RIAT 19, RAF Fairford, 19th July 2019

16th September 2019
Written by: Rob Slusar

July was a busy month for me. After 2 weeks of mixing work with air shows, It was time for 3 days at RIAT!

The Show – Day 1

I have covered the background of RIAT in my previous 2 years posts. I won’t bore you with it again.

We decided this year to head down for the Friday with a view to enjoy the showground with reduced crowds around. It turned out to be the case, but not for the best reasons.

Setting out early we knew there would be a risk of rain, but it was largely dry. By the time we parked up, however, it was pissing it down. We waited for a break in the rain before walking into the showground.

Sadly the weather stayed the same all day and it largely made the day a complete washout. The flying was affected badly so we spent the day walking around the site taking in the statics as we could before rushing to the front whenever there was the sound of a jet.

A number of planes rolled out to display and then got pulled back in. We did, however, get some displays, notably from the Harrier and a brief flypast from the E-3 which made standing around in the rain worthwhile.

The Photos

It was far from the ideal day for photography so for a lot of the day the camera stayed in the bag. However, for the displays, we did get we were able to get close to the action.

Rain and wet weather is a curse for air shows, but it can get some great results (as you will see what I got from the Harrier). I didn’t get many photos, but the ones I did get I am happy with. Here they are.

Final Thoughts

It wasn’t a great start to RIAT 19, but you can’t control the weather. This was the first show I have been too which has been this affected by weather. A lot of the air arms tried to display but the cloud base was too low. A big flypast was cancelled as a result of the weather elsewhere. It really wasn’t our day.

That being said, the flying that did take place was at least some compensation. The solo Harrier display was definitely the highlight, and the E-3 flypast turned out to be its only contribution for the weekend, so we did get to see some things no one else did.

After reaching the point where it was obvious we would get no more flying, we got back in the car and drove to our hotel. We were wet, cold and need of a beer. We had a few and got prepped for an early start for the Saturday.

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