Aces high: Stunning pictures of Red Arrows tearing across the sky pay poignant tribute to daredevils who lost their lives last yearPosted: June 21, 2012
Nothing can beat witnessing the white-knuckle aerobatics of the Red Arrows in person – but these spectacular photographs of them in action might just be the next best thing.
A collection of some of the most impressive shots of the world-famous display team’s manoeuvres has been compiled for a new book being sold in memory of two stunt pilots who were killed in accidents last year.
Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging died when his Hawk aircraft crashed following a display in August, while
fellow ace Flight Lieutenant Sean Cunningham was killed when his ejector seat misfired at an airbase in November.
Now some of the finest work by photographers E.J. van Koningsveld and Keith Wilson will be sold to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund, which exists to support air force personnel and their families.
Red Arrows in Camera, an access-all-areas account written by Mr Wilson, marks a triumphant celebration of the Reds after a year in which the two tragedies in quick
succession shook the squad and its fans.
Flt Lt Egging’s plane went down as the Reds left Bournemouth Air Festival on August 20. His wife Emma was among the horrified crowd who watched as the accident unfolded, with the 33-year-old pilot fighting to stop his aircraft hitting the nearby village of Throop after it went out of control.
He managed to change course and crashed into a field before coming to rest in the River Stour, where he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Then, less than three months later, tragedy struck again when Flt Lt Cunningham, 35, was ejected from his plane while still on the runway at RAF Scampton, in Lincolnshire. A malfunction saw him thrown up to 200ft in the air before he plummetted to the ground and later died of his injuries.
Before the two men’s deaths, the Red Arrows had not suffered a fatality since 1988.
The book in their memory, which contains more than 300 photographs, gives an insight into the roles of individual team members, as well as the high standards and tight
schedules that drive them.
It also showcases every aspect of the team at work and off duty, from the pilots and their Hawk aircraft, to the ground crew (the ‘Blues’) and backroom support staff who keep the team flying.
Squadron Leader Ben Murphy, Team Leader and Red 1, 2010/11, said: ‘The stunning photography throughout this book captures the passion and dedication of a team intent on representing the very best of British and being the best aerobatic team in the world.’
The world famous jet fleet has been wowing crowds around the world for 47 years.
During this period the nine aircraft, which have been maintained by 60 engineers, have performed a staggering 4,410 times across 54 different countries.
In an average display season the Reds will complete almost 100 flying displays and more than 100 flypasts – showcasing some of the RAF’s most skilled pilots.
Red Arrows in Camera by Keith Wilson is available in hardback from MailShop.
Sourced by Daily Mail