Yeovilton Air Day

Directions : Make for Yeovilton and follow the multitude of signs directing you to your required area. These signs are put in 24 hours in advance of the show and are comprehensive to say the least.

Photo Interest : This event is run over 2 days with the first day being designated a' photographers day'. This tends to be cheaper than the official public day, but does have a couple of drawbacks. Firstly, there is no official show and you are mainly waiting for the incoming aircraft to land. Secondly, you are restricted to one area but are unable to leave when you want allegedly for safety reasons (?). The timings for 2012 were 13.00 to 19.00. There are various practice sessions throughout the afternoon and about 80% of the designated planes put in an appearance, if only to land and park up. Seats were available as were toilets, food and drink. Probably more helicopters than fixed wing aircraft were on view, as was to be expected. Flight arrival times were available but could not be guaranteed. Only go if you are interested in shooting aircraft. There isn't anything else. Seating is close to the runway. Only minor irritants mar the view, such as the odd wind sock and speaker column, The area suffers from any strong wind from the North and there is little cover. Pays to get there early to get a fence side location or you will be shooting over people's heads or standing on a chair as the designated area for 'photographer's day' is not huge.

On the day I went there were approximately 200 photographers as opposed to the 25 - 30,000 people expected on the air day proper. The finale (both days), at about 18.00, was well worth the wait as it bore all the hallmarks of 'Apocalypse Now' with dozens of helicopters all doing things at the same time.