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Sunderland International Airshow

Little known fact: I once seriously considered joining the Air Force because I wanted to be a pilot. The #1 reason why this is no longer on my bucket list is because I found out you have to have good vision to get into flight school, and my nearsightedness wasn’t going to make the cut. That disappointing moment ranks right up there with the time I found out that I couldn’t be the first female president of the United States because I wasn’t born in the US.

But then I realized that being a politician requires working with other politicians and let’s just say I didn’t stay disappointed for very long…

The pilot thing will always haunt me, though, and I still think it would be cool to get a pilot’s license even if I can’t fly for the military. I love planes—even though I honestly don’t know anything about them—and I love going to plane museums and air shows.

So you can bet your B-25 that attending the Sunderland International Airshow was a priority from the second I saw the first poster advert on the Newcastle Stagecoach bus I took home from church. In fact, I loved it so much that I went twice.

On the first night, I went with a bunch of friends from the YSA group. While wandering along the coast and watching the trick planes do loop-de-loops over our heads, we found a fun fair full of crazy rides.

Little known fact: I might be willing to pilot an aircraft, but I’m not so eager to strap myself into the seat of a carnival ride. No thank you.

I had just upgraded my camera to a Canon 7D, which is my first DSLR that shoots video. I took it along that night for its first official outing, and made this video:

The next day, I went back to the airshow with my flatmates, Mo and Cansu. We knew it was going to be a blast when about two minutes after we arrived, an enormous explosion shook the ground and sent a plume of black smoke shooting hundreds of feet into the air. After the initial shock wore off, we found out that it was part of the “storming the beach,” a demonstration put on by the Royal Navy to show how they would reclaim coastal land taken by enemy forces.

We also got to watch some trick planes, various military planes from all over Europe (including one that flew over from Sweden!), and the RAF’s elite paratroop team.

The highlight for me (besides the storming of the beach, which was really cool) was the Red Arrows, a military flight demonstration squadron like the Blue Angels. They filled the sky with colored smoke and dazzled the crowd with insanely close formations and group barrel rolls. I was duly impressed.

As with day one, I also made a video about my second visit to the airshow. I could have just edited them together, but I was too lazy… But this one has the storming the beach set to some pretty epic *coughcheesycough* music, so yeah. Totes worth a watch.

Do you like to go to air shows? What is the coolest aerial feat you have witnessed?

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Jess Friedman
Jess is a Canadian-American who’s always ready for the next adventure. She loves all things living, always has a million creative projects in progress, and polishes her nerd badge daily. She is passionate about helping families make and preserve treasured memories that strengthen bonds across generations. You can read more posts by Jess here.

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2 Responses

  1. Wow, those Red Arrows are very impressive! It looked like one paratrooper had smoke shooting out from his heel as he came down?!

  2. Yes, all of the paratroopers had colored smoke. The video only shows the one, but one of the pictures shows the cool designs they made in the sky as they performed together. 🙂

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