How many people would you say were there?
I don't know how accurate this info is, but a few people were saying there is going to be something planned for monday of another flypast.
What an absolute farce, couldn't organise a p*** up in a brewery. After hearing the Lancaster wasn't coming and it was the Typhoon instead I thought I’ll just head up to Curbar and watch the Typhoon from there as it heads to Chatsworth, no point getting stuck in traffic at Derwent now. 10.30am it gets announced that it won’t fly past Chatsworth due to low flying restrictions or something, so I quickly chuck my mountain bike and camera gear in the car and head to Bamford where I ditch the car and they cycle as fast as I can up to Derwent, lock my bike to a tree and climb up the very steep hillside, killing myself in the process (to say I’m not the fittest person in the world is an understatement). Anyway, I get to the vantage point with about 15 minutes to spare. I could hear the compère/commentator from the gazebo at the far side of the dam, I guess you could call it singing. Just after 12pm it all goes quiet. 12.05pm comes around and no plane. 10 past and still no plane. Quarter past and 20 past, still no plane. At around 12.25pm-12.30pm I would guess a ranger comes around to tell everyone it’s been cancelled due to the weather. I got speaking to another couple of gents who had been there since the early morning and we all say that if one of our most sophisticated fighter planes can’t fly in weather that can only be described as ‘fair’ then god help us.
Undeterred we stay put as no-one on the far side of the dam near the gazebo are leaving, but then we hear the compère make some kind of announcement and then starts to ‘sing’ again, at this point most people at the dam start to leave, as do the press and TV crew near us. At this point we concede that the Typhoon isn’t coming and head back down the Hillside. Then to everyone’s frustration and (for some people) anger there’s a big roar and we see the Typhoon whizz past through the trees. Talk about a kick in the teeth and rubbing salt into the wounds. Being the optimists that we are several of use try to find a better vantage point to at least get some kind of photo on the second pass, but alas no second pass.
I’m sure in a few days I’ll see the funny side. At the moment I’m just really frustrated and disappointed. I don’t know what went wrong and why this was handled so badly, needless to say there were many many frustrated people around as I was leaving. And to hear that the Typhoon did end up making a couple of passes over Chatsworth just rubs more salt in the wounds. Not a happy chappy
It MUST have been en route to Derwent at the time they told everyone it wasn't coming. How did that happen?
There were thousands of people around me and every single one of them had left their vantage points when the plane appeared.
I'm sanguine about the Lancaster but the way the communication was handled and the farce with the typhoon was very poor indeed.
I've no idea. The fact that they said the Typhoon was cancelled due to the weather was a joke to start with, and then to fly past 40 mins (or whatever it was) after it should have done is just a joke.
Back luck everyone who went up there. Sounds like a right pigs ear.
What a farce! I fully understand the Lancaster couldn't be flown due to the windy weather affecting the east of the country where it's based, but they then tell us that a Typhoon will do the flypast instead. I was already almost there by this time so thought I'd make the effort since they were sending something else instead; I paid to park in the carpark then had a 3.5 mile walk to get to the hillside to the east of the dam wall, arriving with just 30 mins to spare. I loaded a 200 ISO film into my camera, which gave me 1/250 at f/5.6 (planning to use a DSLR on the second run) and sat and waited.... and waited... and waited!
Nothing at the allotted time of 12.05, nothing 10 mins after, or 10 mis after that, then the 'official' shout went round that the Typhoon had cancelled the flypast due to low cloud(?) The tops of the hills surrounding the Derwent appeared to be in full view from where I was sitting, and I was on 1/250 at 5.6 at 200 ISO when looking across the dam wall to the treed valley backdrop... so not exactly particularly low light conditions?
The people around me gave it another few mins just to make sure, but then we could see that the people near the official enclosure on the dam wall were packing up and leaving so we all assumed that really was it. Reluctantly we packed our kit away and climbed down off the hill onto the thickly wooded track at the bottom. Then, at around 12:38 we heard a roar and a Typhoon flew past, quite high but not visible above the treeline where many of us were at that time. We half expected (and hoped for) a second flypast and made our way to an opening in the trees just in case, but nothing.
So, with salt well and truly rubbed into the wounds I began the 3.5 mile trudge back to my car, followed by a 2 hour drive back home. As for today's little performance, can somebody please tell me if it really was something to do with the RAF and not an episode plot from Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights?!
PS I would like to thank the local officials (I assume from the council, Severn Trent Water Rangers, etc.) who were all very friendly and helpful, and the organisation of parking and traffic seemed to go very well, with sensible leniency appearing to be shown towards those who'd parked on verges, sides of roads, etc. That part of the organisation seemed to be very well done from what I could see.
Sorry to hear this badger. That’s a big kick to the town halls.
I feel sorry for everyone who made the effort to get there today.
It would have been less of a kick if the plane never showed tbh.
I quite agree, it was very annoying.
