|With a rich aviation heritage, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of the main vintage aircraft shows in Europe takes place in the Czech Republic each year. The event is called aviation pilgrimage and it enticed thousands of spectators to take just that, all the way to Pardubice.
Pardubice is the city of the first Czech pilot, Jan Kaspar, and the event is held in his honour at the local airport. The airport at Pardubice is hosts charter flights and is also home to CLV, a subsidiary of LOM Praha, a state-owned company that has been performing military pilot and technician training since 2004.
With excellent transport links to the city center and the main train station, including a dedicated train service stopping on the airfield itself, getting to the show is a breeze. The showground is extensive and visitors can see static aircraft and the flying display aircraft upclose. There are also plenty of foodstalls serving up a wide range of food, far more diverse than what you’d find in western Europe. There are also exhibitions in the shelters and hangars, a fun fair, classic cars and a large re-enactment area, all to keep the crowd content until the flying display commences at 11:30. The programme runs uninterruptedly until just after 17:00 in the afternoon and is identical on both days.
While one could be concerned that the display would be very similar year on year, the organizers always manage to bring variety to the show by focusing on various aspects of Czech aviation history. After all, with renowned manufacturers like Aero and Avia to name but two, there is no shortage of historic aircraft of Czech origin. This year, and perhaps very aptly, there were quite a few historic training aircraft on show.
Other highlights included a pair’s routine by the Czech fling Bulls, the Royal Air Force Czechoslovakia station, and Martin Sonka showing off the a CLV Zlin 142 with an impressive solo display. Also on show for one of the final times, was the Czech air force Mi-24, due to leave service soon, and there was also a performance by Aviaticka Pout regulars The Flying Bulls from Austria, presenting 3 warbirds and 2 helicopters in the flying display. Not to be overlooked either, Lukasz Czepiela presented his Carbon Cub with which he made world headlines just two months before the show.
Watch the complete report above (59 minutes)
While perhaps not the best Aviaticka Pout in memory, it was definitely a very enjoyable show with plenty of excellent displays from a wide range of aircraft. It should definitely be on the list to visit for any historic aviation enthusiast. Being only an hour away by train from Prague, it can easily be combined with a visit to the Czech capital.
|Report by Chris Janssens
Lay-out and content by Chris Janssens, 2005 - present