Private Flying LAA/BMAA/BGA/BPA The sheer pleasure of flight.

LAA rally

Old 25th Feb 2016, 20:22
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: uk
Posts: 463
LAA rally

A genuine post here from a mystified person.
I've long been an attendee of PFA/LAA rallies, but why have they gone from being 'must attend' events to the depths of the last year or two?

As I say, a genuine question from an inquisitive person.

here is a bit of an old one..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBS2btp7qHY
SFCC is offline  
Old 26th Feb 2016, 12:21
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Midlands
Posts: 2,361
In the bad old days the PFA / LAA rally was a huge event and great fun (I attended every year from 1991 on). The Rally lost huge amounts of cash and threatened the future of the organisation. The sensible decision was taken to stop! A few years later some clever people came up with a way of running a rally with no financial threat to the LAA. The downside was it would be on a smaller scale. The “New LAA Rally” has been well received and has been considered a success by many, but it is not in the same ball game as in the bad old days. The good news is the LAA 's future is no longer threatened. As I need the LAA to keep my aircraft in the air I have no big issue with any of this.

Rod1
Rod1 is offline  
Old 26th Feb 2016, 14:16
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bolton ENGLAND
Age: 74
Posts: 908
""""The Rally lost huge amounts of cash and threatened the future of the organisation.""""""


So it is said by some.............!!!
Planemike is offline  
Old 26th Feb 2016, 14:41
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 13,621
Some others argued that the rally was one of the main reasons for the PFA'S existence.

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 26th Feb 2016, 18:08
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Cooper City, Florida
Posts: 77
The first flying for Fun PFA rally was rained out, but we made money due to the pluvius insurance!
creweite is offline  
Old 26th Feb 2016, 18:38
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Berkshire, UK
Posts: 660
It used to be organised by a chap in our strut so I have heard some of the issues with the "good old days" rallies.

Over the years the financial commitments were increasing steadily. The world in general expects good loos, good showers, good emergency service cover, for any event that they are charged money to get into. The days of volunteer services and limited facilities are over. The expectation of mega insurance cover in case the no win no fee brigade stubbing their toes all added to the cost of the event. Many of these expenses are incurred even if the weather is poor and the turn out is small.

Then there was a run of less than ideal weather years. Then there was a cancellation due to foot and mouth or BSE or something agricultural.

More recently the CAA has become a bit overbearing. Every aircraft has to book a landing time slot. You need to read and injest a tome of arrivasl information (20 plus pages!!!) H&S gone mad.

I have failed to attend the rally, by air at least, for a few years now. This is largely due to me not getting my act together and booking a landing slot. I don't like to be committed to going anywhere by air at a specific time on a specific day. I don't like being under pressure to go come rain or shine. I find that the slot times that would suit me are all booked up long before the weather forecast is close enough to figure out what time/day to book a slot. If I can be bothered, I might go by road but I am just as likely to fly somewhere else instead. I did fly into the rally in the old days, I went when I was ready, never had an issue with the arrival stream and didn't feel that it was too risky. These days, the Blois microlight rally is the biggest event we attend. It is somewhat bigger than the LAA Sywell do, it manages without slot times, it has "arrival windows" in between trade flying displays and demos and generally people get on with it. It works.

I do miss the old rallies but I doubt we will ever go back to the way they used to be run.

Shame.

Rans6...........
rans6andrew is offline  
Old 26th Feb 2016, 20:52
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Faversham
Posts: 264
Same old, same old?

The other point is that the venue and format has remained the same for so long. It's the same arrival procedure as Aero-Expo at Sywell, so twice a year (and less stuff to see at LAA) means I'd go to Aero-Expo by choice.

But if they could re-open something like Wroughton, I'd go again, just as I did last time. Different venues will increase the interest. I'm sure there are new destinations people would want to visit. Do LAA read these forums?
Curlytips is offline  
Old 27th Feb 2016, 08:27
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Midlands
Posts: 2,361
There is no chance the LAA will go back to the old format. It could pull the plug on the new format, but so far it has been popular with the membership and is likely to continue in the short term at least.

Rod1
Rod1 is offline  
Old 27th Feb 2016, 09:58
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: River Thames & Surrey
Age: 70
Posts: 8,195
Originally Posted by Curlytips View Post
The other point is that the venue and format has remained the same for so long. It's the same arrival procedure as Aero-Expo at Sywell, so twice a year (and less stuff to see at LAA) means I'd go to Aero-Expo by choice.

