Air Vice Marshall Simon Edwards - Assistant Chief of The Air Staff.
Welcome to TLG and to our series of interviews from the 2021 Bournemouth Air Festival. We were extremely honoured to be invited to the Festival’s opening ceremony which was attended not only by some of the show’s participants but also some top brass, among whom was Air Vice Marshal Simon Edwards, Assistant Chief of The Air Staff. A former Hercules and C17 pilot, he’s now responsible for ASTRA, the RAF’s future strategy. Yet despite being such an incredibly important and impressive figure, he was happy to talk to Top Landing Gear. We’d had a rather early start that morning having set off from our homes at the crack of dawn and so may not have been at our sharpest. Still, we hoped that having a former RAF pilot in our ranks in the impressive shape of James Cartner, might have stood us in good stead in such elevated and illustrious company. You be the judge.
18 Oct 2021
The Tigers Army Parachute Display Team - Pte Will Simms
Welcome to TLG and to our series of interviews from the 2021 Bournemouth Air Festival. Both the RAF and the Royal Navy took part in the flying display at Bournemouth, as did the Army, who were superbly represented by the Tigers Free-fall Parachute Display Team. These guys from the Princess of Wales’s Regiment and Queens Division do this in their spare time as parachuting isn’t part of their normal army life – that tends to be left to the Parachute Regiment. But they’re all highly qualified, as to be a display jumper you need to have an A-Licence which you can only get after a minimum 200 jumps. Private Will Simms from the team was kind enough to drop in on us the morning after a particularly Top Landing himself on Bournemouth Beach the previous day.
15 Oct 2021
RAF Typhoon Display Team - Flt Lt Sainty
Welcome to TLG and to our series of interviews from the 2021 Bournemouth Air Festival. There are those whose sole reason for attending an airshow is to watch and hear the old piston-engined fighters and bombers from WWII, and indeed few could argue with their reasoning. But for others, and I suspect the majority of airshow-goers, one of the greatest thrills is seeing the Typhoon being put through its paces, accompanied by the crackling roar of its twin jets rasping through the air. RIAT aside, there’s not a lot of heavy metal at British airshows these days, so long may the Typhoon continue to thrill us. We caught up with 2021 Display pilot Flt Lt James Sainty, whose spectacular exhibition of speed, power and agility creates a sensory overload.
13 Oct 2021
How do you book an air show? Interview with Bournemouth Air Festival Director Jon Weaver.
Welcome to TLG and to our series of interviews from the 2021 Bournemouth Air Festival. Since its launch in 2008, the Bournemouth Air Festival has established itself as one of the UK’s leading public aviation events, and is estimated to generate in the region of £30 million pounds annually to the local economy. It’s certainly highly regarded by aviation fans and display teams alike as it attracts top acts in the air, at sea, on the ground, including most years music acts, not least Roy Stride & Scouting For Girls who’ve been regular headliners on the main festival stage. Sadly Roy was unable to join us in Bournemouth this year, but the three of us went without him anyway, much to the disappointment of the organisers in particular who’d only invited us in the first place because of Roy’s long association with the festival. But we were made to feel incredibly welcome and were hugely impressed by the scale of the event. We spoke to Bournemouth Air Festival Director Jon Weaver about the challenges involved in getting an event of this scale up and running, especially with all the uncertainty during the pandemic. And just how do you go about booking the acts, not least ensuring that the Red Arrows are available? We also spoke to the wonderful Michelle Roberts, Senior Press & PR Officer who was instrumental in getting us along, and who did such an amazing job looking after us, but for whom this sadly was to be her last year in the role.
6 Oct 2021
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The AeroSuperBatics Wingwalkers at the 2021 Bournemouth Air FestivalS
Welcome to TLG and to our series of interviews from the 2021 Bournemouth Air Festival. No airshow would be complete without the intrepid AeroSuperBatics Wingwalkers who’ve been thrilling airshow crowds all over the world since they were founded back in 1984. They fly the Boeing Stearman, a biplane trainer from the 1940s, with the wingwalkers climbing from the open cockpit onto the top wing to perform various moves, while the aircraft perform aerobatics in close formation, at speeds of up to 150mph and pulling up to 4G. Unfortunately on Day Three of the Air Festival, one of the aircraft sustained a technical malfunction during the display, and pilot Dave Barrell did a brilliant job of successfully ditching the aircraft in Poole Harbour, saving his own life and that of wingwalker Kirsten Pobjoy. Her great friend Emma Broadbent was the wingwalker on the other aircraft, flown by former Red Arrow and Jaguar Display pilot Andy Cubin, who circled overhead for some time, but landed back at Bournemouth unaware of the outcome of the crash. Needless to say there was huge relief when word got back that Kirsten and Dave were safe and sound. Our interview with Kirsten, Dave and Andy was recorded the day before the incident, hence there’s no reference to it.
