Gareth Stringer's 2011 blogGAR Entries

MAR 24 2011
Display visits, GAR and PlanesTV, current events in Libya and a trip to Binbrook

Evening all! Itís been a while since my last update and thankfully we are now well in to the swing of things as the airshow season rapidly approaches.

A couple of weeks back we visited 1 EFTS at RAF Cranwell to see Flt Lt Shaun ďKimboĒ Kimberley who will be displaying the Grob Tutor on the circuit this season. Sadly the weather was all too predictable Ė by which I mean that it always seems to be grim when Karl and I visit Lincolnshire together! Despite that fact it was a great visit and fascinating to talk to Shaun and hear how he has gone about putting his routine together.

That piece will be running as a GAR exclusive tomorrow and weíve got some forthcoming exclusives to follow on in the not too distant future. Yesterday we were at RAF Linton-on-Ouse enjoying hugely contrasting weather for a visit to meet the 2011 Tucano Display Team.

Flt Lt Dan Hayes is this yearís pilot and he and his manager Flt Lt Nathan Dales are both great guys and there was some good banter flying around throughout what was a busy day.

Dan flew two sorties encompassing four practices and the team had to deal with its first bout of media attention as we did photos, interviews, display talk-throughs and a load of filming as well. The reason for the filming was the presence of Iain Campbell from PlanesTV who joined us as part of an effort to integrate our coverage even more and develop the relationship between GAR and PTV.

Hopefully this will be the first of many such opportunities and when we push the Tucano display feature it will include not just the words and images youíve come to expect from us but a brand new film courtesy of PlanesTV Ė the whole media package in other words! The film will also run as a stand-alone upload on their website so you can check it out whenever you drop by to take a look at all their lovely airshow footage!

Before that Iím delighted to say that we will be exclusively revealing the scheme that Danís aircraft will be wearing this season. Iím sitting here with a print-out of the scheme in front of me and well, I think we were all a little taken aback when we first saw it yesterday Ė itís stunning and very different to anything thatís gone before.

You wonít have to wait too long as we should be able to reveal it next week and I know that Dan and Nathan canít wait to see what you all think; exciting times!

We are planning more airshow related coverage as we speak, both military and civilian, although I think most of us would agree that a question mark rightly hangs over the Eurofighter Typhoon solo display as a result of current events. It would be a huge shame if Flt Lt Tim Clement can't bring us another season of ear splitting demonstrations but perfectly understandable if the military action continues for much longer.

There is naturally much talk of the action in Libya among enthusiasts at present Ė probably far too much in some cases - especially where routes, callsigns and aircraft types are being broadcast all over the web, but there you go. I donít agree with it personally but when people are being lauded almost as heroes for doing it I doubt itís going to stop anytime soon!

The real heroes are those who have been called upon to act on behalf of the UK and other members of the coalition and we wish them all well Ė especially the Tornado GR.4 and Typhoon crews from Marham and Coningsby respectively.

Back to PlanesTV before I close. Two weeks ago Karl and I travelled to PTV HQ at what was RAF Binbrook for a meeting with Iain and Adrian to discuss ways of moving forward and working more closely together. Yesterday was the start of that process, as I said above, but there are some other ideas in development which we might be able to share with you all soon.

I hadnít been to Binbrook since it was home to the Lightning squadrons back in the mid-80s, probably around 1986 I reckon, so the opportunity to have a wander round and get some pictures was irresistible.

As you can see, the Station isnít what it once was! But, I suppose we should be glad that it is indeed in use and hasnít been razed to the ground and replaced by a housing estate or something similar. PTVís building used to house the Lightning simulator and is a fascinating place in its own right and we did drive over to take a quick look at XR724 which sits looking out over the airfield; a proud reminder of better times.

I hope the images are of interest and that some of the forthcoming features are too.

GAR wants to interact with its readers so if you have a question for the author or a comment to make on this feature, please click on the button below. The best comments will appear right here on GAR.

Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /var/sites/g/globalaviationresource.com/public_html/comments/displaycomments.php on line 8

Global Aviation Resource's photographic and written work is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without express written permission.

If you would like to discuss using any of our imagery or feature content please contact us.