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Last Updated: Thursday March 05 2009 16:19 GMT

I met the Red Arrows!

Press Packer Oliver standing next to a Red Arrows' plane.

Press Packer Oliver wrote to the Red Arrows - the aerobatics display team of the Royal Air Force - and they invited him to visit them for a day.

Here's his high-flying story.


"I wrote a letter to the leader of the Red Arrows, Wing Commander Jas Hawker and asked him if I could meet the Red Arrows because I am a really big fan of them and want to be a pilot when I grow up. I received a letter before Christmas inviting me to spend a day with them.

We went at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire and were taken to the Red Arrows headquarters where we met our guide. I was so excited and could not wait to see the planes.

Briefing time

First we went to the hanger where we saw five Red Arrow Hawks being serviced. We also saw inside a Red Arrow cockpit with a technician who explained how the Hawk aircraft works.

Oliver with the Red Arrows Display Team
Oliver with the Red Arrows Display Team

We went upstairs to the crew room where we were allowed to sit in on the pre-flight briefing. They were planning their training flight.

After this, we went outside to watch the pilots walk across to their planes. They started to taxi onto the runway.

We then went up to the air traffic control tower. The view was great! The air traffic controllers were really friendly.

The Red Arrows' display was fantastic! I saw the Red Arrows' practice moves which they had talked about in the briefing session.

We all then went back inside to listen to the pilots' debriefing session. They talked about their manoeuvres (helix, cobra, vixen roll and the goose).

Interviews

Oliver interviewing the Red Arrows
Roving reporter Oliver in action, interviewing Jas Hawker.

Then we had lunch and I talked to the pilots. Jas (also known as The Boss) told me his favourite moment was flying Red 1 over the Statue of Liberty in New York with red, white and blue smoke coming out of the back of his plane.

All the pilots were really friendly and we even talked about their favourite pizza!

I feel really lucky to have met the pilots and their team.

This mind-blowing day which I will never forget has made me want to be a pilot even more!"

Oliver, 9, Lincolnshire.


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