Eyes on the skies

Published January 22, 2020

Red Arrows

I’ve long since been a fan of the Red Arrows, those crazy pilots that take to the skies for close formation flying and manoeuvres that quite frankly boggle the mind. The TV show that aired on Channel 5 this time last year was a great insight into the highs and lows of the group trying to get their display ready to perform.

Injured pilots, new leaders and commentators, and a significant amount of delays due to bad weather, that’s most of the story that surrounds the Red Arrows.

The show has returned this year, but the story has changed - for the 2019 display season, our troupe of touring Reds took to the US and Canada for a spectacular North American tour. This time the show follows them as they try and make it across a large ocean on a small fuel tank, and then put on shows for the people amongst the skyscrapers.

We’re only a couple of episodes in, and I’m loving having the guys back in our lives - although I’m still disappointed in how many guys there are. We seem to have a good representation of women in the engineering crew - the circus, as it is so politely called - but it’d be nice to see some more females sitting in the hot seat.

Especially because, in the second episode, the boys do a display with America’s Blue Angels, the US Navy’s demo team, who fly in excruciatingly close formation and terrifyingly low to the ground. There was some Channel 5 style editing and music choices that made the sequence worse, I’m sure, but the testosterone and barely contained macho competitiveness was draining. You just want to bash their heads together and say, boys, you all do an incredibly difficult and impressive job, how about just being friends?

But still, they can all be forgiven, for whilst I missed the Red Arrows performing in our skies last year, it was worth it for the spectacular sight of them over the densely populated Manhattan Island.

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