Culdrose Air Day 2017

Discuss the Fleet Air Arm's two major air displays
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PeteM
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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by PeteM »

I am disappointed as Culdrose was my local, but I can't see the point in making a song and dance. The decision has been made and there is nothing that can be done about it, nobody who matters is going to take notice of a thread on this forum. I'm afraid this is just the latest in a long line of examples of the UK Armed Forces withdrawing 'behind the barbed wire fence'.
If there is a problem with recruitment, this is a prime example of why. Twenty or thirty years ago kids were 'exposed' to a local Air day or Navy Days. How many military pilots biographies include the line 'I became hooked after visiting my local airshow'. Nowadays they are lucky if they get a school visit.

Finningley Boy
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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by Finningley Boy »

I wholly sympathise with 106500, if we're not going to make a song and dance, if we, as I've often read on this forum, are going to continually prophecy the end of an airshow because of a temporary hitch, and I've seen it before, the last time Culdrose was cancelled for one year we had no end of doom mongers doubting its return, then this is not the forum I imagined it was. Of course we all understand when operational commitments are a foot and take priority. None of us would have it any other way, but some of us are long enough in the tooth and have looked into the subject sufficiently to see a different perspective or two. The problem is, and always has been since the 1990s, a combination of military asset loss, outsourcing of personnel such as engineers, catering, admin etc. Also the contraction of military personnel generally. With this seems to have come an attendant lack of enthusiasm in the RAF and now Navy as well for having anything to do with air shows, perhaps because of a different generational outlook? not so silly as you might think. As I've banged on before, when there was once a greater effort toward display flying etc, it couldn't be explained way entirely as an era of plenty. My favourite comparison being the 1965 Battle of Britain displays, 12 RAF Stations in all open to the public. The RAF provided no fewer than 44 Lightnings to provide a list of solo and formation displays, but this wasn't because they had an endless supply, they actually had at the time, no more Lightnings in service than there are Typhoons now, a orbat of just six squadrons and the OCU, one of the squadrons didn't participate be cause they'd just returned from an overseas APC but still offered a 4-ship with just a week to go, turned down only due to the nearest station to take them up would have required a deployment which they weren't prepared to do as they were required to put p a formation flypast over a Church service the following day. The Armed Forces don't make any kind of effort relatively speaking today, toward even the tiny handful of events left, for many reasons, a lot of stations are now given over to civilian contractualization, the desire not to impact on anyone's time anymore than current deployments do and they can doubtless explain why. But it is still something to do with a change in mind set.
Perhaps generational. We're certainly not living through the feast but should the famine last forever? There are some positives, there is no reason, at present at least, to predict the end of Yeovilton, there is the new air show at Scampton, which to be honest has been greeted by some on this forum like an off subject event. People are being asked if they're likely to make the effort to go, rather than will you be able to go. A completely different approach. there is such a thing as a self fulfilling prophecy. I wouldn't ask for baseless optimisim, but lets try not to wish for the negative all the time and be almost relaxed, a shrug of the shoulders, when it happens. We don't know what's around the corner and surprises are often coming, one way or another. :cuppa:

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Ouragan
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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by Ouragan »

A very good post, Finningley Boy, and I too sympathise with 106500. Unfortunately if anybody does protest too strongly they are often accused of being out of touch.

For whatever reason the armed forces seem much less inclined to promote their activities than they used to. Cost doubtless comes into it, as does manpower and a general unwillingness among medium/higher ranks. It is a great shame, and writing as a taxpayer there is much less opportunity to see what I help to pay for beyond reading glossy magazines. The removal of the military from high profile roles such as search and rescue has not helped either.

It is not just airshows. The Royal Tournament ended in 1999, Navy Days came to an end in 2010? When was the last time any of them were held? It seems in this age of media and public relations that those who are responsible for promoting the forces to the public have forgotten that the best way to get your message across is direct presence. The military is disappearing from daily life as it reduces in size and withdraws to larger, fewer bases. How many UKAR members live near military bases now? And for those who don't, how many of you regularly see military vehicles or aircraft near your home?

