17 June 2016 – The Red Arrows have cancelled their aerobatic display at this year’s Farnborough Airshow, which could mean they will no longer fly over Bisley Ranges during the NRA Imperial Meeting.
Traditionally the Reds display over Farnborough on the first weekend of the Imperial Meeting, and the iconic nine red Hawk jets are often seen orbiting the Bisley/Pirbright area while awaiting their display slot at the airport.
An RAF spokesman told the Telegraph: “The high speed and dynamic nature of the traditional Red Arrows’ display is no longer appropriate due to the large amounts of local housing, business areas and major transport links underneath the planned display area.”
The Daily Mail reports Air Vice Marshal Andrew Turner as saying: “The position we find ourselves in is either we seek to clear the area of civilians, or we tolerate the risk and frankly right now, we the RAF have decided that that is not a risk worth bearing given the Shoreham public reaction.”
This is an odd decision by the RAF. The Reds have performed their full aerobatic display for the last 52 years without incident. The aircrew are trained to the highest degree, the aircraft are regularly serviced and the population around Farnborough hasn’t increased significantly in the last 12 months.
Either way, if the Red Arrows are only carrying out flypasts instead of a full display it could well be the case that they no longer need to adopt a holding pattern vicinity while awaiting their display slot, which could mean an end to the flypasts that Imperial Meeting competitors enjoyed. I’m sure many a V-bull has turned into a magpie as the Diamond Nine flew over the butts.