One of the biggest issues our community is facing is succession. We already know that there are just 50 FDD’s. Passing the exam with flying colours is not sufficient to get a Tier rating; the CAA require experience. Without opportunities to gain that experience already low numbers will dwindle.

I’m in a fortunate position to do something about it; an initiative announced yesterday will see the Old Buckenham Airshow on the 30th and 31st July offer six places to shadow officials. It’d also be remiss not to point out that Duxford and Old Warden have been making similar offers for years; were it not for their efforts, benefitting the entire community, the situation would be far worse. My aim in emulating them and  making this offer is that other EO’s and FDD’s will do likewise. Having spoken with Paul Sall, I’m pleased to confirm that the CAA will recognise these places as being experience which will go towards the case for the assignment of a Tier.

Considerable thought has been put into how to make this offer without causing distraction to the officials delivering the Airshow. Our FDD, Al Lockwood, has been heavily involved with the thought process; we’ll have mitigations in place to avoid distraction and related issues.

For 2023’s Old Buckenham Airshow, I’ll go one step further. I’m offering places for an entire shadow airshow team which will include shadow EO’s. They’ll be involved in the entire process from Event Plan review over the winter, through the SAG and to delivery of the event. Shadow FDD’s and FCC will all see the planning documents, briefs etc at the same time as the real officials.

If you’re looking to take one of the places this year please use the form below. We’ll give full details and a plan for the 2023 full shadow team offering at the time of the Post Season Symposium. If you’re an experienced EO or an FDD with Tier 2 or higher and are willing to help in this endeavour, please email me directly.

Matt Wilkins

BADA Chairman 

Shadow FDD, FCC or EO Experience Application