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Rain fails to dampen the spirits as 30th anniversary Sunderland Airshow draws to a close

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Not even the rain could dampen spirits on the final day of Sunderland Airshow as it celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Despite the downpours and gusty winds, thousands of families turned out - armed with their umbrellas - to enjoy a slightly revised programmed of entertainment.

Decent crowds still turned out for the last day of Sunderland Airshow, despite the awful weather.

Decent crowds still turned out for the last day of Sunderland Airshow, despite the awful weather.

Due to the bad weather, once again a number of planes were grounded, including the ever-popular Battle of Britain Memorial flight.

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However, at a slightly later start time of 3pm, the crowds were wowed with the arrival of the autogyro - the show’s smallest craft.

Pilot Peter Davies said he was thrilled to have been able to take to the skies.

The Vampires were among the planes which managed to fly on the last day of Sunderland Airshow 2018, despite the rotten weather.

The Vampires were among the planes which managed to fly on the last day of Sunderland Airshow 2018, despite the rotten weather.

He added: “I don’t know how it’s possible, but for me the Sunderland Airshow just keeps getting better every year.

“It was bumpy and there was a few jumpy moments, but I am an entertainer and for me the crowds are just brilliant.

“When you fly along and see all those people eagerly waiting for you - it’s just incredible, it’s hard to describe the feeling.”

Gallery: Readers’ pictures from day one of Sunderland Airshow 2018


Corporal Frank Millerick, of the Tigers Army Parachute Display Team, was saddened his team wasn’t able to perform on either of the days.

The RAF Chinook flies over the crowds who braved the weather at Seaburn on the final day of Sunderland Airshow 2018.

The RAF Chinook flies over the crowds who braved the weather at Seaburn on the final day of Sunderland Airshow 2018.

He said: “It’s like a rollercoaster ride, everyone was naturally very disappointed. We go from massive highs to huge lows, it’s like peaks and troughs.

"But as team leader I have to think of the welfare of the guys and a decision has to be made as their safety is paramount.

“Sunderland is such an amazing place to perform, the crowds are so tightly packed together the sound is incredible.

"Some of the more experienced guys will know what to expect, so they will milk it and perform for the audiences even more, so it’s a massive shame they weren’t able to enjoy that this year.”

The Bronco was among the aircraft which weren't grounded by the weather as Sunderland's 30th Airshow came to a close.

The Bronco was among the aircraft which weren't grounded by the weather as Sunderland's 30th Airshow came to a close.

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Christopher Bainbridge, 29, from Hylton, came along with his daughter Darcia Welsh-Bainbridge, three, and the rest of his family.

He said: “I’ve been here all three days, I just love the airshow, it has such a great feel about it.

“It is a bit of a shame when the planes can’t fly due to the weather, but that’s just the luck of the draw, there’s still plenty of other things to see and do.

“I was pleased to see the Typhoon, although it was a bit too loud for the bairn.”

Gallery: Readers’ pictures from day two of Sunderland Airshow 2018

Back on the ground, there were also tributes to the RAF’s centenary as the Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Lynda Scanlan, met and hosted veterans at a small reception.

Waves smash against the sea wall as crowds watch the final day of the 2018 Sunderland Airshow.

Waves smash against the sea wall as crowds watch the final day of the 2018 Sunderland Airshow.

The Mayor said: “The closing day of the Sunderland Airshow was our chance to show our gratitude and respect to the veterans and serving members of the RAF in its Centenary year.”

Crowd numbers were into the hundreds of thousands, with large crowds for the Red Arrows on Saturday afternoon, plus arena displays and stage events.

Friday evening’s programme of flying and live music also proved popular - although once again the weather caused issues.

The Leader of Sunderland City Council, Coun Graeme Miller, added: “We’d like to thank the people of Sunderland and our guests from across the region, the country and the world for helping us to celebrate the 30th Sunderland Airshow.

“It’s been an unforgettable event and that’s because of all those those involved in providing the flying programme, the ground displays and lots of amazing musical entertainment.”

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