Red Arrows return after absence from 2017 display

THE Red Arrows are due to return to the Jersey International Air Display this year following their first absence in more than half a century, the event’s organiser has announced.

The Red Arrows are coming back
The Red Arrows are coming back

Last year, the display team was not able to come to the Island after being ordered to take part in a diplomatic tour in Pakistan. A Latvian aerobatic display team, the Baltic Bees, took their place in the finale.

The Red Arrows have made more appearances in Jersey than any other location and the show’s organiser, Deputy Mike Higgins, said that he hoped the Bailiff would be able to present them with a medal for their continued service to the Island over the last 53 years.

‘I am pleased that they are coming back here,’ he said.

‘I was very disappointed they could not make it last year but they were tasked with going on a goodwill mission in India and Pakistan. They were ordered to go. It was not something they could have dropped out of.

‘When all the displays bid for them to appear at their events, they draw up a list of all the places they want to go to. The crew are quite involved in where they end up going, and Jersey is normally either number one or two – we are one of their most popular destinations.’

Mr Higgins added that he was looking forward to making more announcements about who had been booked for the event but said that it was too early to say anything publicly.

However, he did say that he was hoping to organise a parade in the Royal Square to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Royal Air Force.

The announcement comes three weeks after tragedy struck the display team. Last month, one of the Red Arrows’ aircraft crashed shortly after take-off in Anglesey in North Wales, killing the flight engineer and injuring the pilot.

A witness to the incident said that they saw the jet, Red 3, loop before banking steeply, hitting the runway and bursting into flames. Others also saw a multi-coloured parachute emerge some 200 yards from the ground as the pilot ejected from the aircraft.

The pilot has since been released from hospital and it is not expected that the incident will have any effect on this year’s display.

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