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RIAT 2008 at RAF Fairford - Steve Catlett

Photographs

photo by Steve Catlett
Gnat

photo by Steve Catlett
Patrouille France

photo by Steve Catlett
Patrouille France

photo by Steve Catlett
Patrouille France

photo by Steve Catlett
Patrouille France

photo by Steve Catlett
Patrouille France

photo by Steve Catlett
Patrouille France

photo by Steve Catlett
Harrier

photo by Steve Catlett
Typhoon

photo by Steve Catlett
CF-18 Hornet

photo by Steve Catlett
F-16 Falcon

photo by Steve Catlett
Patrouille Suisse

photo by Steve Catlett
Patrouille Suisse

photo by Steve Catlett
Red Arrows

photo by Steve Catlett
Lancaster

photo by Steve Catlett
Lancaster

photo by Steve Catlett
Patrouille France

photo by Steve Catlett
C-130 Hercules

photo by Steve Catlett
C-17 Globemaster

photo by Steve Catlett
C-17 Globemaster

photo by Steve Catlett
C-17 Globemaster

photo by Steve Catlett
B-52

photo by Steve Catlett
C-17 Globemaster

photo by Steve Catlett
Lancaster

photo by Steve Catlett
F/A-18F

photo by Steve Catlett
F/A-18F

photo by Steve Catlett
B-1B

photo by Steve Catlett
B-1B

photo by Steve Catlett
B-1B

photo by Steve Catlett
B-1B

photo by Steve Catlett
B-1B

photo by Steve Catlett
B-1B

photo by Steve Catlett
Tornado

photo by Steve Catlett
F-22 Raptor

photo by Steve Catlett
F-22 Raptor

photo by Steve Catlett
Red Arrows

photo by Steve Catlett
Red Arrows

photo by Steve Catlett
Red Arrows

photo by Steve Catlett
Red Arrows

photo by Steve Catlett
Red Arrows

photo by Steve Catlett
Red Arrows

photo by Steve Catlett
Red Arrows

photo by Steve Catlett
Aircraft

photo by Steve Catlett
Red Arrows

photo by Steve Catlett
PC-3 Orion

photo by Steve Catlett
Aircraft

photo by Steve Catlett
B-52

photo by Steve Catlett
B-52

photo by Steve Catlett
B-52

photo by Steve Catlett
B-1B

photo by Steve Catlett
B-52

photo by Steve Catlett
B-1B

photo by Steve Catlett
B-1B

photo by Steve Catlett
B-1B

photo by Steve Catlett
B-1B

photo by Steve Catlett
C-17 Globemaster

photo by Steve Catlett
C-17 Globemaster

photo by Steve Catlett
C-17 Globemaster

photo by Steve Catlett
Gnat

photo by Steve Catlett
Gnat



Airshow Photographs

photo by Steve Catlett

Royal Air Force C-17A Globemaster III

Royal International Air Tattoo 2008

Despite the superb efforts of the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) organisers to bring us an exceptional air show at RAF Fairford in 2008, the show had to be cancelled on Saturday 12th July and Sunday 13th July due to the unusual level of rainfall in the week preceding the event which resulted in the car parks and airfield being waterlogged.

The main themes of RIAT 2008 were to be the '90th anniversary of the Royal Air Force' which was to include aircraft spanning the history of British military aviation, 'Sky Tanker '08' dealing with air-to-air refuelling, and 'Global Engagement'. Highlights, for me, were to be the Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor display as well as the Vulcan B2, the Brazilian international display team 'Esquadrilha da Fumaca', Canadian CF-18 Hornet Demo Team, Indian Sarang Helicopter Team, Turkish Stars, and United States Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, to name just a few items in a very impressive line-up for 2008. A list of aircraft that were to display can be found here and a RIAT 2008 checklist can be found here.

Below i have detailed the events leading up to the cancellation of the airshow weekend as they happened with statements from the Royal International Air Tattoo website in italics:

On Wednesday 9th July, RIAT issued a statement on their website which said that tickets will not be on sale at the Fairford gates on Saturday, July 12. However, they said tickets were still available for both Saturday and Sunday from Ticketmaster as well as from selected branches of Barclays Bank, Robert Dyas and a number of Tourist Information Centres. Full statement from RIAT website below:

NO ON THE DAY SATURDAY TICKETS
Anyone planning to attend the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire on Saturday, July 12, must buy their tickets in advance. Organisers announced today that tickets will not be on sale at the Fairford gates on Saturday, July 12. However, tickets are still available for both Saturday and Sunday from Ticketmaster as well as from selected branches of Barclays Bank, Robert Dyas and a number of Tourist Information Centres. Air Tattoo spokesman Richard Arquati said buoyant ticket sales prompted the decision. "We want to make sure that everyone who plans to come on Saturday has the chance to buy a ticket, but it is important to make sure we are ready and able to cope with the traffic. We introduced day-specific tickets this year for the first time in order that we could monitor ticket sales. It is as a result of this monitoring that the decision not to sell on-the-day tickets on Saturday has been taken." "Our advice is: if you want to come to the Air Tattoo, buy now or come on Sunday when tickets should also be on sale at the gate."

