A South Tyneside dad is looking forward to an high flying summer with the world’s most famous aerobatics team.
Mike Flemming plays a key role in keeping the Red Arrows.
Mike, an Royal Air Force senior aircraftman technician, will be joining a team of engineers known as the ‘Circus Blues’ - servicing the Red Arrows Hawk T1 aircraft throughout the 2017 display season.
Mike, 33, from Harton, South Shields, will travel as a passenger in one of the famous jets in transit flights to over 80 display venues throughout the UK and Europe.
The team’s events schedule includes events such as the Sunderland Airshow and the Great North Run.
He said: “This year I am working on the circus team and fly with the pilots in the jet in the transits between each display.
“Our job is to service the aircrafts on the ground at the airports, sending them off and waiting for them to come back after the display.”
As Circus 6, he will sit in the back seat of Red 6, flown by Synchro Leader Flight Lieutenant Tom Bould - at speeds of more than 350mph - throughout the display season.
Mr Flemming joined the Red Arrows Squadron in 2014 and, during that time, has travelled with the team to China, India, Thailand and Singapore.
Before starting his RAF career, Mike was educated Harton Comprehensive School and South Shields Technology College.
He completed a degree in mechanical engineering at Leeds University before joining the RAF in 2010.
The Red Arrows team consists of nine display pilots - all from frontline squadrons - and are among the most experienced officers in the RAF.
Each has previously operated other fast jets, such as the Tornado or the Typhoon multi-role combat aircraft – helping the Royal Air Force to protect the nation and its interests at all hours, 365-days a year.
Mike, who is dad to Lucy, 9, added: “I think I have the best job in the air force.
“Last year when I was working with the dye team putting colour into the displays and my family got to see a few of them.
“This summer will be a busy time but I am looking forward to it.”
Video by chazgew on YouTube.