Public facing events get people onside, get the message across, attract youngsters to join up. They show the public what their taxes are spent on, they encourage the public to think about those who will defend them if the bad guy ever decides to march in, and they help to persuade people to dip into their pockets and contribute to charities looking after veterans. There is still Armed Forces Day. A few locations still host diminishing numbers of RAF town shows. County shows still see military participation. And of course military personnel still carry out stewarding duties at Wimbledon. But these are few and far between. Despite its budget priorities, despite its manpower issues, the armed forces needs to do more to show people that it is still here and is still relevant.

The military's over-reliance on public sympathy in time of unpopular conflict in far away lands -such sympathy diminishing as ops in Iraq and Afghanistan recede further from the public consciousness- and its unwillingness to engage in direct public contact will bear fruit when they cannot recruit youngsters into their ranks, or the tide of public opinion turns against paying for them to have shiny, expensive new toys. Sadly, the military will have nobody to blame but itself.

Finningley Boy
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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by Finningley Boy »

Indeed, Ouragan, however, we are told that BAE systems can expect to see shares rise, evidently more NATO countries are looking at meeting the magic 2% defence spending. But I can't see much changing yet.

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FarnboroJohn
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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by FarnboroJohn »

Ouragan wrote:For whatever reason the armed forces seem much less inclined to promote their activities than they used to. Cost doubtless comes into it, as does manpower and a general unwillingness among medium/higher ranks. It is a great shame, and writing as a taxpayer there is much less opportunity to see what I help to pay for beyond reading glossy magazines. The removal of the military from high profile roles such as search and rescue has not helped either.

It is not just airshows. The Royal Tournament ended in 1999, Navy Days came to an end in 2010? When was the last time any of them were held? It seems in this age of media and public relations that those who are responsible for promoting the forces to the public have forgotten that the best way to get your message across is direct presence. The military is disappearing from daily life as it reduces in size and withdraws to larger, fewer bases. How many UKAR members live near military bases now? And for those who don't, how many of you regularly see military vehicles or aircraft near your home?

The military's over-reliance on public sympathy in time of unpopular conflict in far away lands -such sympathy diminishing as ops in Iraq and Afghanistan recede further from the public consciousness- and its unwillingness to engage in direct public contact will bear fruit when they cannot recruit youngsters into their ranks, or the tide of public opinion turns against paying for them to have shiny, expensive new toys. Sadly, the military will have nobody to blame but itself.


It's not the military, which still understands where its recruits come from and how to enthuse them. The modern problem is accountants. At the bottom of everything that makes life less colourful, interesting and exciting you will find an accountant. But politicians love 'em.

John

Finningley Boy
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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by Finningley Boy »

That's also a very fair point John. :cuppa:

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Ouragan
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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by Ouragan »

FarnboroJohn wrote:It's not the military, which still understands where its recruits come from and how to enthuse them. The modern problem is accountants. At the bottom of everything that makes life less colourful, interesting and exciting you will find an accountant. But politicians love 'em.

John


I'm not sure the military does, to be honest, and if you want proof of that go and read the Air Cadets Grounded? thread on PPRuNe.

106500
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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by 106500 »

Today would have been the airday that never was! Lovely weather most of the day with just one or two passing short showers - there would have been a full days flying; surely an opportunity lost? :sad: still we can look forward to the combined Yeovilton/Culdrose events going forward although how that will work is anyone's guess..... :snack:

Finningley Boy
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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by Finningley Boy »

We haven't been told definitely that there won't be another Culdrose air day per say, although it doesn't look good, the operational tempo blamed for this year's cancellation isn't likely to change between now and 2023. If indeed that is sincerely the reason for the Culdrose air day being cancelled this year. As for the combined Fleet Air Arm event to represent both Culdrose and Yeovilton, beyond the continuation of the Yeovilton air day, I don't see how one would differentiate between the Yeovilton air day and the Culdrose/Yeovilton Fleet Air Arm air day? The only thing I can see is that the FAA air day/air show would have to become a two-day air show!? The other question to truly represent both bases equally is picking an airfield to stage it, in order to avoid it simply being a two-day Yeovilton? St Mawgan? Boscombe Down? I once for a short while thought that the new Scampton was going to become the flagship RAF airshow!? I dare say I've been led up the Garden path in that regard, having purchased tickets early on in high expectation I'm now kicking myself for missing Sanicole, especially given the fantastic line up they've got!

