This is a re-post on the anniversary of my original post for reasons which will become apparent.
The news that the Red Arrows were flying again after the loss of Red 4, Flt Lt Jon Egging, two weeks earlier, has been met with joy tinged with sadness. There was relief that the Hawk T1 jets were cleared to fly once more, and that they could honour commitments to summer air shows; however, the team now have to fly with eight aircraft, instead of the more usual ‘diamond nine’. The pilots are always prepared to do this in case of sickness or aircraft problems, but for such a tight-knit team, it must have been particularly hard. At the Chatsworth House Country Fair, last week they produced spectacular coloured smoke trails and formed the shape of a heart, dedicating it to Jon Egging’s widow, Emma. For those who witnessed the display it would have been a bittersweet moment. Two teams lost members on that day; the Red Arrows lost a brave and selfless colleague, but Emma Egging lost her life partner. As an ex ‘R.A.F. wife’ I can appreciate the support and comradeship shown by the Red Arrows. I have seen them fly on many occasions and my children grew up to the sound of fast jets flying overhead. Friends and colleagues were lost during the Falklands War, but the experience made families draw closer. The RAF motto is ‘Per Ardua ad Astra’ - through adversity to the stars.
A year further on and the team are back again at the Bournemouth Air Show. My daughter witnessed some of the display from the Bournemouth seafront and sent me these pictures.
"Then we that are alive and remain
shall be caught up together with them in the clouds"
1 Thessalonians 4:17
|The Red Arows 2009 at the Radom Airshow Konflikty.pl via Wikimedia Commons|
One of our Aircraft is Missing
The ‘diamond nine’ no longer,
weaving coloured trails, we eight
soar high over the Derwent Valley.
We paint a smoke-heart on blue canvas,
honouring another team torn apart that day,
another perfect formation destroyed.
Red 4; pilot, colleague, husband, friend
Per Ardua Ad Astra
© Marilyn Brindley