Aircraftman to fulfil childhood dream... and fly in back seat with the Red Arrows!
SENIOR Aircraftman Andrew Brooks who hails from West Lancashire will fulfil his childhood dream this summer... flying in the back seat with the world-famous Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, The Red Arrows.
Andrew is one of a ten-strong team of engineers known as the ‘Circus Blues’, who has been assigned to a specific aircraft and pilot throughout the 2018 display season.
He will travel as a passenger in one of the Red Arrows’ two-seat Hawk aircraft in transit flights to over 80 display venues throughout the UK and Europe - flying at speeds of more than 350mph.
Once his aircraft arrives at the display’s operating base, Andrew is responsible for servicing the aircraft before it can fly again.
Andrew was educated in West Lancashire, attending Cobbs Brow Primary School and Lathom High School before completing a BTEC National Diploma in Sports Coaching, Development and Fitness at Skelmersdale College.
He said: “Being selected for 2018 Circus was amazing. When it was announced I couldn’t believe it, to have the opportunity to fly in the back seat of the Red Arrows Hawk T1 is an amazing experience and something I never thought I would do this early in my RAF career.”
As Circus 4, Andrew has been paired with Red 4, Flight Lieutenant Chris Lyndon-Smith.
Andrew has worked on Chinook helicopters and has completed detachments to the Middle East and spent time on HMS Illustrious during his time at RAF Odiham.
Officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows showcase the excellence of the RAF and represent the United Kingdom both at home and overseas.
The team consists of nine display pilots and more than 100 support personnel and technicians. Each of the pilots has previous fast jet operational experience flying the Tornado or the Typhoon, enabling the RAF to secure the skies and protect the nation and its interests, 365-days a year.
One of the world’s premier aerobatic teams, the Red Arrows had completed 4,660 displays, in 57 countries, by the end of 2017. Flying Hawk jets, the team is based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire.