The Bucharest International Airshow (BIAS) – 2019 Edition

Hi friends,

As you probably noticed, every year I’ve written at least an article about airshows. Actually four years ago I went for the first time to such an event and I found it simply amazing. So I decided to continue to attend at least an aerial show per year, which I succeeded to do each time since then. And 2019 was no exception!

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To be honest there are three reasons I like to ride to an airshow (mark the word “ride” please!):

  • the beauty of the show, the spectacular manoeuvres, the mastery of the pilots and the colourful trails of smoke drawn on the sky
  • the chance to take some unforgettable action photos
  • bike riding. Yes, this is why I used this word in the beginning instead of walking, driving or anything else. This is one of my favourite sports and I really like to practice it as often as I have the chance. From my home to the airport there is a considerable distance so walking is not possible. The only way to reach it (other than bicycle) is by car or by a combination of underground and bus. But as many of you probably know Bucharest is well known for its traffic jams and the day of the airshow is not an exception (on the contrary). So I find the bicycle as the most efficient way of getting there. It takes me only 20-30 minutes! Bottom line: each time I combine the hobby of taking photos with bike riding the level of happiness reaches a spike!

Regarding the second point I got a valuable chance to get the best out of my D500 which is after all a professional action & sports camera. And I cannot complain, it really does the job! If you don’t believe me please check the below pictures. To be honest the pictures with the parachutist are the best from this category I got so far and they were taken at dusk when usually my Tamron 70-300 starts to hunt for the focus.

Also the airshow was a good occasion to practice some birds-in-flight photography as from time to time I could see flocks of cormorants flying above our heads. Probably the planes and the noise disturbed them a bit so they had to change their course. Lucky me I already had the settings ready, namely the ones for photographing jet planes: 1/3200s, f7.1, auto-ISO, VR off and high burst rate so it was no issue taking some shots. Below you can see two pictures with them.

But let’s get back to the airshow and let me point some “highlights” and impressions:

  • As usual Mr. Jurgis Kairys exceeded the expectations. It is simply amazing what this excellent pilot and engineer can do! And he is 67 years old! He is the main reason I’m attending this airshow and just for watching his outstanding manoeuvres it is fully worth coming here. This time he offered another incredible show and the spirals and looping were literally breathtaking!
  • The Baltic Bees attended the Romanian show again but it’s the first time I actually managed to watch them in action. I’ve witnessed some incredible formations like cross, star and triangle, which really charmed my eyes. A big like and a big bravo for these pilots. Hope we’ll see them again soon in Romania!
  • Unfortunately there were no Air Bandits this time as the other three pilots accompanying Mr. Kairys were attending an airshow abroad. This is it, maybe next time!
  • It was the first time I saw the Romanian Army Mig-21 and F-16 planes perform together. They had an important contribution to the beauty of the show. On this occasion I learned about the reason for which they throw “candles” from behind, namely to confuse the infrared missile guiding systems of the enemy aircraft. Well, it might be obvious for many of you but I hadn’t thought about this until now as I was simply charmed about the spectacular game of lights.
  • The Romanian aerobatic pilots (including gliders) also performed excellently and the combinations of spinning, loops, spirals and smoke they delivered enchanted the viewer. Same can be said about the Italian glider pilot Luca Bertossio. Congrats!
  • Last but not least the Romanian Parachutists showed great performance and mastery. As usual while descending they also launched fireworks. The launcher weighs 3 kilos and is attached to one of the feet of the paratrooper. Congrats guys, keep up the good work!

Ok, so much for the impressions. I will now let the pictures continue the story.


PS: Check these posts too:

Airshows (4)
The Bucharest AeroNautic Show
Some Findings About Editing Airshow Photos
D500. Further Impressions and My Findings about Setting It Up

PS2: always take as much water as you can carry when attending a summer airshow, no matter if you arrive there by bike or not! Take/buy no less than 2 liters if you plan to stay there at least 2-3 hours. Fluids are critical as it is really hot out there both in July and August!


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