However, if the idea of a Fleet Air Arm air show becomes a reality, along the lines suggested above, and given the current dearth of RAF effort regarding air displays, we'd really see the Darker Blue throw the Gauntlet down to the Lighter Blue!!! :wink:

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PeteM
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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by PeteM »

106500 wrote:Today would have been the airday that never was! Lovely weather most of the day with just one or two passing short showers - there would have been a full days flying; surely an opportunity lost?


And with a US Carrier sailing by, what a show it could have been :sad:
Sadly I think we have seen the end of 'Air Day'.

Finningley Boy
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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by Finningley Boy »

It seems that no matter what the options or the balance, as soon as a fallow year, a suspension for operational reasons, runway resurfacing, Board of Enquiry, technical difficulties etc is announced regarding an event or favourite aircraft, the first response of too many ukarians is to post a response usually beginning with 'sadly' then supposing we'll never see it again'. Does anyone ever take anything other than a wholly negative view? Is permanent cancellation actually what the 'sadly I think we've seen the last of...' Brigade truly want to see? Or is it a kind reverse psychology at work!? If we resign our selves to the worst possible outcome then we more likely may meet a pleasant surprise roaring round the corner!? On the Sea Vixen, how many have made a donation? What has been said, to date, officially? Same with Culdrose, nobody has actually said it is permanently off the menu.

On the other hand, save for RIAT, Yeovilton and Biggin Hill this year, either planned or already taken place, I've not seen a more paltry line up, both quantity and quality. :sad:

Things can only get better! :yahoo: or can they? :question:

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Cyril Dorricott
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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by Cyril Dorricott »

PeteM wrote:Sadly I think we have seen the end of 'Air Day'.


You're not alone thinking that, Pete. Word has it,down here, is that there will never be an Air Day again, due to man power shortages, plus the fact that the show had been operating at a loss for the last several years.

Finningley Boy
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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by Finningley Boy »

Cyril,

I can certainly understand they've been operating at a loss, no other air show I can think of has suffered the level of washout days that Culdrose has. The penultimate event in 2015 was an absolute success from the point of view of content and weather, perhaps the best since about 2005, when the elements and the flying participation made for a fantastic air day and 2002 was even better still. Since 1996, another good year, the following were a washout or close to it; 1997, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009 (salvaged with an extension of flying up to about 18:00hrs as weather improved dramatically), 2011 and 2016. 1999 and 2012 there wasn't one due to the Kosovo conflict and Olympics respectively. 1998 and 2013 I can't quite recall, but I don't think the weather was that brilliant then either. However, what is the cause of the shortage of personnel? Surely not the Carrier going on Sea Trials. When decisions like this are taken it's usually only one deciding factor, I'll go with the financial loss and I'll blame it on the rotten luck with the weather. The line about insufficient personnel I don't quite buy. Has there been any unit disbandments or units moved elsewhere? Other than a couple of Helicopters to the Queen Elizabeth.

One more point, whatever the likelihood, has an official decision been taken to permanently stand down the air day? :cuppa:

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Xray833
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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by Xray833 »

Finningley Boy wrote:Cyril,

One more point, whatever the likelihood, has an official decision been taken to permanently stand down the air day? :cuppa:

FB :biggrin:



As I understand it the new management at the base is not as community minded as the previous occupant and " does not want civilians loose on a Royal Navy ship".
I also understand the local Helston community has not been happy with the lack of commitment to any future Air Days.

106500
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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by 106500 »

Finningley Boy wrote:Cyril,

I can certainly understand they've been operating at a loss, no other air show I can think of has suffered the level of washout days that Culdrose has. The penultimate event in 2015 was an absolute success from the point of view of content and weather, perhaps the best since about 2005, when the elements and the flying participation made for a fantastic air day and 2002 was even better still. Since 1996, another good year, the following were a washout or close to it; 1997, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009 (salvaged with an extension of flying up to about 18:00hrs as weather improved dramatically), 2011 and 2016. 1999 and 2012 there wasn't one due to the Kosovo conflict and Olympics respectively. 1998 and 2013 I can't quite recall, but I don't think the weather was that brilliant then either. However, what is the cause of the shortage of personnel? Surely not the Carrier going on Sea Trials. When decisions like this are taken it's usually only one deciding factor, I'll go with the financial loss and I'll blame it on the rotten luck with the weather. The line about insufficient personnel I don't quite buy. Has there been any unit disbandments or units moved elsewhere? Other than a couple of Helicopters to the Queen Elizabeth.

