SUCH SHOWS HAPPEN ONLY ONCE
On 25-26 August this year in Radom there is going to be the 16th edition of the International Air Show 2018. These is to be an unusual show. A report on preparations and the backgrounds of this event is given to ‘Niedziela’ by a counselor – coordinator for AIR SHOW in the Armed Forces General Command gen. brig. Krzysztof Żabicki
KRZYSZTOF TADEJ, a journalist for TVP: - General, what is the uniqueness of the Air Show 2018 going to be based on? What can those coming to Radom expect?
GEN.BRIG. KRZYSZTOF ŻABICKI: - I encourage readers of the weekly ‘Niedziela’ to participate in the show as it is really unique and unusual. We are organizing the show in the year of the 100th anniversary of the existence of the military aviation. This unusual event is going to be attended by acrobatic teams and solo pilots from 22 countries. Two days are over 17 hours of unusual impressions during the dynamic show in the air. In the sky over 110 air ships are going to be presented.
The best pilots in the world are arriving in Poland. Just the best ones are chosen for air acrobatic teams. And there are lots of them in Radom. In Europe we have 12 such teams: In Radom we will see even 11, which – considering the calendar of air events in the world – is an enormous organizational success.
There is going to be an Italian acrobatic team Frecce Tricolori among them…
This is one of the most famous teams in the world. It has already been to Radom before, and now the Italians have prepared a formation outside Europe. Also formations from outside Europe are going to arrive in Poland. Lovers of aviation will be able to admire Royal Jordanian Falcons from Jordan. This is a formation which got the main award last year, granted by the International Committee of Air Show in Europe for the best show.
Also pilots from Pakistan are going to arrive.
This is a nice surprise for us. The representatives of air forces of Pakistan were making an effort to participate in the show. It results from their respect for our country. They want to emphasize the contribution of Poland in the development of aviation in Pakistan. After the Second World War, when a lot of famous Polish pilots were in various countries, some pilots just settled in Pakistan. At the helm of this group there was gen. Władysław Turowicz and it was him who created Pakistan aviation. He became the general of the Pakistan army and a deputy of air forces of this country. Therefore the Pakistan pilots are arriving in Poland. They will fly here by airplanes JF- 17 and Mushack. The airplane JF- 17 has never been presented in our country.
Will there be also other airplanes which we have never seen?
There are going to be a lot of surprises. An occasion for aviation fans is going to be a flight by an airplane of Airborne Warning and Control System. There are also going to be famous solo pilots by airplanes interesting for aviation fans. We are going to see the Greek Demo Team Zeus, Turkish Solo Turk, British and German Eurofighter, Czech Jas-39 C Gripen, Mi-17, and Mi -24/35, Belgium F-16, Austrian SAAB 105 and Ukrainian Su-27. On this occasion I want to add that we are observing the purchase of tickets on the portal: www.eBilet.pl, that is on the official online portal on which we sell tickets, and we already know that people from all over the world are buying them. In order to see the aforementioned Ukrainian airplane Su-27. Also a lot of aviation fans from Great Britain, Canada or the United States will arrive in Poland. They will be flying from distances of nearly half of the globe in order to see the airplane which is presented quite rarely.
The attractive point of the show are going to be performances of Polish pilots who belong to the world elite. For example, I am thinking about a squadron-leader Dominik Duda who does incredible stunts in the air with the airplane F-16. Some people are wondering how it is possible to do such wonderful acrobatics. Also our acrobatic teams belong to the world lead, and which we will see during the show: White-Red Sparkles, Orlik and Żelazny. We can be proud that we have such teams and such pilots.
Another attractive point is the show of gyroplanes, powered parachutes, parachutists and balloonists. I assure that these are going to be unusual shows!
This year tickets for the show are paid, aren’t they?
And it is necessary to hurry up with buying them, as, considering security, every day we can allow no more than 80 thousand people enter the Radom airport. Therefore there may be a shortage of tickets like last year. Their sale will only cover only some costs of this unusual event. Our show is not directed to profit. We sell a ticket for 40 zlotys for the whole day. In Great Britain, from where I have recently returned, the ticket costs 40, but in pounds! In Europe it is very rare that the price of tickets for air shows is lower than 100 zlotys. We want them to be available for everybody. Therefore we prepared a lot of discount tickets. It is the first time we have introduced tickets of owners of the Nationwide Card of Big Families.
Not only in the sky are interesting events to take place but also on the land.
This year it is going to be difficult to make a choice, whether to look at the sky or the land. For we are also preparing an interesting show of military equipment. Spectators of the Air Show will have an occasion to look at, among the others, tanks, armored personnel carriers, cannons, anti-aircraft sets, personal weapon of soldiers and shooting training simulators. It will be possible to observe modern military technology and individual equipment of Polish soldiers, usually unavailable for public. It has also been planned to show equipment of the American army stationing in Poland. Everybody will be able to come up nearer, touch, and take a photo. We are going to show a lot of historic airplanes, among the others, from the times of the Second World War, which have always been very popular.
On the land we also prepared a few theme zones, for example a zone devoted to the history of the Squadron 303 and a zone about the history of the Polish military aviation. There are going to be special zones for children and a lot of competitions.
For families, who are going to see the shows, for example, families of ‘Niedziela’ Readers, the most important question concerns security. When they have arrived with children, will they be safe?
Security is the most important things for all of us. It concerns both what is going to happen in the air and on the land. The security will be guarded by the police cooperating with the Military Gendarmerie, Fire Brigade, Border Guards, Municipal Police, Ambulance and the State Protection Service. Duties will be done by doctors, paramedics and other auxiliary health staff. We are going to work according to safety procedures in order to eliminate any risk to zero.
During the shows in the previous years there happened two tragic air accidents…
Unfortunately, in the history of aviation tragic accidents happen. Every tragedy is very precisely analyzed and conclusions are made. Also from those two catastrophes. Every year also new provisions are introduced about the shows in order to eliminate dangers. I think positively as I have pilots who are responsible people and follow procedures.
A lot of famous people always go to the shows in Radom. Last year the shows were attended by a famous pilot Tadeusz Wrona who in 2011 landed on the Okęcie airport in a passenger airplane without extending the chassis, and also a known actor Lesław Żurek. Who is going to visit the show this year?
We are going to organize the FOTO-STAR zone, that is, a zone of stars as we want pilots doing acrobatics, to meet the spectators. Everybody will be able to talk to them, ask about details, take photos. It will be an occasion for aviation fans to confront theoretical knowledge from books and films with practitioners’ knowledge.
We will see lots of stars and famous people. I will not tell you any surnames now, as we want it to be a surprise. Because this is an interview for ‘Niedziela’, I can only say that among the guests there is going to be a famous Vatican photographer cooperating with ‘NIedziela’ Grzegorz Gałązka – an author of a beatification and canonization photo of John Paul II. The man who has taken over a million photos to three popes: John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis.
Certainly, it will be honour for the show to be attended by military priests. Honourable invitations, as usually, were given to: the field bishop of the Polish Army Józef Guzdek, an Orthodox military Ordinary archbishop Jerzy Pańkowski and the evangelical field bishop Mirosław Wola.
Translated by Aneta Amrozik
Niedziela 34/2018 (26 VIII 2018)