The Cork Board

I predict a RIAT


The RIAT is coming to town this weekend. The bollards and signs have been out for about 3 weeks preparing for the influx of plane enthusiasts and their families. Our sleepy little hollow will come alive to the roar of military jets, the drone of stationary traffic and the happy gabbling of plane spotters and late night drinkers. We have our residents passes to help prevent police and stewards shuttling us into a car park when we really just want to go home and I’m sure The George has stocked up for the event.

Apparently the B-2 Stealth will be here this year……….

I’m not a plane fan myself but it is fun to see the village come alive for a weekend and become the centre of attention. I quite like the festival buzz of it all. It’s about now we start to see practice routines above the garden, if the cloud would lift, and we get our own private RIAT show before the real one begins.

RAF Typhoon

I can’t get excited about the stats of each jet, though. There is something sinister about the increased speed and capability of each advancement in military jettage, and those who are big fans of such, might poo-poo my squeamishness. This or that jet will be described as reaching a dizzying height and G-force stretching speed, carrying a payload of “X” missiles. The line missing, of course, is how many people can be killed by each missile. Depressing.

Patrouille Suisse display team

Anyway, I confess to being awed by their speed and airborne acrobatics. I can accept that that is something to be admired. And I shall watch from the vantage point of the garden. Last year’s top acrobatic dancer was The Raptor. Here it is in 2010.

So, here’s a note to anyone coming along. If you are coming, I hope you have a great time and patronise the local pubs and traders. The George and The Spotted Cow (in Marston Meysey) are both to be recommended and not forgetting The Jolly Tar in Hannington and the Red Lion at Castle Eaton, depending upon which route you are taking. BUT …..if you are coming to line the roadway and cycle path, and here is a serious plea, PLEASE PLEASE take your litter home. Don’t throw it on the grass verge or in the gulleys. You might think that someone comes along after the RIAT and clears up. Unfortunately not. The legacy of your fun will be with us for some weeks before the council receives enough complaining letters and calls and gets a truck out. Think Cameron’s Big Society – think anything – but don’t think that someone else will deal with it.

Have fun, enjoy it despite the weather, and please clear up as you go.

7 thoughts on “I predict a RIAT

  1. In my hometown we used to have an airshow every year with a group of pilots/jets called “The Blue Angels”.. Like you I’m not a huge fan of jets by damn if it isn’t exciting to watch.. Have a wonderful time and enjoy the festivities and take pics to share with us!!!!

  2. We’ll be having an air show here sometime soon. I get a twinge of guilt for loving to watch planes, but I’m awed by the fact that any of them get off the ground and fly so fast. I hope someone’s working on alternatives to jet fuel, because as long as anything’s flying over my head, I’ll be looking up hoping for a good look.

  3. My parents took me to see the Blue Angels once or twice when I was very young, and I was always terrified. I think I’m still the same way. In Toronto I was talking to a couple of friends about it — there’s a similar show there — and one of them, an Iranian immigrant, said the first time she heard the jets she freaked out; even though she was only a toddler during the Iran-Iraq war, her body remembered the zooming uproar in the sky, and she reacted accordingly. A few days after that conversation Erik and I were walking down a street when another one of those jets streaked by above us; my heart rate didn’t go back to normal for some time. No one else seemed bothered. I’m glad other people enjoy it, but it is definitely not my favorite thing!

    1. I’m glad you said that, Lisa. I thought it was just me. The show is on our doorstep so we get on with it but I wouldn’t ordinarily go to such an event. The first year we were here and our first experience of the show was eye-opening and I couldn’t get out of my head how terrifying these jets must sound if you are an ordinary unprotected civilian in some far off land wondering what the hell is going on rather than at an airshow where everything is grand and controlled.
      My heart goes out to those poor innocent people caught up in such conflicts.

      1. I agree — after the jet passed, Erik and I were talking it over (I was still shaking a bit), and we just couldn’t imagine how anyone could live with this going on at all hours for weeks or months or years. Of course humans are so adaptable and one manages to live with anything, but it must take such a toll, and that’s even before you think about all the fears for oneself and one’s loved ones.

        I am quite awed by the skill of the pilots, though. I should figure out which book this was in… let’s see… aha, Jeff Wise’s Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger: he has an amazing account of a pilot whose plane’s wing begins to detach in midair, and how he managed to get back to the ground alive. If you’re intrigued by fliers that book is worth reading for that chapter alone (though the rest is really good too)!

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