USTraveler wrote:TYWoolman wrote:Tragic and really sad. I have to say I am one for a ban on close formation aircraft at airshows. It's not necessary to get the exhilaration aircraft passing by on their own can and will achieve. Looks like the smaller plane just lost site of the B-17, possibly focusing on the other smaller aircraft that flew by first that did seem to maintain adequate distance from the larger craft. These mishaps are memorable. It's why I do not attend. RIP.
I beg to differ with you.
There is the loss of life of the airmen, which is tragic enough on its own.
But don't underestimate the impact on spectators.
I witnessed Ramstein when I was 12, from a safe distance. Wasn't even close to the area where the unspeakable horror occured. Though I did see the 2 crash into the open field and the smoke of the 3rd, well, it was pretty clear what happened there.
That was more than enough to not ever want to go to an airshow again. I turned to civil avaition after that day. Though I did visit and airshow once, some years later. The day before an airshow actually, to do a photography tour. Thought that would be ok because I didn't expect anything doing stunts. But the Russian team decided to do a practice run. At one moment, 4 of them were doing a simple loop in formation and briefly headed in my direction, which pretty much caused a panic attack on my side.
So that was the last time ever I even got close to an air show.
To this day, I can see the film of what happened in Ramstein in my head, second by second. Not traumatized by it (apart from wanting to stay far away from air shows), but anybody will have a hard time to convince me that stunts which can end up in collision (even if only 0,001% chance) are a good idea for an airshow. Show the planes, yes. Show capabilities in solo displays, definitely! Close formations also not really a problem, but planes at airshows should NEVER have paths that can end up in collision.
Seeing what lead to the collision in this incident, if they didn't collide then those fighter pilots should never be allowed to fly again! One won't, the ones in the B17 also won't. And many of the spectators, well, I know how they'll feel 30 years from now.