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Luqa airshow 2009

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Luqa airshow 2009

Old 2nd Oct 2009, 12:55
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Luqa airshow 2009

Just returned from attending the Luqa Airshow in Malta. Great show as usual for such a small organisation including a great performance from the Breitling Jet Formation Team. RAF participation sadly lacking after last year's excellent showing, 2 Tornados, 2 Harriers and a Dominie in the static were all we could manage. I know times are hard and money is tight but surely a few minutes demo by a Harrier wouldn't have broken the bank and would have been a highlight of the show as is usual.
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Old 2nd Oct 2009, 14:22
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The country is bankrupt. It takes money to prepare a pilot for the airshow season. It takes money to deploy a jet plus ground crew to support an air display. The harrier guys have been busier than you would believe. All front line squadrons are taking hits on capability unless it is direct support of ground troops. You can't just take a jet for a spin around the skies at an airshow, there are stacks of safety issues to think about. You were lucky that there was any RAF presence there at all, (probably due to our historical links to the place). Wait until April to see how skint we are as a country and you will see why your statement seems a tad outlandish.
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Old 2nd Oct 2009, 16:40
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I might have expected some patronising reply but 2 Harriers were present at the show and it couldn't have taken too much effort to fly one on at least one day. After serving HM for 43 years I do understand what it takes to prep an aircraft and aircrew for a display, I've been involved in more than I care to remember. Last years Luqa show even included the Red Arrows amongst a very large and very popular RAF presence and the operational and financial climate hasn't changed that dramatically since.If we're that short of airframes what were two doing at Luqa anyway!
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Old 2nd Oct 2009, 17:15
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There was plans for a 2009 Harrier Demo for the Airshow circuit. Details were released back in March, but the plans were subsequently abandoned.

Happy News Harrier Display Dates 2009!!!

TJ
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Old 2nd Oct 2009, 21:16
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The pilot, ac time etc would have been required during the spring to work up his/her routine. We don't have the assets in country to do that. The economic climate may not have changed that much in a year, but the pot of gold we had from before the slump has long since been depleted. Ops or enough training to keep safe and ready for the next work up in time for the next op round. Life in the RAF has changed massively even over the last 3 years, let alone the time since you were last in. I didn't aim to be patronising, the situation is pretty dire though and I think the cold facts are not known out on the street. The more the general public know about the state of public services (including defence), the easier it will be to ask the right questions in the run up to the general election.

For my money, we are prioritizing pretty well at the moment. The quantity of displays from the RAF this year should be ringing big alarm bells for the general public and is an easy snap-shot of the state of your nation's spare capacity.
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