Red Arrows Hawk aircraft

Red 10 - Supervisor

Squadron Leader Mike Ling MBE

Mike's primary duty is to act as Supervisor for all practices and displays as well as coordinating the summer display season. Secondary to this he will provide display commentary and is lucky enough to fly most days, either airtesting jets, supervising from the cockpit, helping to teach the new pilots or taking the spare jet between display venues. Mike regularly flies around the team to provide the Red Arrows' photographer with an eagle eye view to take some outstanding images.

2017 Red 10 Story Age: 38


Mike attended St Olave's Grammar School in Orpington, Kent. He joined 2427 (Biggin Hill) Squadron Air Training Corps, reaching the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer and receiving a Royal Air Force Flying Scholarship.


After completing the first stages of flying training, Mike was posted to 72 (R) Squadron at RAF Linton-on-Ouse where he became a Qualified Flying Instructor on the Tucano TMk1 aircraft, teaching basic fast-jet flying to future pilots. He then completed NATO Flying Training in Canada on the Hawk 115 aircraft after which he was posted to the Tornado F3 and joined 111 (F) Squadron based at RAF Leuchars in Scotland. Here he played an active part in the air defence of the United Kingdom and the Falkland Islands on Quick Reaction Alert duties as well as participating in major training exercises in the UK, Belgium, India and Denmark.

Mike joined the Red Arrows for the 2008 Season before being selected for the Synchro Pair for the 2009 and 2010 Seasons. Promoted to Squadron Leader on leaving the team, he became the Subject Matter Expert for the future UK Military Flying Training System while being a part-time pilot with No 1 Air Experience Flight at MOD St Athan flying air cadets in the Grob 115E Tutor.

Mike is now in his sixth year as Red 10 in a total of nine years with the team, having flown as Red 3 in 2008, Red 7 in 2009 and Red 6 in 2010.


Mike's dream of flying with the Red Arrows began when he saw the team perform at the Biggin Hill Air Fair as a child. Mike lives with his partner Nicola and their baby daughter Isla. In his spare time he enjoys hill walking, skiing, private flying and watching Formula One and rugby

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