THIS weekend’s Bournemouth Air Festival was a “rollercoaster ride” according to the organiser, as more than 800,000 people flocked to the town to view the stellar displays.

The annual Bournemouth Air Festival took place this weekend from Thursday, September 2, to Sunday, September 5 and featured stand-out displays from the Red Arrows, RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the RAF Typhoon.

Air festival director Jon Weaver said:

“As with all Air Festival’s it’s always a rollercoaster ride, it's never something that you can just sit back and let happen.

“We’ve had some great highs and some challenges and we always come out of it feeling that we’ve had a really good festival.

“This year we have had a really pleasing festival considering all the challenges that we’ve had to face and it’s been well-worthwhile, what we’ve got - it’s been fantastic.”

Last year’s Air Festival was held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the team were organising the festival from home for most of the year.

Jon said: “It feels like we’re getting back to some sort of normality and it feels great to be doing what you love doing and seeing the impact it has on people visiting the festival who have come in their hundreds and thousands - it’s great to see people just enjoying the festival again and that’s why we do it.”

“The team, ourselves as the events team and all of our colleagues in the council, the emergency services and Public Health Dorset - I could go on - have all been committed to try and make this happen.

“That’s what happens with this festival, it brings people together and that tenacity, we’re so thankful for that.

“My team is unbelievable, they have been absolutely committed the whole way through and I can’t thank them enough.

“People may say it’s a bit gushy, but they have pushed the envelope and smashed it."

On Saturday afternoon the wingwalkers biplane crashed at Sandbanks near to the chain ferry.

No one was seriously injured and both the pilot and wingwalker were recovered from the plane. They were taken to hospital with minor injuries and have since been discharged.

Jon said: “From our perspective, whatever happens in any incident, the emergency services and others are really well trained in terms of what they do. What they did at Poole Harbour just worked for them perfectly.

“They managed that incident very well.”