Norman wrote:All very well to speculate on what will attend gentlemen
As someone who has attended every event held there since its inception as part of the official media i can tell you it is not what may or may not attend that concerns me ( they usually manage a good show with a rabbit or two pulled out of the hat !)
It's the weather, from lunchtime on you are shooting into the sun and the haze, yes media get limited access to the other side of the runway but its the variable Melbourne weather where you can get , strong winds, rain, baking heat haze/sun and dust all in an hour or less that concerns me
It is a terrible venue for anyone into serious Aircraft photography yes we all manage but to be truthful it is not a cakewalk ( unlike many European shows i have attended in comparison)
Getting back to attendees we are extremely fortunate to have such a close relationship with the American's who always deliver the goods, keep in mind where Avalon is in relation to the rest of the world, go have a look at a world map and calculate flying distances,costs, availability etc
Avalon is very lucky to get what it does in my opinion and puts on a good show despite distance restricting attendees ( i seriously doubt there is an air force in the world not looking at cost/benefits)
A few Avalon's ago we had some RAF Tornado's attend as they were exercising in India and made the LONG trip here, i was interviewing one of the pilots when a member of the press ? ( i use that word loosely) rudely interrupted me and asked the pilot 'Hey mate....what are you going to bring next time ' ?
The guy had just landed, he looked very tired and i will always admire his courteous response ' Sir he said.... do you realise how far Avalon is from the UK' ? the guy asking the question just walked away, it IS a long way from most air arms and who has the money for fuel and operational availability etc to attend needs to be considered
Now if things were different and Avalon could piggy back on the large military exercises in the area say Pitch Black held in Darwin where of recent times Indonesian , Thai , USAF, Singapore etc participants that never make Avalon may be persuaded to combine their visit that would make for a varied show, however the organisers are constrained by their own expectations , costs, infrastructure and what they believe will attract a crowd on the public days, remember people in this part of the world are starved of this type of event and providing the good ole USAF send something spectacular it will ensure a sellout, bloggers, web site participants etc may pontificate they can or should do this or do that but it will make little or no impact in reality, it is what it is, i have seen this type of discussion after and before every event and it has little impact,
It is also relevent i believe to consider the 'type' of press that helps Avalon is local T.V, Newspapers, and to some extent radio , bloggers, websites etc really dont draw the vast numbers a TV report on National news of F22's taking off in full afterburner will, its as simple as that,
And yes the media people at the show may at times use a little' artistic licence' by saying they have the worlds only Night show, so what ? yes its inaccurate we all know that but what real harm does it do ? i will be very interested in their response if indeed you get one, perhaps they should say ' One of the worlds best Night shows' ? but its a moot point , it wont stop people going , what will stop them is cold wind and rain ! the fickle weather is a huge factor, we have had washouts, baked events with 40 degree days and wind that would blow the freckles off anyone out in it !
Consider also Airline's use Avalon as an active airport and the airshow organisers have to work with them during the show, now that can't be easy either,
I am not posting this to defend the organisers but to add some other views ( my own) i do not expect others to agree with me
Just my thoughts
Good to hear from a long time visitor to Avalon.
I'm not in anyway having a pop at the Avalon organisation, I just find it exciting hoping to see a different Air Force for the first time. The amount of advice I got in the media tent from other media photographers they pointed out to me to sign up to visit the other side of the runway for the Raptor and Temora Formation etc.
I'm flying into Aussie specifically to visit RAAF & RAN facilities (museums & airfields) so I'm arriving in Melbourne then onto Sydney (Nowra & Williamtown) back to Melbourne (Point Cook) then to do Avalon then Perth (Pierce) then finally returning to Melbourne to fly home back to Wales to then do a presentation to a aviation club on the whole Aussie airshow scene.
Having done 100's of UK airshows over 30+ years I enjoyed my first avalon (2013) as it was so refreshing to have the weather and the civilised (yes, civilised) people not trying to crush you to get "that" photo!
So yes I may ponder "who/ what next?" I know I'll thoroughly enjoy every minute of my time there, and having been used to UK airshow weather, yes even in Aussie I'll be carrying waterproofs as another guy I know went to avalon 2011 on Friday (I think) and it lashed down!
Good to see Singapore confirm participation with PC-21 & Super Puma, but I'd like to see other types/ units if possible.
On the whole I can't wait for the whole 5 days I'll be there for