Health and safety rules have a lot to answer for, as many things that were permitted in the past are no longer allowed. This extends to air shows, where there are minimum altitudes that must be respected for fly pasts.

This wasn’t always the case, of course. In days gone by, pilots could safely execute impressively low displays in front of crowds, which required a certain panache. Crowds certainly enjoyed it!

Air Zimbabwe Boeing 707

Taking place at Charles Prince Airport in Zimbabwe and hosted by the Mashonaland Flying Club (MFC) is this fly past by an Air Zimbabwe Boeing 707-330B.

The early jets were also extremely loud, so it would have been a very exciting experience for the spectators. Those interested in the full story of this can go here, where the Captain explains all about it.

Air Shows In The 1970s Did It Too

The White Waltham Silver Jubilee Airshow in the UK was held on 14 and 15 May 1977. British Airways sent the Vickers VC10 G-ARVM on both days to perform for the crowd. Everyone remembers the 14 May event especially for its low fly past with gear up.

Captain AJ Smith, First Officer A Harkness and Engineer Office T Snell were at the controls on the day. There are recollections from spectators and those on board the aircraft that day at this page. Sure sounds like a lot of fun!

Overall Thoughts

Today there are restrictions at air shows relating to what aircraft can do and how low they can go. This makes the events much safer for all concerned.

Even so, in the hands of an experienced pilot and with the proper planning, these displays from the past were successful and safe. It would have been awesome to see them in the flesh, but thankfully there is video available!

What do you think of these two videos? Perhaps you have seen something particularly memorable in person or on a video that you’d like to share in the comments? Thanks for reading and feel free to leave any comments or questions below.

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Featured image via patrick55 on Recreational flying.