This was what I got at chatsworth, as it flew in from the east to west, not realising it was a position move to fly south through the valley! When it did come south, it totally surprised me, flying lower than this. Missed the shot of it against the best cloud in the sky. So much for the no low flying or whatever it was meant to be!
typhoon bbmf replacement.. chatsworth by Michael Johnson, on Flickr
Made all the more poignant by the thought that 75 years ago this evening air crews, many of whom would have probably been in their early 20s, were climbing into Lancaster bombers to successfully find and pinpoint the Ruhr dams in darkness using a compass, maps, scale ruler, a clock and wind and airspeed compensation calculations done on a slide rule. There we were today with a 'cancelled' technology-laden jet arriving around 34 minutes late after reportedly aborting the mission due to cloud conditions. A real shot in the arm for national pride there... talk about Fred Karno's Circus!
I couldn't believe my eyes when it roared over ten minutes after the official tweet saying it wasn't coming. I'd climbed down from the bank, my camera was in my rucksack on my back and I had a cob in one hand and a can of coke in the other.
I get that, totally.
For it to turn up so late, as several here have experienced is jut rubbing salt in. As snerkler said, it would have been less painful if it was a complete no show.
Mind you, I made sure it wasn't a totally wasted journey; on the way home I called into Wincle Brewery (near Macclesfield) and picked up a few bottles of this to cheer myself up a bit.
That and their 'Sir Philip' bitter are well worth trying if you see one of them in a pub somewhere.
As posted in the other thread by @skiking:
Whilst I can see it’s frustrating nothing can be done about the weather (I tried to see some of the last Vulcan flights but poor weather cancelled all of my opportunities and that will never fly again). I’m guessing signal issues in the area probably didn’t help with communication. The BBC report seems to say the original flight path had low cloud so couldn't safely be used. Unfortunately it seems the typhoon pilot didn’t want to disappoint the waiting crowds and managed to find a different safe route in, albeit later than initially expected, and no updated message wasn’t sent that they had found a different root in.
Some of the comments on social media seems to have lost all perspective of what this event was about.....75 years 133 dambuster aircrew left Scrampton, sadly 53 never returned. With the social media backlash BBMF are receiving I can see the RAF never repeating this anverisary flight with any future official upfront announcement.
I feel a bit jinxed trying to catch the Lancaster. When the Canadian Plane came over in 2014, I was out walking the dogs and was surprised when they both flew over my local park in Hampshire at a few hundred feet and I didn’t even have my Phone on me to get a picture. Waited the next day, same spot for one to fly from Bournemouth watching flight tracker, the plane went technical and flight cancelled. Only a short walk home for that one.
Today was a day off, hotel, full tank of gas, nearly five hour drive up and back again. After seeing all the crowd warnings I got there really early and was on the hill before 9 so after a three hour wait (it was pretty nippy) I just timed the walk right to be in the trees when the “cancelled” Typhoon flew past.
Still never been to Derwent before -lovely - must be even better in summer!
A minor question given all the disappointment, but how bad was the traffic and the access to the dam?
I understand unforeseen situations, but I think it could have been handled better, especially given how instant social media is these days.
I’ve not seen the social media backlash tbh, those I’ve seen on FB have all been well constructed and nothing OTT. Unfortunately though social media allows people to say what they want and throw things all out of proportion.
I didn’t arrive until pretty late tbh but the actual roads looked pretty clear. Nowhere to park on the main roads though. Traffic leaving didn’t appear to suffer too much congestion, although at a couple of points I could zip past a couple of minor queues on my bike.
Yes, pretty easy to get in and out, but numbers would have been well down. Must have been a nightmare for BBMF to try and communicate what was going on to the people that were already there, The rangers were very helpful but I guess they could had the same problem imparting info to a large group of people spread across the hillsides with precious little mobile signal
Im sure they could handle it better but without official tannoy announcements like at air shows it’s going to be difficult over such a large area with poor phone signal. Social media is always a bad idea to get these things across. It’s a difficult situation when things haven’t gone to plan, if they didn’t message they would have been wrong. I wouldn’t be surprised if their social media procedure is now updated to include no tweeting about aircraft in flight, adding to the flight path info ban they already have. Perhaps they should have waited until the typhoon was back on the ground at RAF Coningsby before tweeting it was cancelled. I find with aircraft the best idea is to stand near the serious plane spotters. They have the scanners listening to the actual radio conversation so you know exactly what’s going on!
The social media backlash seems to mainly be in reply to the tweet saying it’s not going to happen. It sounds like he was trying to be helpful and make sure people weren’t standing around in the cold waiting for nothing. One of the worst tweet responses was “Good job it wasn’t you guys defending the country back then otherwise we would all be speaking German right now...”, and all because they took a day off and took their children out of school for it. Others seemed to suggest the RAF couldn’t fly in poor weather and didnt show up to honour the dambusters when the crowds did. It seems some just don’t understand why they can’t risk multi million pound aircraft and public safety for event such as this when the weathe4 isn’t right (totally different to military action). The BBMF crew will feel bad enough as it is, even the well constructed criticism isn’t great considering what the day was about (would people be saying the same if it was remembrance Sunday?). The BMMF pilots are frontline pilots who volunteer giving up their free time away from their families to do this for the enjoyment of the public. The fact the Typhoon turned up even with the weather against it showed their determination to get there. It may have been late but at least it honoured the dambusters in its own way 75 years on. I’m sure when the dust settles and everyone calms down there will be some people feeling quite stupid for the way they reacted and what they have said.
