007 meets Queen Elizabeth II
Ten years ago next year, on 27 July 2012, secret agent James Bond escorted Queen Elizabeth II to the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. It was such a scoop getting both Her Majesty and 007 together. The organisers must have been so proud of themselves.
What do you think would happen if a secret agent really did land in the office of the Queen of England? Why would he be there? (Other than to encourage her to jump out of a helicopter, of course… although that part was apparently played by a stunt person.)
Who do you think was the most excited? The Queen or Daniel Craig? What did they go back and tell their friends and families about the event?
In fiction, you could have some fun with this one. For non-fiction, you could look at national security or security in a royal palace, or something about helicopters, or something about the James Bond franchise or history.
Air show crash, Ukraine
Twenty years ago next year, on 27 July 2002, a fighter jet crashed at an air show in Ukraine, killing 85 and injuring hundreds. It was the largest air disaster in history.
What other disasters or crashes have occurred at air shows around the world? Or even around where you live? What is the safety record of such shows?
How about the pilots who fly the planes? What’s their history? Why do they do it? Are they all ex-military?
You could write a profile piece on aerobatic teams. We have at least two in the UK that I know of, but I’d bet there were more. Our most famous one is the Red Arrows, and some of those pilots now fly for the other organisation. This latter one even gave us a little display the other day.
You could research and write a profile on one of the pilots. Or one of the air show organisers. Perhaps you could write a piece of fiction, either set at an airshow where a disaster happens or from the point of view of one of the pilots. Or their spouses.
Helicopters collide in Phoenix
This one happened on the same date, but five years later. In fact, they all happened on the same date, and the top story included a helicopter too, so could any or all of them be linked together?
Fifteen years ago next year, on 27 July 2007, two new helicopters collided over a school in Phoenix. Sadly, there were no survivors. Does that include the occupants of the school too? Or was the helicopter crews only?
What can you find out about this disaster? It was apparently the worst civil aviation disaster in Phoenix history. How must the families of those involved feel? Some journalists would be able to track them down and ask them.
Could the events of this disaster be fictionalised?
Over to you…
… and don’t forget to come back and let me know if and what you did, and how it fared.