The Blackbushe Festival of Flight was organised to celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the airfield, formerly RAF Hartford Bridge. Although a good size, housing and common land surround the airport, and the event parking was beneath the proposed display area. After failing to meet the mandatory safety requirements for an air show, the organisers scaled back the event. It’s easy to blame to the CAA for this disappointment but, on reflection, any plan to stage an air display at Blackbushe in this post-Shoreham era was ill-conceived.
The Festival of Flight became more of an airport open-day, and the good weather helped to lift visitors’ spirits and salvage the event. Aircraft flew right-hand circuits, perfect for more sedate participants such as a Beech 18 and a Percival Pembroke, but verging on ludicrous for The Blades and Rich Goodwin.
When its organisers realised that their customers would not be enjoying the show they’d publicised, they should have cancelled the event. The show went on and the money I spent on the tickets went to worthy charitable causes, but I can’t help feeling I was cheated.