The Red Arrows will see three new pilots welcomed to the team for the 2022 season, succeeding those who left at the end of this campaign.
The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team closed out the 2021 season in October, with a final display above the HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carrier in Portsmouth.
It was the final sortie for Squadron Leaders Jon Bond and Steve Morris, who called time on their Red Arrows careers after a combined eleven years with the team.
Preparations have now begun at RAF Scampton for the team’s 58th display season, which traditionally starts in May to span the summer months and early-autumn, and there are three new pilots to join the Red Arrows lineup.
The new additions will be Flight Lieutenants Stuart Roberts and Patrick Kershaw, and Squadron Leader Graeme Muscat, flying Reds 2, 3 and 10 respectively.
The new additions also come ahead of the Red Arrows planned move from RAF Scampton to RAF Waddington in 2022.
Flt Lt Stuart Roberts, 35, joined the RAF in 2009 after being born in Germany at RAF Wegberg and going on to study geography at Loughborough.
He has experience flying Typhoon aircraft, undertaking NATO air policing duties and even helping secure the UK skies by conducting quick reaction alerts.
He said: “I vividly remember seeing the team display as a young boy but, as I have spent more time in the Royal Air Force and had more insight into how the Red Arrows operate, I was drawn towards applying by its clear, common goal and the high levels of teamwork required from everyone involved to generate a consistent, world-leading display.”
Flt Lt Patrick Kershaw, 36, is Huddersfield-born and has a degree in business administration at Leicester De Montfort University. He joined the Royal Air Force service in 2006.
During his career he has been posted to the Tornado GR4 at RAF Marham, where he took part in operations over North Africa and the Middle East.
He said he was excited to join the force and be one of the Red Arrows’ nine display pilots.
“Innovation, precision, teamwork are all at the forefront of what we do in the team and these qualities are shared throughout numerous industries in the UK.
“Being able to represent this as an ambassador for the next three years will be a privilege and honour.”
The third new addition is the team supervisor, Squadron Leader Graeme Muscat, who will be replacing Sqn Ldr Adam Collins as Red 10.
Red 10 is the team’s safety supervisor for all practices and displays, maintaining and coordinating radio contact with Red 1 from the ground, as well as flying the team photographers and taking the spare aircraft between locations.
Graeme, 46, from Cheshire, joined the RAF in 1995 and has flown the Tornado GR4 on the frontline, as well as being a Flight Commander on the Hawk T2 at RAF Valley.
Sqn Ldr Muscat said: “I can remember being one of the crowd at airshows, both as a child and as young adult, watching not only the Red Arrows but any military flying and just being awestruck.
“As you can see from my career path, I didn’t join direct as a pilot and had to work up through the ranks because I never let go of my dream and aspirations.
“So, for me, providing a great show and meeting and inspiring the public will be a brilliant experience.”
This means the full pilot line-up for the Red Arrows 2022 season has been confirmed as:
- Officer Commanding, Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team – Wing Commander David Montenegro
- Red 1 and Team Leader – Squadron Leader Tom Bould
- Red 2 – Flight Lieutenant Stuart Roberts
- Red 3 – Flight Lieutenant Patrick Kershaw
- Red 4 – Flight Lieutenant Will Cambridge
- Red 5 – Squadron Leader Nick Critchell
- Red 6 and Synchro Leader – Squadron Leader Gregor Ogston
- Red 7 and Synchro Two – Flight Lieutenant James Turner
- Red 8 and Executive Officer – Flight Lieutenant Damo Green
- Red 9 – Flight Lieutenant David Simmonds
- Red 10 and Supervisor (from March 2022) – Squadron Leader Graeme Muscat