The Red Arrows have had a terrible year. I had never heard of a Red Arrows pilot dying before, and now we have seen two fatalities in the space of four months. Although there may be slight consolation in the fact they “died doing what they loved”, there’s no escaping the fact that it’s a tragedy.
It’s made worse by the fact that the Red Arrows is a display of incredible skill, determination and bravery, and manages to show off in one of the few ways Britain can. When it comes to other adventures – sports, singing competitions, more sports – we try hard and mostly fail. The Red Arrows though, they’re a symbol of us being good at something.
They’re not unique, of course, but they are special and magical. No matter how I might moan at there only being eight planes sometimes, or how I might wince when they do that move heading straight towards each other, there is nothing to describe what it’s like seeing them in action.
I hope that the sad events of this year don’t put a dampener on the events and performances the Red Arrows put on. Funding must be tough at the moment, and it would be all too easy to put a hold on their next flying season. On the contrary, it’s times like these when we need a flash of red through the sky to keep spirits up and motivation high.
Long live the Red Arrows!