Two new pilots have been selected to join the Red Arrows in 2014, as part of the RAF Scampton-based team’s 50th display season.
Flight Lieutenant Stewart Campbell and Flight Lieutenant Joe Hourston, who have both previously flown operations with the RAF in Afghanistan, will stay with the Red Arrows for three years.
They will begin training in the coming weeks and will be part of the aerobatic team’s famous nine-aircraft formation in 2014.
Flt Lt Campbell and Flt Lt Hourston are joining the Red Arrows after impressing during a tough selection process that involved flight tests, interviews and other exercises.
Next year is the 50th display season for the team which, since formation, has performed more than 4,500 displays in 54 different countries.
Flt Lt Campbell, 33, who was brought up in the Royal Burgh of Peebles in the Scottish Borders, joined the RAF in 2003.
Before the Red Arrows, he was posted to 617 Squadron (The Dambusters) and flew two operational tours in Afghanistan in Tornado aircraft.
He said: “Although, the selection hasn’t sunk in yet, I don’t think I will feel like I’m now a member of the Red Arrows until I taxi out with team leader and go through the first loops and rolls.”
Flt Lt Hourston was born in Inverness, grew up in the Black Isle village of Cromarty and was educated at Fortrose Academy, before studying at Glasgow University.
The 34-year-old is also a former Tornado GR4 pilot with 617 Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth and served in Afghanistan and on exercise in North America.
He said: “Since day one of deciding to be a pilot I’ve always wanted to be a member of the team because of what it represents and the variety and challenge of the flying itself.”
Flt Lt Hourston said he was eager to understand what goes on behind-the-scenes at the team and the work involved in helping to ensure the Red Arrows continue to delight crowds.
On completion of a three-year tour with the Red Arrows, the pilots either return to the frontline, instructional or staff duties.