Čáslav Open Day, 2017

May 20, 2017 saw me take a trip to Čáslav air base in the central part of the Czech Republic to partake in the biannual open day there. The weather was overcast all day, but thankfully the rain in the forecast stayed away.

I have to say that I came away with some mixed feelings about the 2017 edition of the event. The static display areas were much larger than in previous years, but I’m not sure the best use of the available space was made to best accomodate both those who were looking at the statics and those watching the dynamic show. Many of the static aircraft were placed between the crowd and the dynamic showline. As such, I had trouble getting close to some static aircraft because of people watching the dynamic show from in front of static display areas.

The increased size of the event also led to and increased size of crowd. The result of that was the special train running from the Čáslav rail station to the air base was inadequate for moving the volume of people going there and back in a timely manner.

Hopefully, these matters will be better handled at the next open day.

That said, here’s a small sampling of what was available to be seen on the day:

The 2017 open day included the public debut of an Aero L-159 ALCA in a special scheme reflecting a Supermarine Spitfire Vb flown by František Peřina (1911-2006) who flew in both the French air force and RAF during WWII and was a patron of 212 Squadron, the unit operating the L-159, later in his life.
The flying show started off with a Piper Cub which did very well for itself in the face of some strong winds early on in the show.
Another early performer on the day was this Tiger Moth.
A Čáslav based Saab Gripen after a spirited performance.
A look along a section of the static display that included fast jets from France, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic.
Another look at the French Alpha Jet.
Soon to be gone from Czech skies, one of two Yakovlev Yak-40 transports the Czech air force keeps on charge was in attendance. A replacement for the two aircraft is in the works.
A Panavia Tornado ECR in from Germany.
A usual visitor to the Čáslav open day event is the Belgian air force F-16 solo display. As usual, they did not disapoint.
Ground crew tend to the Belgian F-16 following the display.
Another Belgian participant this year was the Agusta A-109 display.
The Patrouille Suisse team brough six jets, though opted for a four plane performance. I’ve seen them perform with more jets and can say their four jet show is no less impressive.

8 thoughts on “Čáslav Open Day, 2017

    • pickledwings May 22, 2017 / 06:37

      Thanks for the reblog, much appreciated. 🙂

      • richreynolds74 May 22, 2017 / 08:43

        You are welcome Kevan – it looked like a great day out!

  1. Aviationtrails May 21, 2017 / 23:27

    These bigger shows can be a disappointed for entry times. Had similar problems here myself. A nice line up though.

    • pickledwings May 22, 2017 / 06:32

      It’s really about the planning and logistics.

      I can’t blame the show organizers exclusively as I was aware there was some work happening on the rail line between where I live and Čáslav, so I expected some delays there.

      However, the show this year was a lot bigger than in previous years, but the transport arrangement from the Čáslav train station to the airport wasn’t adjusted accordingly. A lot of people chose to walk the 5 km from the station to the base rather than wait for the small, once hourly train between the two.

      I have made a comment on these matters on the air base’s Facebook page, so hopefully they’ll make some adjustments before the next open day.

      • Aviationtrails May 22, 2017 / 06:43

        Often it is out of the control of the organisers, a shame as it doesn’t help them or those viewing. Sounds like a bus shuttle service was needed – hopefully next time will be better.

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