I think the social media backlash is mainly due to people being told officially that the flypast wasn't going to happen, then finding out that this was incorrect! And as for communications being difficult up there, the word it was cancelled seemed to get round well enough!
If you didn't attend the event then I don't know whether you'll fully appreciate the effort some people went to in order to get there. There were quite a lot of middle aged and older people there, some of whom had pretty much dragged themselves up the hillsides to get a good vantage point... or as good a vantage point as their mobility would allow. Don't forget, for many people this involved a 3+ mile walk round the reservoirs in undulating terrain to get there, so it wasn't just a case of popping up a path for a quick look.
As for finding serious plane spotters to stand near, that's a good tip, but this wasn't an air show in a flat field, it was a few thousand people spread over a wide area, many of whom were half way up steep, bilberry and bracken covered hillsides. For a lot of people, they stood (or sat on the ground) at the point where their tired legs could pretty much carry them no further, they didn't have the energy left to go trotting around trying to find someone with an airband scanner.
Despite the news of the cancellation people still seemed in quite good spirits. What turned that to annoyance was the subsequent appearance of the plane when most people had packed their cameras, camcorders, binoculars, etc. away in their bags and started the long trudge back to their transport. When people realised they'd made all that effort and then missed the plane (which did not return for a second pass) the mood changed, particularly when faced with a 1.5 hour walk back to their cars, etc. I don't think you can blame people for that under the circumstances, nor for people venting their spleen about their experience when they finally returned home.
There was a serious plane spotter near me. He had a scanner hung on the fence behind him. I heard it crackling away but where I was I couldn't actually any of the output coming out of it...
He was gone before I was.
Nobody was annoyed at the Typhoon being late. Everyone had assumed there was some delay and was patiently waiting. Watching the head of the valley and trying to listen for the sound of a jet in the wind.
My first inkling it was off was when I saw a group of Hi-Viz wearing officials on the far bank all get up and leave en-masse. Then more and more people around me started to leave their positions and walk away. I was wondering if it was Chinese whispers at first, but then came the tweet from the official account confirming it wasn't coming. So then everyone started leaving.
For it then to pass over when everyone was down off the hillsides, back in their cars for some, certainly facing the wrong way and out of position with cameras packed for almost all, was hugely exasperating. I didn't see or hear any expressions of anger on the ground, just disappointment.
Yes I fully understand what you’re saying, and for the most part agree, and agree it did show determination by the pilot. I have no criticism about them. However, there were official announcements there by the Dam itself and these were also relayed to the Park Rangers, the announcement of the cancellation was not hearsay.
I have sympathy with the RAF and BBMF but I don’t think that my opinion will change that it was poorly handled. For example why make an official announcement in the morning that the Typhoon is not allowed to fly over Chatsworth only for it to end up flying over it?
I think it just ended up being a huge disappointment for everyone concerned, including the RAF and BBMF. I don’t think anyone criticised them not wanting to risk multi million pound aircraft.
Reports on Radio Sheffield just now that the Lancaster has been seen flying by more than one person in the local area
Yes, two passes this morning!!!!!!!!! lol, you couldn't make it up
I'm genuinely glad they flew Squadron Leader Johnny Johnson in the Lancy over the dams. Shame we couldn't see it.
I agree, a fitting tribute to JJ and the other air crew who took part in Operation Chastise. Let's remember Barnes Wallis and Roy Chadwick too, without whom we wouldn't have had the bouncing bomb or a Lancaster to drop it from.
However, perhaps if they'd organised a 2 day window for the event (planned for 16th but 17th available if weather constraints were encountered) a lot of us would have been there to see it? The Peak District is renowned for its low cloud, mists and drizzle, so why couldn't they have had a two day window for the event to provide some leeway? Surely it wouldn't have taken that much additional organisation, and would have enabled yesterdays event to be postponed the day before when the forecast was known, giving people at least some time to make alternative arrangements. Perhaps this is something BBMF and Derbyshire County Council could consider if they ever carry out a repeat of the event?
As for today, even if I'd known about it there is no way I could have walked up there again as my legs and feet are aching so much. I had to take pain killers to get myself up there yesterday as I've got a trapped nerve in my leg and it seems to have thrown my posture out, causing both my calf muscles and heels to stiffen up and ache like mad when I get out of bed in the morning. You get these things as you get older.
On a brighter note, the Dambusters film is on TV this afternoon on Film 4 at 4.10pm to 6.45pm, so even if you can't catch the start then people might be able to catch the end of it when they get home from work. I won't spoil the ending by saying what happened!
If you are angry that they performed the tribute today with no notice for the sake of Johnny then, in my opinion you need to look at yourself!
I'd have been frustrated yesterday but at the end of the day these things happen. It's important that it happened for Johnny and as a memory to everyone involved.
I don't think anyone on this forum will be angry about that at all, it's a fitting tribute and I'm very glad they managed to carry it out. Any frustration was purely over yesterday's happenings, and not any jealousy about today.
Wasn't directed at anyone on the forum, just as general comment .