Gray soars into the blue with the Red Arrows

Flight Lieutenant Joe Hourston of the Red Arrows with Grangemouth 1333 (Spitfire) Squadron cadet Jack Gray
Flight Lieutenant Joe Hourston of the Red Arrows with Grangemouth 1333 (Spitfire) Squadron cadet Jack Gray
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An air cadet from Grangemouth’s 1333 (Spitfire) Squadron enjoyed the flight of his life with the Red Arrows.

Cadet warrant officer Jack Gray (19), who joined the ATC in 2010, was selected as one of nine air cadets to fly with the world famous aerobatics display team before the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford in Gloucestershire last Thursday. He won the right after being named Best Male Air Cadet in the region.

Jack, who earned his private pilot’s licence when he was just 18, said: “We did a fly-by in a diamond nine formation over RAF Scampton before the airshow, travelling at around 500 knots, or 575mph – which is a lot faster than I’m used to flying.”

The former St Mungo pupil is currently studying for his Air Transport Pilot Licence and BSc in Professional Pilot Practice with the Aviation Skills Partnership at Tayside Aviation in Dundee and the University of Middlesex.

The Red Arrows have not let cadets on board their jets for 20 years, but the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity came along as the team marked the 75th anniversary of the Air Cadets. It certainly inspired Jack to continue his hard work towards a flight career.

Jack said: “It was just a great reward for all of the cadets. I’m going to keep up with my flying and doing what I’m doing just now, but I hope to join the RAF in the future.”