I formed the Group or Twitter Accounts for a couple of reasons.
Firstly I heard quite a bit of information through “word of mouth” and knew that a lot of information in the public domain was not being placed where it could benefit most people, so I decided to try and collect all the information and rumour so I could put it out in one place. I was also sat on some technology that most didn’t have access to and could not put to use, this allowed me to monitor flights and put the information my systems were gathering to use.
Secondly I was pretty much confined to bed due to illness, there was no sign this would change, it had only got worse over the last few years so I needed a project I could get my teeth into, that would challenge me mentally but that I could administrate from an iPad, from my bed. It needed to be something that would survive with no attention for a week or two in bad times but benefit from any time I could dedicate to it. With such physical and social isolation it’s so important psychologically to have something like this, especially for someone who was having to learn to sit still because they have never been able to sit still in life up to now!
So those were the reasons for starting up, I had a Twitter account I used for the Waddington Airshow seasonally, so I added @EGXWinfo as the main account and provided information about RAF Waddington only. After a while and because of a few requests I widened the net a little and registered accounts for Scampton, Cranwell & Coningsby. I had known for a few years about the Waddington runway works so this would give me some time to focus on the other airfields and not let my whole project die for the year (cough) Waddingtons runway was due to be closed for.
It carried on growing and I started covering a lot to do with the Airshow season during the summer, trying to provide a live tracking service on Twitter for The Red Arrows, BBMF, Typhoon & Vulcan. I started the Facebook Account and had something like 1,500 friend requests from people up and down the country. I also developed a bit of a system for analysing Social Media data to track aircraft and information and provide routes for things I could ahead of time.
I developed some good sources over this time, sources that could provide me information for public or private only use and I can not underestimate how much we owe to these people, affectionately I refer to them when I say “we” or describe us as a “group” as these people help a lot.
Unfortunately I’m aware I’m not particularly liked by the Display Teams because of what I do. I have tried to work with some of them over the years but it has not worked well up to now. There have been examples where they have tried to release false information through me, something I will never subscribe to and times where they just want to keep things to their friends without there being a reason, safety or otherwise, to withhold the information from the public. There are times I do withhold information, but it’s done in a transparent manner, for necessary, substantial reasons and in a way that actually increases the information I can share in the long run. Our Source Information Policy outlines these circumstances in more detail but to summarise they are about permission or safety! There are never people that know more from me than others, you can be a source (who does not know the identity, existence, or information from another source) and/or a reader who can read EVERYTHING we can release, safe in the knowledge that no other reader has any more information from us, it’s all simple and fair to ensure equality for all. Equality is something I care about, as is my integrity.
A few things that you may also notice are:
When we don’t know something, we always tell you!
We don’t say we are correct all the time, we just aim to be more “correct” than “incorrect”
We are 100% Unofficial and unconnected to The RAF/MOD/NATS/CAA or anything else
I will remain anonymous as best I can, it’s just how I like it.
I can make no promises to continue in the future, I’m not planning on going anywhere but my health at any moment could prevent me from continuing.
What I will let you know is this: I have worked in the Public & Private sectors, at the bottom and in Management. I have experience working in Security, Intelligence and places not a million miles away from the subject matter here. However I’m now pretty much broken physically and my health is always going to be a constant battle. My memory is terrible, I make a lot of typos and spelling mistakes and spend as little time as possible proof reading, so those mistakes often get through, just enjoy them for what they are. The fact I’m most proud of is that I’m a Dad!
Please feel free to comment underneath or on social media, say Hi, introduce yourself and I will try and reply whenever I can.