Page 9 - issue19.04.2019
P. 9

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 19, 2019 P9


       Retiring Reds ace trades

                   Arrows for Blades

        RUNNER:                      Tracey Allen                                                                      appeared at 700 events.
        Ling, right,                                                                                                     Since joining the
        has joined                   THE RED  Arrows’ longest-serving pilot has                                        RAF in May, 1998,
        the Blades
        Aerobatic                       retired from the RAF after a 21-year career.                                   Mike has amassed a
        Team, far                            Sqn Ldr Mike Ling was with the Air                                        total of 3,500 flying
        right                                   Force’s world-famous aerobatic                                         hours. He flew the
                                                  team for more than 10 years.                                         Tornado F3 in the
                                                      Mike, 40, said: “It’s been                                       air defence role with
                                                     a true honour serving Her                                         111 Squadron, based at
                                                      Majesty and this country,                                        RAF Leuchars.
                                                       working with the most                                             He said: “I first saw the
                                                        amazing people.”                                               Reds perform when I was a boy growing up in
                                                            He described being                                         Biggin Hill where there was an air show every
                                                           part of the Reds                                            year. I decided that was what I wanted to do.”
                                                            as ‘an incredible                                            He joined the Red Arrows in 2007 and flew as
                                                            privilege.’                                                Red 3 in the 2008 season.
                                                               And       he                                              He became part of the synchro pair, formed
                                                             revealed    he’s                                          of Reds 6  and  7 performing  opposition
                                                             signed up  with                                           manoeuvres during shows.
                                                             the      Blades  INJURED: Mike is stretchered into hospital in the city of   In 2010 he suffered a dislocated shoulder and
                                                             Aerobatic Team,   Iraklio, Crete, after ejecting from his aircraft  cuts and bruises after ejecting from his aircraft
                                                             made up of all ex                                         when it collided with Red 7’s during a practice
                                                            Red Arrows pilots.  He added: “There have been so many career  session in Crete.
                                                              He said:  “We   highlights, too many to list. As a Formula One   Mike went on to complete six seasons as Red
                                                            are the world’s only   fan, when I raced a jet against world champion  10, which involved being the team’s supervisor
                                                           aerobatic airline that   driver Lewis Hamilton at Scampton in June  and providing commentary at events.
                                                          can take passengers   2013, that was a very good day at work.”  He  left  the  team  in  December  2017  and
                                                         up    doing   close    During his time with the Reds he has served  returned last year to stand in as Red 3 after Flt
                                                       formation aerobatics. It’s   for 10 display seasons, notched up 1,765 flying  Lt David Stark recovered from injuries sustained
                                                     very good fun.”          hours in a Reds Hawk, visited 46 countries and  during a crash at RAF Valley.

       Valley climbers launch moutain rescue

       Simon Mander
                                                                                                      SEARCH AND RESCUE: HM
       RAF RESCUERS battled sub-zero                                                                  Coastguard helicopter flew in the
       temperatures on one of Britain’s                                                               RAF team, inset
       highest peaks to save a hiker who
       had plunged from a cliff face.
         The male walker dropped
       15 metres while descending the
       difficult west face of the mountain.
         Despite his injuries he remained
       concious and was able to contact                                                                                          DOUBLE ACT: SAC Pollard (left) and Dave
       the emergency services                                                                                                    Ellis cross the line at British Duathlon finals
         Extreme weather forced a HM
       Coastguard Rescue helicopter to                                                                                           Duo on target
       abandon an initial search, but was                                                                                        for Tokyo 2020
       able to fly in rescuers who located
       the casualty on foot.
         The man was treated for his                                                                                             ELITE RAF endurance athlete SAC
       injuries at the scene but it took                                                                                         Luke Pollard guided Paralympic
       several attempts to get him down                                                                                          hopeful Dave Ellis to the British
       to the edge of Llyn Bochlwyd where                                                                                        Duathlon title ahead of his bid for
       the  aircraft  was  able  to  land  and                                                                                   a place on the GB team at the 2020
       transfer him to hospital.                                                                                                 games in Tokyo.
         Air Force personnel joined                                                                                                RAF man Pollard is currently the
       Snowdonia’s  Ogwen     Valley                                                                                             fastest triathlete competitor in the
       Mountain Rescue  Organisation  to                                                                                         UK Armed Forces
       tackle the rugged crags of Tryfan
       – which, at 917 metres, is the fifth
       highest mountain in Wales.                                                                                                Awards shoot- out
         RAF Valley Mountain Rescue
       Team Leader, Chf Tech Ben Wood                                                                                            HENLOW, FYLINGDALES  and
       said: “This was a challenging call-                                                                                       Odiham are set to fight it out for
       out  because  of  the conditions on                                                                                       the Station of the Year award.
       the day and the casualty’s injuries,                                                                                        All three were shortlisted for
       which meant that a protracted                                                                                             the accolade by judges for this
       technical rescue evacuation was                                                                                           year’s RAF Benevolent Fund
       required.                                                                                                                 awards ceremony.
         “Thankfully, the casualty is now                                                                                          The winners in all nine
       recovering from his injuries.”                                                                                            categories will be revealed at the
                                                                                                                                 event on June 27 in London.
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