Now an Executive Officer with the Red Arrows, Squadron Leader Steve Morris has been flying with the RAF since 2002 – Photo: John Jamieson
This past September, I was fortunate enough to attend the Red Arrows’ media event in Vancouver, BC.Â During the event, I was given the opportunity to meet and interview Steve Morris, a senior pilot with the aerobatic team. In addition to learning about Steve’s day-to-day role with the Royal Air Force (RAF), he also talked about his career plans after aerobatics.
NOTE: In the interview, we discuss some of the team’s maneuvers and aerobatics. To provide some context, I’ll be including a few of my photos from the flypast. With a little help from the media guide, I’ve been able to identify some elements from their performance. I’ll do my best to explain the maneuvers as best that I can.
Lockheed L1011 Tristar, KC 1; ZD950; callsign â€œFAGIN 12â€. Backtracking along the main runway, alongside ZD948 â€œFAGIN 11â€ – Photo: Graham Dinsdale
This story was written by Graham Dinsdale,Â of Ian Allan Aviation Tours in England, for AirlineReporter…
04:00 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time); my bedside alarm clock shatters the silence and causes my wife to stir; at last, I thought, keen to get started on what promised to be an awesome – but very sad – day. I had dozed the night away, my brain too active to shut down and allow me to get any sleep. I had reasons for my lack of sleep – I was to fly on a Royal Air Force (RAF) Lockheed L1011 Tristar in formation!
After the usual morning routine I was out the door by 4:30 a.m., and starting my car for the two-and-a-half hour drive across the countryside of Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, and Oxfordshire to the RAF’s huge air transport base at RAF Brize Norton. I anticipated possible delays due to dense fog and mist covering most of the route, and the morning rush-hour road traffic around the university town of Oxford didnâ€™t help, so I allowed plenty of time to get to the rendezvous point: an off-base car park a quarter of a mile from the stationâ€™s main gate.
For those not familiar with British nomenclature, the RAF have â€œstationsâ€ not â€œair bases!â€ The fog and road traffic was not as bad as the internet advised, so I arrive early, at 6:25. Time to open up the flask of coffee and munch a biscuit. Over the next 90 minutes more and more of the invited media, and some very lucky aviation enthusiasts, arrived.