(Extract from References)
The display is changed each year in order to keep the routine as varied as possible; adding new ideas and changing the order of things to best show off the capabilities of the aircraft and entertain the crowd.
Strict rules and regulations have to be complied with for crowd safety reasons, and, as well as that, it is important to remember that the display Nigel performs on the day is well practiced. The new routine usually starts to take shape in February each year, and practice comprises of performing the individual manoeuvres at a safe height, then combining them in the right order to account for energy management before finally bringing the whole routine down to the minimum Display Authorised heights.
Two routines are needed; a full display, and a "flat" display to cater for less than ideal weather conditions. Both have to be practiced regularly as part of the regulations laid down for CAA Display Authorised pilots before they perform at any display.
Other considerations also have to be taken into account, such as escape routes from each manoeuvre at any stage due to engine, airframe or other problems.
There's a lot for Nigel to think about in the air - not just the display itself, but the positioning of the aircraft in relation to the crowd, taking into account any wind, plus the need to communicate on the radio if necessary (yes, even while upside-down), and turning smoke on and off! Add to that the need to keep a look-out for other aircraft, and checking heights and speeds at various key points in any one manoeuvre, and all this while under the stresses of 'G' forces of anything from +5 to -3 ! This little insight shows that display flying is far more than just performing the correct moves in the air!
With Debs on the ground at the event communicating with Nigel, she'll provide your audience with a great commentary, that includes an interview with Nigel during the display where possible. Debs is a great asset - willing to chat, and also having some memento's for those wishing to take something home from the display!
The result is a spectacular, safe performance that people on the ground will find difficult to forget. Some of the items in the routine look particularly daring, and you'll find yourself holding your breath at certain points. Take a look at the references page to see what we mean - here's a few extracts (as well as the one next to the picture above)!
We are sure you will enjoy the performance. If you have seen Nigel and the Yak display, and can spare a couple of minutes, take a look at the references page, then please feel free to send a reference.