30 Sep 2021
How do you run an airshow over the sea? Interview with Dave Walton, Display Director of the 2021 Bournemouth Air Festival.
Welcome to TLG and to our series of interviews from the 2021 Bournemouth Air Festival. Putting on an airshow requires an immense amount of organisation, and safety is of course paramount. But when a display takes place over the sea, and away from an airfield, who controls the display area and calls the aircraft in to begin their display? What if they need to hold, or if there needs to be a last minute change due to unforeseen circumstances? Dave Walton is Display Director for the UK’s Coastal airshows, including Bournemouth, so who better to talk to us about everything that’s involved in the smooth and safe operation of an airshow over the sea?
27 Sep 2021
Rich Goodwin and the Pitts Special at the 2021 Bournemouth Festival
Welcome to TLG and to our series of interviews from the 2021 Bournemouth Air Festival. One of the most eye-catching solo displays at UK airshows is the ultra high-energy performance by Rich Goodwin in his Pitts Special. A former RAF Tornado pilot, Rich has been performing aerobatics for over 30 years, and his phenomenal display has spectators gasping in disbelief as he hurls his tiny Pitts Special Muscle Biplane around the sky. Rich is also passionate about building and modifying these biplanes, and as well as talking to us about his display, he told TLG about some very exciting, and unusual plans for the future.
24 Sep 2021
The Red Arrows at the 2021 Bournemouth Air Festival
Welcome to TLG and to our series of interviews from the 2021 Bournemouth Air Festival. With the 2021 airshow season in the UK drawing to a close, what better time to speak to Red 6, Squadron Leader Jon Bond, as he brings the curtain down on his 4 year stint with the Red Arrows. As Red 6 ‘Bondie’ is Synchro Leader, and also choreographed a brand new manoeuvre for the Reds this year called Boomerang. We also spoke to former Red 1, now OC the Red Arrows, Wing Commander David Montenegro, and Red 10, Squadron Leader Adam Collins. We were lucky enough to interview many more of the pilots who took part in this years hugely successful Bournemouth Air Festival. We'll be putting these out as podcasts in the coming days and weeks so keep your eyes peeled.
21 Sep 2021
FULL FLAPS - The TLG team go gliding with Lincolnshire‘s Trent Valley Gliding Club
After several hi-octane podcasts celebrating the magic of the Merlin-powered Avro Lancaster, and the roar of the mighty Eurofighter Typhoon, we’re back with, not so much a bang, but definitely not a whimper either, in fact more of a whoosh. This week the TLG team goes gliding. None of us knew quite what to expect ahead of our gliding debuts, but, as you’ll hear in our Full Flaps episode, we loved it! We hope this episode will open your eyes, as it did ours, to the glory of gliding, and the thrills it brings. It’s about far more than just genteelly floating through the air enjoying the view, although if that’s what you want it is one of life’s great airborne experiences. But it provides drama and excitement too, and as we discovered courtesy of our exuberant and generous hosts at Trent Valley Gliding Club at Kirton-in-Lindsey (www.tvgc.org.uk), there are things you can do in a glider you might never have thought possible. #gliding #trentvalleyglidingclub #avgeek #avglider
6 Sep 2021
After several hi-octane podcasts celebrating the magic of the Merlin-powered Avro Lancaster, and the roar of the mighty Eurofighter Typhoon, we’re back with, not so much a bang, but definitely not a whimper either, in fact more of a whoosh. This week the TLG team goes gliding. None of us knew quite what to expect ahead of our gliding debuts, but, as you’ll hear in our Full Flaps episode, we loved it! We hope this episode will open your eyes, as it did ours, to the glory of gliding, and the thrills it brings. It’s about far more than just genteelly floating through the air enjoying the view, although if that’s what you want it is one of life’s great airborne experiences. But it provides drama and excitement too, and as we discovered courtesy of our exuberant and generous hosts at Trent Valley Gliding Club at Kirton-in-Lindsey (www.tvgc.org.uk), there are things you can do in a glider you might never have thought possible. There’s all the usual stuff in the magazine episode too of course: Roy talks us through his attempts at his first landing in a microlight; Ask James covers quite a wide range of topics, which thankfully as our aviation expert James manages to answer; and Jez’s Quick Facts on gliding are, a bit like a flight in a glider, potentially never-ending. The TLG Quiz is as fiercely contested as ever with some top notch whingeing from both Jez and James. Please do join us for our latest podcast and be catapulted into the glorious world of gliding.
30 Aug 2021