One more point, whatever the likelihood, has an official decision been taken to permanently stand down the air day? :cuppa:

FB :biggrin:


A useful summary. Also 2014 was extremely good both in content and weather. A huge turnout probably due largely to XH558 being in attendance

106500
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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by 106500 »

Xray833 wrote:
Finningley Boy wrote:Cyril,

One more point, whatever the likelihood, has an official decision been taken to permanently stand down the air day? :cuppa:

FB :biggrin:



As I understand it the new management at the base is not as community minded as the previous occupant and " does not want civilians loose on a Royal Navy ship".
I also understand the local Helston community has not been happy with the lack of commitment to any future Air Days.


Its these kind of negative attitudes by the so called management that alienate the locals - sounds like they (the management) want posting off to far flung places....

Skiddy17
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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by Skiddy17 »

Before Culdrose saw it’s last show in 2016 how many air day’s in total did it cancel, has Yeovilton ever taken a year off and did they hold a show in 1999.

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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by Skiddy17 »

What was the actual reason for the St Mawgan Air Day to be disbanded.

Xray833
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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by Xray833 »

Skiddy17 wrote:What was the actual reason for the St Mawgan Air Day to be disbanded.


Not sure of the reason but probably came about when the Nimrod squadrons moved to Kinloss. The base was then gradually run down and in 2008 most of the airfield was taken over by Cornwall Council and it is now Newquay Cornwall Airport. There is still a RAF St Mawgan but only a shadow of its former self. Unfortunately I don`t think there is any chance of an air show being staged there again.

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PeteM
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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by PeteM »

Skiddy17 wrote:Before Culdrose saw it’s last show in 2016 how many air day’s in total did it cancel, has Yeovilton ever taken a year off and did they hold a show in 1999.


From memory there were no shows in 1999 and 2012.

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PeteM
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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by PeteM »

Xray833 wrote:
Skiddy17 wrote:What was the actual reason for the St Mawgan Air Day to be disbanded.


Not sure of the reason but probably came about when the Nimrod squadrons moved to Kinloss. The base was then gradually run down and in 2008 most of the airfield was taken over by Cornwall Council and it is now Newquay Cornwall Airport. There is still a RAF St Mawgan but only a shadow of its former self. Unfortunately I don`t think there is any chance of an air show being staged there again.


Brief timeline, Nimrods moved out in 1992, Last Air Day was 1998.
There was supposed to be the 'Eclipse Air Show' in 1999 which the organisers of RIAT got involved with but for some reason the event never happened.
It was announced early in 2000 that there would be no further Air Days at RAF St Mawgan, quoting the usual reasons, reduced manpower, concentrating on core roles etc.

There were a few decent families days during the 2000s , probably the last display of any kind was families day 2007.

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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by G-CVIX »

I was driving around Culdrose a couple of days ago and it does sadden me to think that there will be no more Air Days. When the weather was good, it was a brilliant day, and where I caught "the bug" for aviation.

Cyril Dorricott
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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by Cyril Dorricott »

PeteM wrote:
Mon 16 Dec 2019, 9:59 am

There was supposed to be the 'Eclipse Air Show' in 1999 which the organisers of RIAT got involved with but for some reason the event never happened.
If I remember correctly, Pete, a lot of shows were cancelled in 1999 due to 'Operation Allied Force' (NATO bombing Yugoslavia), thus many squadrons and personnel deployed away, loss of manpower etc. It was touch-and go if there would be a RIAT itself that year, again I say that from an untrustworthy memory!

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Re: Culdrose Air Day 2017

Post by Wissam24 »

I certainly regret having never gone to one, that's for sure.
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