October 9, 2020 5.37 pm This story is over 14 months old

Outgoing Red 1 completes three years as leader of Red Arrows

New squadron leader starts next week

Squadron Leader Martin Pert has finished his “trip of a lifetime” at the helm of the Red Arrows after flying for the last time as Red 1.

Martin’s time as Team Leader for the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team began in the 2018 season, including the RAF’s centenary and its largest tour of North America in a generation, as well as several flypasts.

The latest term with the Red Arrows is Sqn Ldr Pert’s second stint, having been a team pilot between 2012 and 2014 and flying as Red 2, 4, and 8 respectively.

Martin, who joined the RAF in 2000, was then a Typhoon flight commander before returning to the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team as Red 1.

His last flight as Red 1 was a practice display at RAF Scampton, finishing with a flypast over nearby Lincoln and a spectacular “Spa” break-to-land.

Former Typhoon jet pilot Tom Bould will take the helm as of next week ready for the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team’s 2021 campaign.

Check out the Red Arrows in action. | Photo: MoD/Crown Copyright 2020

Martin said: “It’s not been an effortless ride. Over my three years I’ve experienced the most daunting challenges including the loss of a dear friend to us all and of course the ravages of COVID measures.

“But those trials have made our successful achievements all the sweeter. I will never forget the views of 94 other aircraft ahead of us as we flew over London in my first year as leader, during the RAF100 celebrations of 2018.

“Nor will I ever overlook the privileged opportunity to lead this team across the Atlantic to the United States and Canada in 2019, flying over some of the world’s most iconic landmarks.

“The pictures of each are always iconic, but to be privileged enough to see The Mall with thousands of people, or the Golden Gate Bridge from only a few hundred feet, are moments I have never taken for granted. On the ground, just to see people smiling at what we do and how is enough to keep me inspired.”

Martin also paid tribute “to the incredible work that goes on behind the scenes here to keep the Red Arrows flying”, as well as his friends and family, and his supporters for their “messages of strength, encouragement and tales of joy at what we do”.


He also said “rest assured, I’ll be airborne again before long.”

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