Airplane enthusiasts enjoy Cranbrook Fightermeet
The 2011 Cranbrook Fightermeet Airshow welcomed nearly 5,000 through its gates to celebrate our region's bi-annual airshow event.
"We are very grateful," says organizer Hans Dekkers. "We worked hard and budgeted for 5,000. In 2008 we had 3,000 so we knew putting the marker at 5,000 was high. But for all intents and purposes we made it! We have received nothing but enthusiastic responses from the crowd. They loved it, and... so did all that were part of the organization."
We lost the Okanagan Skydivers, as they were unable to reach Cranbrook from Kelowna due to bad weather over the Columbia Mountains. And we had to miss out on the F18 and the KC135, as both we called to action. Many keen fans of The Snowbirds were impressed with the new choreography of their show. Snowbird 1, Commander of the Team, Major Chris Hope shared that the team had worked very hard to develop net maneuvers to demonstration beauty and precision. Captain Garrett "Mace" Dover, the fighter demo pilot of the USAF F16 Viper West, loved the crowd and loved the grand hospitality our region extended to his team. The setting of this Airshow, with the majestic mountain peaks in the backdrop is a pilot's dream. All spectators loved our own Snowbirds, but the F16 really blew everybody away. Its power, its agility, its speed, it inspired all.
Dekkers states that the turnout has proved to him the validity of the event. "We wanted to push for substantial increase in attendance. We wanted more people from the USA, and we ran quite a lot of marketing in the Okanagan as well." Dekkers strongly believes in the Airshow as a means to increase people's awareness of Cranbrook and The Kootenays.
"We may be proud of our City and Region. We worked long and hard hours in team work. Business support was very strong. The teams were impressed with the quality of our care: Both technical, as well as staff hospitality."
So what's next? Dekkers says: "Work towards 2013. There were some complaints about the online purchase experience. We're going to further improve that. We are going to invest in an online web site for all Airshows in North America. There is not yet such a thing. We believe that if we create such an information hub for the public, we will be in the premier position to promote the Cranbrook Fightermeet Airshow as well. Plus, behind login, we can create a collaborative environment between Airshow organisers. Too many shows are left to invent the wheel themselves. This year, for example, we aided the Calgary Airdrie Airshow to get things together for the F16.Simply put: We want to see this event continue to grow."
Photo and movie contest.
The Cranbrook Airshow is opening a photo and YouTube movie contest. Submissions are welcomed via firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply via an upload on the Cranbrook Airshow Facebook page. The Airshow will extend prices for coverage of each and every Airshow team or Aircraft model, and the overall winner will win two Abbottsford Airshow Tickets, plus comfortable hotel accomodation for two nights. Competition closing date is August 1.