2017 Event Review

London Airshow 2017, September 22-24 2017
Location: London International Airport, London, Ontario
Admission: Various pricing available Gen addmission from $40/day for adult
Parking: Free with shuttle bus service
Value: Excellent
Rating out of 10: 9.5
 
Visitors to the RNZAF Air Tattoo

The SkyHawks

AIRSHOW LONDON (ASL) was a success and it was by far the largest air show in Canada, which was an achievement. The event consisted of three days Friday's Hour of Power a limited display in the evening, and full shows on Saturday and Sunday.

Our reviewer attended Friday's Media Day, as well as Friday's Hour of Power, and Saturday's full day displays. It was refreshing that there were very few civilian performers apart from Pete McLeod, a local favourite who also participates in the Red Bull Air Races, Randy Ball with his MiG-17PF and Jerry Conley's Vampire.

The weather was very hot all through out the weekend, about 35C+ and even hotter on the tarmac. This created a lot of heat haze, it was wise to seek some kind of shelter of a tent, and to drink plenty of water.

The Media Day was a let down for most of the media, including from Europe, with improper facilities until about noon, when a media tent was erected, not exactly at a good location either, behind the "Photo Pit" for photographers who paid up to $75 per person per day to shoot their images. The media was told to go into the "Photo Pit" by the person in charge of the media while the tent for the media is be erected, the jerk who ran the "Photo Pit" kicked all the media out! Nice going bozo! Even once the media tent was erected we had no seats or power to upload from laptops etc, just four folding white tables. It wasn't roped off all around the tent thus once the general attendees started to arrive for the evening performance they invaded the little space with shade that we had from the front. The same applied for Saturday, although there were about a dozen plastic seats were provided and a volunteer to keep the attendees out, which was a hassle. So instead of coming into our tent, they stood right in front thus blocking all of the media from taking images. Excellent! While the person in charge of the media could not do much unfortunately, and she was flooded by complains from the media. Our complains were eventually resulted in changes for Sunday with a proper roping off the area, while our reported was not present for this it was confirmed my others from the media tent.

There were a lot of cancellations by American Coast Guard and USAF which was understandable due to all the Hurricane relieves in which Canada pitched in too, thus the RCAF did not facilitated transport aircraft apart from a quick fly-in and leaving for the evening show by the CC-177.

The Power of Hour was dragged out a bit by the Snowbirds and by the time the Canadian Heritage Flight with the CF-18 and the Vampire, Canada's first jet fighter did their display it was way to dark for proper photography even at 6000 ISO, sure one could get dark and grainy images but with terrible quality, certainly not for publishing. Which was too bad it as it was one of those once in a life-time opportunities to see them fly together in the twilight...

The gates opened at 9:00 on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's displays were very good, with only a few interruption by Air Canada and West Jet's regular scheduled service. Our reporter decide to leave the media tent due to aforementioned issues and found a great place towards the middle of the performer's parked aircraft. Some of the performing aircraft like the MiG-17PF enjoyed going very low and was blocked by the parked aircraft, but for those who just watched and did not take any photos it was exciting... Highlights included the rarely seen (these days) RCAF CC-115 Buffalo in a SAR demo, US Heritage with the F-35A and the P-51D and the Canadian Historical Flight with the CF-18 and the Vampire. International presence apart from the US included an Australian KC-30A of the RAAF on the static side.

Overall it was good air show (if we discount the media issues, not that anyone cares about the media, although they should, as the media provides a valuable service in helping to get people in to the show!!!) Too bad about all the cancellations, but even with all those who did not showed up the static line up had a great variety, thus from the perspective of an attendee it was excellent.

There were plenty of food vendors with typical air show prices, I guess they had to make up for the expensive vendor fees. Toilet facilities were plenty and well spaced out. Apparently 32,000+ as fans poured into the venue for what was Canada's largest military air display and more than likely the best Canadian air show for 2017.

 

ASL Board Chair Jim Graham did a great jobs and most of the volunteers were friendly and helpful with a few exceptions as noted.

Performers:

RCAF CC-115 Buffalo (Saturday only)

Canadian Armed Forces Parachute Team, The SkyHawks

CF-18 Demonstration Team

de Havilland DH-115 – Vampire

Canadian Heritage Flight Cf-18 and the Vampire

Canadian Forces Snowbirds

CC-177 Globemaster III Fly-in and out on Friday only

RCAF CT-155 Hawk and CT-156 Harvard II display

USAF F-35A Lightning II Heritage Flight Team, Luke Air Force Base with the P-51D Mustang

USAF KC-135 Stratotanker

USAF F-15C (Fri & Sat Only)

US ANG A-10 Thunderbolt II x2

USAF F-16

US Navy F/A-18 TAC DEMO (East Coast) VFA-106
Randy W. Ball – MiG-17PF
US Navy F/A-18 TAC DEMO (East Coast) VFA-106
Pete McLeod – EDGE 540

 

Static:
RAAF KC-30A
United States Coast Guard HC-144A Ocean Sentry, but left early
United States Air National Guard C-130H
United States Navy F/A-18E (x2)
United States Navy E-2C
United States Navy MH-60S Seahawk SAR helicopter
USN E-6 Mercury
USAF KC-135
UASF KC-10
USAF F-22 Raptor x2
USAF C-5M Galaxy
RCAF – CT-142 Dash-8
RCAF CT-155 Hawk
RCAF CT-156 Harvard II

and several civilian aircraft

No shows:
RCAF CP-140
United States Coast Guard HC-130J
United States Coast Guard HC-130H
USCG MH-60T Jayhawk
USN F-35C VFA-101
USN  T-6B Texan II
USN T-45A Goshawk
USN E/A -18G Growler
USN P-3 Orion
USN P-8 Poseidon
USN MH-53E Sea Dragon
US Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet
USAF C-17 Globemaster
USAF C-5M Galaxy
Royal Canadian Air Force CC-130H

Report and photography by Laszlo Nyary for The Aviation Magazine

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