RAF Scampton

The Red Arrows have flown back to RAF Scampton after being grounded on Thursday due to a Royal Navy jet crash in Cornwall.

All Hawk T1 activity was paused as a precautionary measure after the jet crash, in which it is believed an engine failure forced two pilots to eject from the aircraft based at RNAS Culdrose.

Two pilots were airlifted to hospital and are in a stable condition without suffering significant injury. It’s believed this was due to an engine failure.

The crash, which was the first ejection from a Royal Navy aircraft in 18 years, caused the Reds to be temporarily grounded, but they have now returned to Lincolnshire after being cleared to fly again.

Following numerous safety assessments of the wider fleet, the chain of command at the RAF allowed for Hawk T1 aircraft to take to the skies again, but confirmed that investigations into the incident are still ongoing.

The RAF has said that it will be “inappropriate to comment on the nature of this advice” as it could prejudice the inquiry that is currently taking place, but “safety is always our priority.”

Earlier this week the Reds had their first practice flight in a 9-formation.

The Red Arrows have touched down at RAF Waddington, where they will temporarily operate for the next two weeks.

The Reds will still continue display training from RAF Scampton in the meantime, but Waddington will be the base of operations this week and next.

This activity will assess how the Red Arrows can integrate into RAF Waddington, just ten miles down the road from the Reds’ usual home in Scampton, ahead of moving there permanently.

The Reds will be acclimatising ahead of a permanent move to RAF Waddington. | Photo: Corporal Adam Fletcher

The test move will finally go ahead, after it was cancelled in December due to poor weather and a lack of timing.

It comes after initial plans were made to close RAF Scampton in 2022, though the Ministry of Defence are yet to have received any interest from potential buyers.

Many are opposing the decision to close RAF Scampton, with campaigners setting up Save Scampton, in the hope of preserving the historic base and perhaps turning it into a working museum and heritage centre.

The Red Arrows will be temporarily operating from RAF Waddington ahead of the team’s permanent move from RAF Scampton.

It isn’t that far a journey for the Reds, moving just 10 miles down the road from Scampton to Waddington, crucially staying in Lincolnshire.

The jets will be based at RAF Waddington between December 7 and 11 as a test to see how the new home will work.

The Reds will still continue to practice at RAF Scampton, but will test how the jets can be integrated into the Waddington base operations.

The move is in preparation of the Red Arrows moving to RAF Waddington once Scampton closes.

The closure date for RAF Scampton is still unknown, but is believed to be at some point by 2022.

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