For the first time since 2011, their iconic diamond 9 formation was back in the skies over Lincolnshire as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, The Red Arrows practised for their 2013 display season.
Originally planned to be over RAF College Cranwell, the weather conditions were assessed as being unsuitable, and the practice was quickly rescheduled to RAF Scampton, the permanent home of the Red Arrows.
The team are pleased to report that the practice went extremely well, demonstrating the professionalism and precision for which the Red Arrows have become renowned around the World.
Sqn Ldr Jim Turner, Red 1 and formation Leader said, “Today was our first 9-ship since September 2011, representing a significant move forward in the Team’s winter training for the 2013 display season. We flew two 9 Ship sorties today; I am hugely proud of the whole Team, the pilots, engineers and support staff who have all worked so hard to achieve this milestone.”
New team member Flt Lt Mark Lawson, Red 3 was excited rather than nervous. “The Team have worked hard, practising sorties in groups over the winter months, to build us up to this moment. It was a very exciting day for all of us.”
Now this milestone has been achieved, the team will shortly move to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus to enable additional winter training to be completed in better weather conditions than the Great British winter can offer.
Photographs: Cpl Graham Taylor
The 2013 Red Arrows team return to RAF Cranwell after performing the first 9-ship since the end of the 2011 season.
Sqn Ldr Jim Turner, Red 1 with The 2013 Red Arrows team enters the cockpit his Hawk T1 aircraft prior to taxiing out from RAF Cranwell to perform the first 9-ship since the end of the 2011 season.
RAF/MOD Crown Copyright 2013