One is often confronted by the sight of ‘lurkers’ outside air show venues: those who seek out vantage points around the perimeter of the airfield in order to enjoy the show without contributing to the costs of staging the event. They have been there since aircraft were invented, like barnacles on the hulls of boats.
And yet it seems that the curse of the iPhone generation has struck again, thanks to the following footage from this weekend’s Waddington International Airshow. The dangerous sense of entitlement carried around by the majority of people in 2014, combined with the means to record and broadcast oneself for ‘likes’ – has created a heady cocktail that is almost entirely responsible for this new breed of ‘lurkers’ putting themselves in peril.
The gross level of irresponsibility required to stand in such a place is almost beyond belief. Worse still is the knowledge that if any of these people who put themselves – and, criminally, their children – in harm’s way had been injured by an aircraft or by debris thrown up by an aircraft they would undoubtedly be taking legal action today.
This footage is not funny. It is a stark warning to aircraft operators, event managers, promoters, venues and the police that ‘lurkers’ need to be moved on from dangerous areas. Sadly, the days of trusting in common sense appear to be long gone…