WATCH: Red Arrows land in formation at Norwich Airport
PUBLISHED: 09:05 24 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:03 24 August 2018
Archant Norfolk 2018
Delighted onlookers were treated to an up close view of the Red Arrows as they landed in formation at Norwich Airport.
An excited group of spectators, young and old, gathered for the chance to see the famous RAF aerobatics team.
Squadron Leader Martin Pert said: “It’s great to be back in Norwich. We use Norwich as a base for quite a few of our east and south east coast shows and we always get treated spectacularly here.”
The team of RAF pilots and engineers are being hosted at Norwich by Saxonair, using it as an overnight base for demonstrations at Clacton Air Show yesterday and today.
After parking the jets, the pilots headed inside for a briefing and biscuits and their crew of engineers and support staff got to work.
The team carried out essential engine checks, refuelled the engines and topped up the dye pods.
Mick Nicholson, who runs the operation, said: “Replacing the dye is the messiest part of the job. It’s what gives the arrows their distinctive red, white and blue smoke so it’s an essential job. Without the support team there would be no show.”
He added that there was a lot that could go wrong, including the dyes mixing and turning the smoke purple.
The Red Arrows have a huge following in East Anglia and the fans at the airport today were thrilled that Norwich was chosen as a base.
Nine-year-old twins Abi and Josh Williams have seen the arrows perform 18 times and this year even had a birthday cake in the shape of one of the hawk jets.
Josh said: “They’re epic. My favourite move is the synchro pair.”
Four-year-old Amelia was in no doubt that her favourite pilot was Squadron Leader Martin Pert.
“I like the red-headed one the best because we match,” she said.
Many young fans want to join the RAF because of the Red Arrows.
Harley Groom, 13, saw a display at Yarmouth Air Show last year and said it was amazing to see them up close.
He said: “I want to be an engineer and seeing the planes so close like this is incredible.”