Red Arrows return to ‘favourite place’

THE skies were alive yesterday as aircraft tore through the air to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Some 19 aircraft featured this year with the much anticipated Red Arrows finishing off the event.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight was cancelled due to the weather in the morning, but sunshine beamed down on spectators for the rest of the display.

The event was dedicated to the memory of former Air Display Consortium chairman Michael Perrett, who died earlier this year.

Flying display director Barry Neal considered the day to be a success.

‘The Red Arrow pilots say this is their favourite place to put on displays,’ he said.

‘They’re the certain favourites on the island.’

A minimum of £60,000 was needed to stage the flypastand getting it relied on support and fundraising from various individuals and companies.

‘It can be a bit of a struggle – 95% of it is sponsorship,’ said Mr Neal.

‘We’re all volunteers – we do it because we enjoy it. We put on as varied a show as we can and it’s been very successful.

‘When the Red Arrows do their final manoeuvre, I breathe a sigh of relief.’

Royal Air Force Association president Alan Brunger said the Channel Islands skies offered a unique experience for the pilots.

‘They say it feels like an amphitheatre.’

Thousands of people turned out to see the annual spectacle, and among them were three of the new Lt-Governor’s cadets.

Lauren Walsh, 16, said she appreciated being invited.

‘It’s great being able to go behind the scenes,’ she said.

Cadet Zara Honey, 16, said: ‘It’s a nice bonus before our duties start.’

Aurigny dispatcher Liam Collins, 18, has been a long-time aircraft enthusiast and had the opportunity to accompany Red Arrows squadron leader Mike Ling for a flight in the aircraft on Wednesday.

He was watching and photographing from Castle Cornet as the Typhoon passed through the sky.

‘It means a lot to see good aviation in Guernsey.

‘It is definitely the best line-up in years.’

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