The Red Arrows are one of the most prestigious aerobatic air force teams in the world. They swoop, they swerve, and they produce stunning displays all over the world. Earlier this month, some of the team visited Malvern College to talk to students about what they do and why they love it.
Present at the talk on November 9 were Andrew Keith, the squad’s wing commander, and engineers Alicia Mason, Mick Whiteley, and Andrew Morton. Students from Year One to Year Nine heard all about their experiences representing Britain and flying in high-risk conditions.
Among the students who attended the talk were Miguel Garceran Wang, Christian Wan, and Amy Deng, who sat down with Young Post to discuss what they learned from the Red Arrows’ visit.
“They’re more than just an aerobatics group,” explained 13-year-old Miguel. “They’re the face of the people in Britain.”
Christian, also 13, agreed. “[The Red Arrows] don’t do something we see every day, but they do what they love.”
“I don’t want to become a pilot myself, but I think it’s really amazing how they inspire others to do so,” Amy said, adding, “I think the point of bringing the Red Arrows to Malvern was to let students know that there are many opportunities and jobs out there.”
Miguel indentified with their clear determination and desire to be the best. “If you want to follow a certain path, you have to put time into it, and be committed to what you want to do,” he said.
The aerobatics team highlighted the importance of time and effort when they talked about the work that goes into their displays. Each year, they spend six months in intensive training, and six months touring the world. Their displays are well-loved and well-respected, but that doesn’t mean they are content to rest on their laurels – they’re always looking for ways to improve.
“The Red Arrows [compete] with the US aerobatics team, the Thunderbirds,” Christian said, but added that the two teams choose to exchange ideas and help each other, which keeps the rivalry lighthearted.
All four students said that they had never thought of aerobatics as something they could pursue as a future career path. Harley wants to study the arts, and Miguel, Amy and Christian said they wanted to study law. Still, they recognised that the pilots were clearly doing something they loved.
Headmaster Dr Robin Lister told Young Post that, when the opportunity came up, he had been more than happy to host the Red Arrows’ talk at his school. This is because, Lister explained, “I genuinely think they’re the best aerobatic team in the world.”
It wasn’t just because he personally admires the team, though, that the headmaster agreed to let the school host the talk. He knows talks like this one from people who have gone out into the world to turn their passion into a career can be just as important for students as actual lessons in a classroom.
“I want students to feel inspired,” he said.