The main part of the group visited Zhukovsky for the second time on Saturday 22 July. A few of us decided to go to the media platform. The rest went outside the field, on the banks of the Moskva river, to prove their luck for the airshow. The spot north of the airfield was no longer accessible, so we had to find an alternative. Luckily it was found on the south side of the river, where the aircraft can be seen banking to the field during displays. This spot was almost as good as the one north of the river.
However, it took some time and effort to get there… the ride was smooth and we had passed the outer Moscow ring soon after. Unfortunately Murphy was aiming for our bus this morning. The bus suffered technical problems (an air hose problem) which was fixed by the driver in 45 minutes. During these 45 minutes that traffic became heavier and we saw a queue being ‘created’ in front of our bus. After hitting the road again we had to join this traffic jam while the clock was ticking. The next hurdle was that the police had a road block near the airfield and no vehicle without a parking license was allowed to pass (although we only needed to drop off a couple of people). The bus was sent back, after which we mainly used small roads to get to Bykovo airfield, which was used as parking area. After a security check and a drive along a lumpy road those that wanted to get out were dropped off. In the afternoon these would take a taxi back to the hotel, so there was no need to do this again in the afternoon. Finally the spot on the river was reached, and before anything was missed of the display the relieved group could leave the bus. The bus driver and our 4Aviation tour guide were also relieved everything worked out just fine.
On the banks of the Moskva river it was already crowded with photographers, but all manage to find a good spot. Some Russian boats also found their way to the spot, with a partying and drinking crew. That proved to be a source of entertainment later in the day, as some drunk crew members put up a (non-voluntary) show. During that one of them was arrested up to three times. It was like a professional slapstick show to watch in between the displays.
Unfortunately the only factor we couldn’t steer, the weather, proved to be rather disappointing. Low clouds, dark and grey. Nice to photograph hard turning planes with vortex, but mostly not good. Only at the end of the show, as the Russian Knights were performing, the sun came out. Everybody returned back to the hotel satisfied and on time, followed by a final visit to the Red Square or a favourite restaurant.