Newport pilot joins the world renowned Red Arrows team

FLY: Flt Lt Michael Bowden will fly with the Red Arrows from September

FLY: Flt Lt Michael Bowden will fly with the Red Arrows from September

First published in News
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A FLIGHT Lieutenant from Newport has become one of the latest pilots to join the Red Arrows.

Michael Bowden, 33, will become part of the world renowned Royal Air Force's aerobatic team from September. The squadron, which first displayed to the public in 1965, has performed more than 4,500 times in 56 countries.

The team of 9 based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire fly the Hawk T1 and are famous for their trademark Diamond Nine formation.

Mr Bowden is a former pupil of St Joseph's R.C High School who joined the Royal Air Force in 2002. After being posted to II (AC) Squadron at RAF Marham, he completed two operational tours of Afghanistan, flying the Tornado GR4.

He said: “I have always had a passion for pure flying and the Red Arrows hold the top trump card in that arena. The team demonstrates the absolute pinnacle of flying ability and the desire to be part of that team has been there since being a small boy and has only ever grown as the years have gone on.

“The Red Arrows stand out as respected ambassadors for the Royal Air Force and the UK as a whole, both at home and abroad. In terms of a recruitment tool, surely the team is second-to-none. It is the reason I applied and never gave up. It is such a huge privilege to think I can be part of the team that can have that influence on our future generation.”

To apply to join the Red Arrows, Royal Air Force pilots need to have at least 1,500 fast jet flying hours, to have completed a frontline tour and be assessed as above average in their flying role. Red Arrows’ pilots stay for three years and are selected following a gruelling process that involves flight tests, interviews and other exercises.

Once they have finished their three-year tour with the team, the pilots return to frontline, instructional or staff duties. Red Arrows’ pilots stay for three years and are selected following a gruelling process that involves flight tests, interviews and other exercises.

Raymond Bowden, Michael's father, said: "We are all very proud of him. The whole family is - with his grandma being Dutch - the whole family over there are incredible proud as well.

"Mike has always been interested in flying. He’s flown Harriers, Tornados and now will fly with the Red Arrows.”

Comments (8)

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5:21pm Fri 1 Aug 14

make.npt.great says...

Well done :) , can we get a free display over newport now ;)
Well done :) , can we get a free display over newport now ;) make.npt.great
  • Score: 15

5:27pm Fri 1 Aug 14

Gasguy says...

make.npt.great wrote:
Well done :) , can we get a free display over newport now ;)
Their displays are free as we have already paid for them, you can request a fly by and if they can fit it in on their way to or from an event they try and fit it in. I watched them at The formula 1 at Silverstone this year and they were fantastic. Well done micheal!
[quote][p][bold]make.npt.great[/bold] wrote: Well done :) , can we get a free display over newport now ;)[/p][/quote]Their displays are free as we have already paid for them, you can request a fly by and if they can fit it in on their way to or from an event they try and fit it in. I watched them at The formula 1 at Silverstone this year and they were fantastic. Well done micheal! Gasguy
  • Score: 11

6:31pm Fri 1 Aug 14

inkyskin says...

aw how fab! my son is 10 and it's his dream to become a red arrow pilot.
aw how fab! my son is 10 and it's his dream to become a red arrow pilot. inkyskin
  • Score: 7

7:12pm Fri 1 Aug 14

welshmen says...

He must be very proud, as we are of our Red Arrows, the best there is,
.The Red Arrows.
He must be very proud, as we are of our Red Arrows, the best there is, .The Red Arrows. welshmen
  • Score: 10

7:41pm Fri 1 Aug 14

taffygwent says...

Well done
Well done taffygwent
  • Score: 5

7:47pm Fri 1 Aug 14

lee neale says...

Well done Sir. :)
Well done Sir. :) lee neale
  • Score: 9

8:05pm Fri 1 Aug 14

Magor says...

It would be good to see one over Cardiff Bay.They are in Barry 30th August.
It would be good to see one over Cardiff Bay.They are in Barry 30th August. Magor
  • Score: 8

12:57pm Sat 2 Aug 14

keithbob says...

watched the programme about the red arrows on bbc2 last night,they mentioned his name at the end.big respect sir.best of the best!
watched the programme about the red arrows on bbc2 last night,they mentioned his name at the end.big respect sir.best of the best! keithbob
  • Score: 7

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