Blogging the Airshow, Part 3

In my continuing series on Blogging the Airshow (see Part 2 here), I present my Friday diary:

Friday: On Friday I worked from around 7:30AM to 4 o'clock in the afternoon on the Main Gate. Friday is a hybrid day in that trade exhibitors and official business occurs in the morning, and the public part of the show opens in the afternoon.

There were a mind-boggling array of tickets (known as "accreditation") to get in to the Airshow. Trade passes, gold passes, chalet passes, contractor passes, after hours contractor passes, contractor wristbands, Emergency Services passes, Career & Teaching Professional passes, 6 or 7 types of general admission tickets, Armed forces personnel (who did not need a pass, up until 11:00AM), and display participants passes, to name a few! Also, some tickets came as a printed page that needed scanning equipment, while others were just the standard cardboard stubs that either got clipped and handed back, or collected fully.

It was probably the fact that the general admission tickets got collected fully - passout stamps were available - that got the most comments, especially for people who had queued up at Ticketmaster (in a row of tents about 40 metres away) and paid $75 for a ticket, only to see it disappear!

(Personally, I think $75 is about right for a day's entertainment at the Airshow, considering it only comes around once every 2 years and is winning awards like "world's best airshow".)

The weather on Friday was amazing: hot, with dust storms, and thunderstorms around Avalon that didn't actually hit until about 10 o'clock that night, but you could see the rain falling in the distance. The thunderstorms were worse elsewhere; Melbourne's Tullamarine airport was closed at one point, so I guess we were lucky. You can see the clouds banked up in the photo of an F-16 flight display that I took at around 5:00 o'clock.

On Friday I also discovered one of the perks of being a volunteer: a free family pass. So after knocking off at 4:00 in the afternoon, catching a bus back to the campsite and fitting in a quick shower to wash off the dust, Olivia and TJ drove down and we all got to enjoy a night at the Airshow!

TJ loved it (of course) and his favorite things were actually the "tankers" (tanks) and heavy ground equipment of the Army and Air Force. Olivia too really enjoyed the night and both had a ball at their first time at the Airshow. Apart from seeing most of the on-ground displays and having a delicious dinner, we of course saw the whole night flying display, fireworks and "wall of fire". Olivia is holding TJ, above, as we were looking at a jet-powered truck while waiting for the night's finale (some more pics from "The Age" of Friday night are here and here).

All in all, a great day which I think I got through on pure adrenaline as I was very, very excited. It was fantastic to be able to have Olivia and TJ come down and take some time out to enjoy the show, especially knowing that I still had two days of work ahead...

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Blogging the Airshow, Part 2

As mentioned, I volunteered for 3 days at the Australian International Airshow 2007. I kept a semi-diary for those couple of days - here's my first entry:

Thursday: I'm writing this by weak torchlight on the Thursday night before I start work at the Airshow, in my tent, camped at the Lara Recreation Reserve.

It's cooler now after today's mid-30 degrees (while I was sweating setting up my 5 man igloo tent by myself!) The tent goes slightly over the borders allocated on all sides but I don't think anyone's going to complain - one positive about having such a big tent is that I can stand up comfortably right in the middle.

This afternoon I enjoyed 4 F/A-18 Hornets flying in formation, sometimes right over the campsite, for about 30 minutes (we're about 8 kilometres from the Airshow). Often I could only hear the roar of the jets but could not see anything as they were obscured by the treeline...but a commercial flight out of Avalon a couple of hours later sounded tame by comparison :-)

It's only early but I need the sleep for a 6:00AM start tomorrow. And tomorrow evening's visitors...

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