Venturing Up North

Old and New 1(F) Sqn.

We ventured upto Scotland to support the 2021 RAF Lossiemouth Families Day (Aka the Lossiemouth Drive In Airshow). As seems to be a common trend for 2021, the day before was stunning, the day (or at least the morning of) was not. Low cloud, reduced visibility all but scuppered the flying programme, with only the Typhoon getting airborne and completing a full display. A rapidly changing set of weather, considering just 10 minutes before it was unsuitable for the Red Arrows to fly even a Flat display.

When you have a French Exchange Pilot on the Squadron, who’s wife is a master in the kitchen, tasted as good as they looked!
Flt Lt James Sainty, callsign Anarchy one showing the friends and families exactly what the home based Typhoons can do.

Following the cease of flying, it was a quick dash across country to Peterhead, for their Scottish Week celebration highlight, the Red Arrows. After a glorious drive in Sunshine, the arrival in Peterhead was filled with a little bit of trepidation as the 558 foot tall chimney kept vanishing into low cloud. The atmosphere though was excellent, with upwards of 40,000 people gathering around the top of the marina and enjoying being out the thought that the Reds might not appear didn’t seem to worry them. The RAFAT PR team were certainly busy, with many thousands visiting the Blues and Red 10.

With around 15 minutes to go, after phone calls to Aberdeen Airport and other local weather experts, the cloud began to lift and with 2 minutes to go it was sufficient to start the display Flat. Bang on 1900 the skies were filled with the sights and sound of 8 Red Hawks (Red 9 was still unable to fly) and the familiar Red, White and Blue smoke trails we have missed during Covid.

Circus 10 Cpl Adam Fletcher, filming the display ready for the debrief.

The weather improved throughout the display with the second half of the display becoming Full, allowing for the full range of the 2021 second half display to be flown. It’s fair to say that everyone was pretty impressed as the Reds broke in their final manoeuvre, the rapturous applause could be heard very clearly.