Its no secret with recent events that the safety of airborne displays today is under more scrutiny than possibly ever before. With more than three hundred exhibitions in front a total of ten to twelve million spectators a year, safety is no small undertaking. From the outside looking in, it is difficult to understand what airshow safety really is, or how it is planned and executed. In actuality, airshows in the United States have held an impeccable safety rating for over sixty years. In this revealing article, learn the ins-and-outs of safety planning at airshows, and the processes and institutions that make it all possible. Get to know the differences between developing a safe environment at military displays versus civilian ones, and the huge variations from shows like Oshkosh AirVenture to competitions like the Reno Air Races.
arch 12, 2011 was a Saturday, and it was a spectacular day in southern California. It was warm, but not oppressive, the sky was clear, and there was a very light breeze. I stood on the ramp at Naval Air Facility El Centro, chatting with members of the Viper West Demonstration Team during the base’s airshow. It was a great afternoon with some impressive flying; the first airshow weekend of the season, and all of us had a sense of excited anticipation of what the year might bring …
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