Impact of CAA changes
The 2016 UK air display season got off to a nervous start with widespread concern as the Civil Aviation Authority released details of their latest “post Shoreham” proposal that, in their words, described ways to improve safety at airshows in the United Kingdom. The proposals included significant increases in airshow fees that led to the launch of a public petition asking the Civil Aviation Authority to rethink their charges to the 2016 Airshow season; it received over 15,000 signatures.
As we moved into March it was reported in the national media that “over half of the air shows scheduled to take place in Britain this year would be cancelled, in most cases permanently, after strict new rules introduced in the wake of the Shoreham disaster begin to bite.” Thankfully, although there were a few early season cancellations, such as Sywell, Llandudno and Throckmorton, from our perspective most of the season would continue unaffected and the only show on our schedule that was cancelled due to changes in CAA regulations was Cromer Carnival.
This season Wildcat planned to fly 18 displays. We actually flew 16 full displays with only one (Foynes) cancelled due to weather and one (Cromer) cancelled due to problems with obtaining CAA display approval. We didn’t lose a single display due to aircraft unserviceability or pilot unavailability (sickness).
2016 has been an incredibly successful season for Wildcat Aerobatics but we pressed pilots Al and Willie to reflect on the season just ended, and select their personal highlight.
And the goals for 2017?
We also asked Al and Willie what their goals are for the 2017 season.
“We have our first overseas display at Laval and I hope it is the start of many more trips into mainland Europe to display.” – Al
“My goal is to secure a named Wildcat sponsor for the 2017 display season. I feel sure we have a great deal to offer the right partner.” – Willie
Photos – and a forthcoming competition!
Throughout the year we have seen lots of wonderful photographs of our displays posted on social media. All the team love seeing these pictures – it gives us such a different viewpoint of our show as we’re so used to seeing it from the cockpit of our aeroplanes! Please do keep them coming.
We’ve teamed up with a fantastic supporter Vision in Aviation and have two pairs of the superb Pitts pilot sunglasses to giveaway. Stay tuned to the blog for more details in the coming weeks, but this is a competition you’ll not want to miss!