Friday, January 12, 2007

Red Arrows slow down


Red Arrows take it easy!
ACE pilots from the RAF's legendary Red Arrows squadron were given a more sedate flying experience – thanks to a Pendle engineering company.

Nelson-based Fort Vale Engineering Ltd treated the aviators to a flight in the company's hot air balloon during an event at the squadron's base at Scampton.
John Hartley, who pilots the Fort Vale balloon, had been given a long-standing invitation to attend one of the squadron's family days at the Lincolnshire base.
He went along with his wife, Anne, and their daughter, Samantha, and took the Fort Vale balloon along too.
W/Cdr Dicky Patounas showed them around the various aircraft at the base, including a Second World War Spitfire, a Harrier jump jet and the new EuroFighter Typhoon.
Anne, who also works for Fort Vale, said: "It was an amazing day. We were allowed to sit in a Red Arrows plane before they gave us a flying display.
"It was a wonderful experience and taking the hot air balloon with us to show the Red Arrows was great."
Following the display, it was too late in the day to take the Fort Vale balloon on a flight but Anne and John managed to tether the balloon and take to the skies and offer the Red Arrows crews the chance to take part in a more relaxed form of aviation.
Ted Fort, chairman of Fort Vale, has a keen interest in flying and bought the company balloon back in 1991. John and Anne take it all over the country. It often makes appearances at North-West balloon shows and sometimes flies for customers of Fort Vale.

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