A Hercules Doing Aerobatics Over Cambridge

There have been sightings of a Hercules transport plane performing some testing manoevres over Cambridge in recent days. Terry Holloway from Marshall explains all to the BBC’s Jeremy Sallis.
Broadcast at 08:20 on Thursday 15th July 2010 in the Cambridgeshire Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

JEREMY: People living near Marshall’s airfield in Cambridge have been been witnessing some thrilling stunt aerobatics in recent days. We’re not talking about the likes of the Red Arrows, but unusual, .., Hercules .. I think it could be argued. Terry Holloway is Group Support Executive of Marshall of Cambridge. Morning to you Terry.
TERRY: Good morning Jeremy.
TERRY: I say unusual, it’s not an unusual aircraft. It ‘s a beautiful aircraft, but not one which we often see performing aerobatics.
TERRY: Well we ought to say it wasn’t really aerobatics at all. It was steep turnings, manoevering to the capability of the aeroplane, very steep turns, climbing and descending quite quickly. The pilot was practicing for Farnborough Air Display, and actually demonstrating that this very capable and very versatile aeroplane which is transporting our troops in Afghanistan, can do all sorts of wonderful things to keep our troops safe from hostile action. Descending very steeply to stop people shooting it down, taking off very steeply so that hostile forces on the ground can’t get at it, and turning very hard. And it was a very accomplished flying display by the Lockheed Martin pilots that were doing it, and we enjoyed seeing it enormously. I brought in a couple of emails. Somebody sent this email saying “just wanted to say the flying display this morning by the C-130 Hercules was one of the best I have ever seen. The pilot obviously knows how good he is, judging from the skills demonstrated, but nevertheless deserves further congratulations from a very impressed member of the public. Absolutely stunning.”
JEREMY: And yet I read in the newspaper, and we had people phone up here yesterday as well Terry saying it was a delight to see such a spectacle, and yet I read a newspaper. One person sent their grandchild home for fear of their lives, this is dangerous, these sort of things shouldn’t be happening over a populated area. Was it dangerous?
TERRY: No not at all. Aviation is very safe. It’s very well regulated. The aeroplane was being flown well within its performance parameters by a very skilled crew. It was being monitored carefully by us, and by a member of the flying control committe at Farnborough, under whose supervision it will be appearing next week at Farnborough. It was very very very safe, and if it hadn’t been safe we wouldn’t have been doing it.
JEREMY: And is this something you’ve done in the past. Is it something we can expect more of in the future over Cambridge?
TERRY: We had a wonderful Open Day for our family and friends last year on the twentieth of September, and actually following that the Mayor of the City of Cambridge said gosh, could we have an annual flying display we so loved it in Cambridge. And this is the closest we will get to it this year. We don’t do this sort of thing very often and I think those people who are listeners who were worried about it can be reassured that this was very much a one off. He was practicing for three days for Farnborough and I think hundreds of thousands of people will enjoy a very polished performance at Farnborough next week.
JEREMY: Terry thank you for coming in this morning.
TERRY: It’s a pleasure.
JEREMY: Terry Holloway there who’s Group Support Executive at Marshall in Cambridge.