But if they could re-open something like Wroughton, I'd go again, just as I did last time. Different venues will increase the interest. I'm sure there are new destinations people would want to visit. Do LAA read these forums?
Regretfully I'm informed Wroughton has gone the same way as Lyneham and is covered in 'mirrors'.
I watched the first Wroughton (1991) on radar from Farnborough; the 'Liddington hold' was busy all day. I was a PFA member so volunteered as an Air Traffic Controller for the next Wroughton ('92) and for '93, then did 4 of the re-vitalised Cranfields, all of them great fun I thought.
chevvron is offline  
Old 27th Feb 2016, 19:13
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Cooper City, Florida
Posts: 77
Anyone who has flown into Oshkosh or Sun'n Fun must wonder how this nonsense came about. Traffic streams into both those events without landing slots or prior permission, and a lot higher traffic density than Sywell. All done wth controllers on the ground observing arrivals and issuing instructions to aircraft identified visually. No two way communication or transponder.
creweite is offline  
Old 27th Feb 2016, 20:02
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Faversham
Posts: 264
The procedures aren't the problem

No matter where it is, all of us can probably cope with whatever procedures are imposed. But if there is another, more substantial, event at the same venue i.e. AeroExpo, then LAA rally may lose customers. My pitch would be that they need to vary the venue, so that there is something different/new to arrival. Even revisiting Cranfield could be interesting, but maybe go North - Church Fenton could be welcoming?
Curlytips is offline  
Old 27th Feb 2016, 23:10
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Midlands
Posts: 2,361
The LAA have no responsibility for the slot system at the rally. I think the number of aircraft flying in to the rally is more than expo on average? The two events are not aimed at the same people - the types of aircraft visiting reflects that.

Rod1
Rod1 is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 19:09
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Scotland
Posts: 243
I have been attending PFA/LAA rallies for almost 20 years, either by plane or car. Although I really enjoyed the earlier rallies, particularly at Cranfield because of the large amount of accommodation on site, I think the present arrangement at Sywell is almost as good as old (and still getting better), with apparently much less financial risk to the LAA.


As far as the booking slots system is concerned, I understand that this is required by Sywell but I have always found this very flexible. The Sywell website says:


"Please note: Slot times are local time. This slot system is not a strict or rigid system but is aimed at creating a safe and steady flow of traffic and providing AFIS with aircraft details thereby acting as a booking in system. Pilots are requested to try and adhere to their slots as closely as possible. If weather or unserviceability on the day affects your slot by more than 15 minutes and a new one is required, please telephone Sywell AFIS to re-arrange your slot"


I have never had a problem booking or changing a slot at LAA Rallies at Sywell and do not find the instructions too onerous.


So, if you have not been to a PFA/LAA rally in a while, give it a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.


PS I have never heard any plane arriving at the LAA rally without a slot time being turned away, although I have heard a few been told off for not bothering to read the AIC!
Forfoxake is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 19:19
  #14 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: uk
Posts: 463
Interesting answers and opinions from several.
I'm still at a loss to understand why we now have half the attendance figures when compared to Cranfield or Wroughton.
What became of the endless line of Rutan designs, to name but one?

I'm not sure I buy into the 'financial disaster' theories about historical rallies but then again I'm not privvy to the inner workings of it all.

I might go this year but I don't feel it's a 'must' any more.
SFCC is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 22:09
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: kent
Posts: 211
I'm not sure I buy into the 'financial disaster' theories about historical rallies but then again I'm not privvy to the inner workings of it all.
All you had to be was a member and be capable of reading a set of accounts to see just how much was lost at the "old" rallies.
Jodelman is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 22:30
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Cooper City, Florida
Posts: 77
Although the rallies may not have made a profit, or even broke even, remember that it is an event for the members to enjoy, and paid for by them!!
creweite is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 22:41
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 2,108
Which particular aspects of the "old" rallies, made them so expensive for the PFA?
flybymike is offline  
Old 29th Feb 2016, 10:30
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 1,227
From my some what hazy recollection there were larger and larger amounts of equipment, from toilets to fire engines being hired in.

Fleets of vehicles and more and more people, many of whom were not volunteers. So if the weather was pants, the potential losses could be enormous.

To be fair the 'facilities' got better and better, but they were hired in, not inherent to the location(s) so the potential for losses increased.
gasax is offline  
Old 29th Feb 2016, 10:35
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: River Thames & Surrey
Age: 70
Posts: 8,195
Originally Posted by creweite View Post
Anyone who has flown into Oshkosh or Sun'n Fun must wonder how this nonsense came about. Traffic streams into both those events without landing slots or prior permission, and a lot higher traffic density than Sywell. All done wth controllers on the ground observing arrivals and issuing instructions to aircraft identified visually. No two way communication or transponder.
In the UK, a major difference between ATC and AFIS is that with AFIS you're only allowed one aircraft on the runway at a time whereas with ATC, It's possible to have more than one. All the PFA Rallys I did were ATC and we had procedures to safely manage multiple landings whilst keeping 2-way RTF to a minimum.
chevvron is offline  
Old 29th Feb 2016, 17:11
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: York
Age: 63
Posts: 223
Dare I mention Golf Buggies?


Nope, better not.
ak7274 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.