A very unusual picture for 2020: remember the days when we all could just pack into one place without a care in the world? Well, this photo is from Zigermeet 2019, a very well-attended airshow.
A year ago, no one would ever have thought what changes COVID-19 would force upon us in 2020. The airshow industry was hit very hard, with nearly all American airshows being canceled, and only a handful able to adapt to a drive-in style which allowed for ample social distancing. And it sure will be interesting to see how the 2021 airshow season will look like. What will the new normal be? Maybe more of the drive-in style shows? Time will tell. But it will definitely be a while before we are back to the “good old days” of massive crowds all packed together.
Speaking of airshows, since I have not been able to attend a single airshow this year, let’s look back at an airshow I attended during my vacation in Switzerland last summer.
What exactly is the Zigermeet? It is the name of an airshow in Switzerland. Ziger is a byproduct from the process of making cheese. And meet, as in meeting or get together. The Ziger comes from the area of the Glarus Region in Switzerland, which is approximately a 65km or 40 mile drive south east of Zurich. The town of Mollis has an airport and that is where the Zigermeet 2019 airshow was held on August 16-17, 2019.
Many years ago the first Zigermeet airshow was a very small event, more like of a get together/fly-in of aviation enthusiasts. But over the years, the show kept growing, and with 2019 the Zigermeet became the largest airshow in Switzerland. Friday was considered a training day, with about 10,000 attendees, and Saturday was the main event day with 20,000 attendees.
The C-130H is on its sunset tour on active duty, but it will always provide a unique travel experience – Photo: David Lynn
I know many of you are used to reading fancy business class reviews on the newest aircraft with well-known airlines all over the world. While those are all well and good (feel free to send me anytime) I felt it was important to share the experience of an aircraft that has carried millions of people all over the world for more than 40 years.
This aircraft caters to an elite type of passenger that is so special you can’t even buy your way on. No, you have to work long and hard, and give up a lot, to get a seat on this amazing plane. You can’t find this type of service on any other airline in the world. If you want to talk about accommodations? Let’s just say I guarantee you won’t find this type of comfort anywhere else.
This trip was scheduled to take place from Tokyo, Japan to Mansfield, Ohio, and if that seems like a strange city pair, you would be right. But, being an AvGeek is all about special planes and special events. In this case, the special plane was a C-130H Hercules, and the special event was its last flight in the active duty Air Force before being delivered to the National Guard.
That’s right, after 43 years of service all over the world, this beauty was moving on to a new life back in the United States, where it will continue to serve in new ways. As you will see below, a 43-year-old airplane provides for a very unique and memorable experience.