Blackbird on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 12:13 pm

So does that mean "The Squadron" is now, effectively, private or was that just for yesterday/today?

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

Postby LN Strike Eagle on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 12:20 pm

It's private. The gist of the conversation I had with Aero Legends a few months ago was that if you're not paying an annual membership fee or there to have a warbird flight, then you're not getting in.

I'm sure Wings are happy though, as it'll drive all passing trade their way.
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Re: Jet Fest - North Weald 27-29 September 2019

Postby sebcoe on Sun 29 Sep 2019, 1:34 pm

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.
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