The Chairman’s Chat

The Red Arrow Pilots 2016. Red 1 - Sqn Ldr Montenegro, Red 2 - Flt Lt Masters, Red 3 - Flt Lt Taylor, Red 4 - Flt Lt Bowden, Red 5 - Flt Lt Cox, Red 6 - Flt Lt Morris, Red 7 - Flt Lt Bould, Red 8 - Flt Lt Cambell, Red 9 - Flt Lt Hourston.

After a hectic display season in 2015, it’s now time to reflect on the highlights and lower points of the year.

Starting with the bad and the ugly, the British weather had a major effect on the display programme: 14 shows were lost due to poor weather and 4 others due to operational reasons. On the Queen’s Birthday Flypast, the Reds were the only participants due to a nasty band of showers; from the North, it was too bad for helicopters.

Luckily, one of the highlights was the RAA reunion at RIAT, Fairford. The weather was kind and it was great to have time to take 30 minutes away from the busy corporate and flying programme to meet many old friends and colleagues. It was not an ideal date to hold the event so for next year, it is hoped that the reunion will take place at Scampton on the weekend. Not only will this allow many more to participate but there should be an opportunity to nose around the squadron again and reclaim those missing RAFAT tea mugs! More details will be published once next year’s display schedule has been ratified in the New Year.

This year we have 2 new pilots: Flight Lieutenants Matt Masters (Red 2) and Si Taylor (Red 3). There will be some new shapes and manoeuvres in the display in 2016 so please do support the reunion – your feedback/banter is greatly appreciated!

For now, I wish everyone a happy Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year. Please keep spreading the word amongst RAFAT members – let’s achieve a 300-strong membership by the summer!

For the latest news on the Team, please access the MoD Red Arrows website: www.raf.mod.uk/reds.’

Until my next chat…

Regards,

Wg Cdr Martin Higgins