THE POPULAR Blades display team will be taking to the skies over Airbourne this year.
Including the five full-time display pilots, there are eight ex-RAF, fully-qualified commercial pilots who fly passengers during The Blades’ corporate flying events.
The eight Blades pilots have two OBEs, a Distinguished Flying Cross and a ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ between them.
With more than 200,000 hours of military flying between them, their heritage is outstanding.
Two of them commanded RAF Harrier Squadrons in the most exacting of circumstances (in Iraq and Afghanistan) and one of them led the Red Arrows.
Six of the Blades were Harrier pilots, two were Jaguar pilots, all were RAF instructors and Blades 1 to 4 are all former Red Arrows pilots.
“The Red Arrows are accepted as one of the best examples of teamwork in the world,” said a Blades spokesperson.
“Add their skills to those of commanders who have planned and led military operations, a former Red Arrows team leader and several highly-experienced combat pilots and you have an unbeatable combination.
“The lessons we learnt in the most exacting circumstances are directly relevant to the hard reality of business today.”