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Issue 301 – Frome Air Cadet meets the Red Arrows

Bradley Nye of 1031 (Frome) Squadron ATC recently had the thrill of a lifetime when he won a competition run by the RAF to spend a day with their elite display team – the Red Arrows.

Bradley, who is a corporal in Frome ATC, likes to keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the RAF through their online magazine ‘Altitude’. Each month there are prize draws and the one entitled “WIN an on-base meet-up with a Red Arrow” caught his eye. To enter, he had to answer the question “if you could ask a Red Arrow any three questions what would they be?” To his amazement, Bradley received an email to say that he had won the competition and was soon on his way to RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire.
The day started with an engineering tour around one of the hangars housing four of the Red Arrows (Hawk T1 aircraft) and being shown around the aircraft by Flt Sgt Steve Cox, including how an ejector seat works! Flt Sgt Cox is responsible for all the 85 ground crew/technicians required to maintain the fleet of 13 Red Arrows aircraft and that there are always at least two aircraft under going maintenance at any one time.
The day continued with a visit to the crew room where Bradley met the Red Arrow pilots and spent time talking to them before watching the brief for a sortie due to take place. The brief was given by Red 1, who explained how the practice would have to be adapted to take account of the low cloud that day. After watching the sortie outside, Bradley continued his day by watching the debrief, using a video of the sortie, with the pilots. He found this very interesting as he could see how the pilots evaluated their performance with each other and working out how they could each improve.
After sharing lunch with the team, Bradley was invited to interview a member of the team. Unfortunately, due to operational restraints, he was unable to interview Sqn Ldr Ben Murphy but was able to interview Flt Lt Kirsty Moore (Red 3) – the first female to become a Red Arrow pilot – and put his three questions to her:

Q: What inspired you to join the Royal Air Force?
A: My father was a navigator in the RAF and I enjoyed being around the Squadron as a child.
Q: What advice would you give to an 18 year old who is considering joining the RAF as an officer RAF?
A: Keep persevering! There will be many challenges but you need to be persistent if you want it enough.
Q: What is life like in the RAF as a Red Arrow pilot?
A: Brilliant! It is very busy and the flying is some of the most challenging I have ever done.
Bradley is now keeping a very keen eye on the monthly competitions but thinks that the prize would have to be very special indeed to top his experience of spending the day with the Red Arrows.
The Air Training Corps is a national youth organisation open to young men and women from 13 to 21 years of age. Its aims and objectives are to promote and encourage a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force, develop good citizenship and leadership, as well as fostering the spirit of adventure.
The Frome Squadron meets at the Cadet Centre (behind Lynwood Motors) in Keyford on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 7.15pm to 9.30pm.
For further information on joining the Air Training Corps in Frome contact or visit the website at HYPERLINK “”