RIAT announced on Friday 11th July 2008 that the Saturday show had been cancelled due to the unusually heavy rainfall during the past 72 hours and the waterlogged conditions in the car parks and airfield and that the safety of the public was paramount. However they still anticipated a show to take place on Sunday but a decision was to be made at 4pm on Saturday. Unfortunately this meant that people with Saturday only tickets would not be allowed into Fairford on Sunday but they would get a full refund. Full statement from RIAT website below:

AIR TATTOO CANCELLED SATURDAY
Due to the unusually heavy rainfall during the past 72 hours, a decision has been made by the organisers of the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire to cancel the airshow on Saturday, July 12. The cancellation of the airshow on Saturday follows a sustained period of heavy rainfall that has resulted in waterlogged conditions not only in the public car parks but also on the airfield itself. The decision was taken following consultation with the police and other safety services. Air Tattoo Director Tim Prince said it was the first time the Air Tattoo had ever had to cancel one of its days in its 38-year history. "It is with great regret that we had to take the decision to cancel the airshow on the Saturday but the safety of the public is paramount. "When it became clear that we could not guarantee the safety of the many thousands of people who had bought tickets for Saturday, the decision to cancel was straightforward. "We are aware of the inconvenience our decision will have on the many thousands of people who have bought tickets for the Saturday but the potential risk of there being significant difficulties on the roads, in our car parks on the airbase itself were too high." It is anticipated that the show will be held on Sunday but it will be only for holders of tickets valid for Sunday. A decision in respect of this will be announced by 4pm on Saturday. Please note that Saturday tickets will not be valid for Sunday. Refund details for tickets bought for Saturday, July 12, can be found on the Royal International Air Tattoo website at www.airtattoo.com . For further enquiries contact refunds@rafcte.com

A decision was made after 4pm on Saturday to also cancel the show on Sunday because despite a huge effort by everyone involved to improve the waterlogged carparks, they still remained largely unusable. Full statement from RIAT website below:

AIR TATTOO CANCELLED SUNDAY
The organisers of the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire announce that the airshow on Sunday, July 13 will not go ahead. The decision was taken following lengthy discussions between the organisers, police and other safety services. It was based on concerns for our visitors and the disappointing conclusion was that we could not fully safeguard them. The public is asked not to travel to RAF Fairford tomorrow. Despite a huge effort by everyone involved to improve the conditions of the waterlogged public car parks, it became clear by mid-afternoon today (July 12) that significant areas of the fields and of the showground remain unusable. Air Tattoo Director Tim Prince said: "We have been working around the clock to improve the conditions on the airfield and in the car parks but unfortunately we have run out of time. "Many people will be desperately disappointed but I would like to assure them that we have tried everything possible within the time available. "Having worked towards this airshow for the past 12 months, my team at the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises and our band of 3,000 enthusiastic and loyal volunteers share the huge sense of frustration." The senior Police commander for the Air Tattoo, Supt Tony Godwin, said; "It is with deep regret that the decision has been made to cancel the Royal International Air Tattoo on both days. This decision was not made lightly. It was made in the interest of those visiting or working at the event. "We would like to take this opportunity to thank those who had been planning to attend the airshow, for their cooperation and understanding." The Air Tattoo has set up a helpline advising customers how to claim ticket refunds as this cannot be done from the base itself. Details of ticket refunds are available from the website at www.airtattoo.com or call the Air Tattoo Helpline on 01285 713300.

RIAT issued a refund policy in respect of the cancellation of the Royal International Air Tattoo 2008 . Full statement from RIAT website below:

REFUND POLICY
Refund policy in respect of the cancellation of the Royal International Air Tattoo 2008
1. Paid for public entry tickets
Full refund. Actual tickets with attached stubs, together with a name, address, phone number, email address and a note of where they were purchased, to be mailed to RAFCTE
2. Paid for Grandstand seats
Full refund. Actual tickets with attached stubs, together with a name, address, phone number, email address to be mailed to RAFCTE
3. Paid for Jubilee Garden seats
Full refund. Actual tickets with attached stubs, together with a name, address, phone number, email address to be mailed to RAFCTE
4. Paid for Aviation Club and Trenchard Chalet seats
Full refund. Actual tickets with attached stubs, together with a name, address, phone number, email address to be mailed to RAFCTE
5. Paid for Exhibition pitches
A proportionate refund will be made automatically. This will take at least 8 weeks. No action required by the Exhibitor
6. Park and View
It is anticipated that Park and View will be open on Monday 14 July.
7. FRIAT
A proportionate refund will be made automatically. No action required by the member
Notes:
a) Refunds will take at least 8 weeks to administer.
b) Enquiries should be directed to RIATrefunds@rafcte.com
c) RAFCTE address:
RIAT Refunds
The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises
Douglas Bader House
Horcott Hill
Fairford
Gloucestershire
GL7 4RB

The provisional dates for next year's Royal International Air Tattoo are Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th July 2009. Themes for 2009 include 'NATO 60th Anniversary', and 'Sea Search '09'. Let us hope after the disappointment of 2008 that we get some dry weather next year and the world's largest Military Airshow once again takes place at RAF Fairford.

        Photographs credited to Steve Catlett.