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High-flyer lives his Red Arrow dream

PUBLISHED: 17:20 22 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:50 12 August 2010

The 2009 Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, The Red Arrows at RAF Scampton

The 2009 Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, The Red Arrows at RAF Scampton

A PILOT is to live out his boyhood ambition by taking to the skies with the Red Arrows this summer. Flight Lieutenant Mike Ling, from Orpington,

A PILOT is to live out his boyhood ambition by taking to the skies with the Red Arrows this summer.

Flight Lieutenant Mike Ling, from Orpington, first dreamt of flying with the Red Arrows when he saw the team perform at the Biggin Hill Air Fair when he was a schoolboy.

The former St Olave's Grammar School pupil, now 30, will live out his dream when he flies as a display pilot at the Cosford Air Show on the Shropshire and Staffordshire border on June 14.

The pilot joined the 2427 (Biggin Hill) Squadron Air Training Corps and was awarded a Royal Air Force flying scholarship.

But in order to be in the Red Arrows team, he had to complete a minimum of 1,500 flying hours and be assessed as above average in a frontline tour.

Cosford Air Show, held each June at the RAF base at Cosford, is a five-hour flying display built round the regular appearance of the Red Arrows aerobatics team and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight of Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane.

The programme ranges from pre-war machines to the latest combat aircraft like the Typhoon.

Together with a fun fair, craft fair, market and aircraft exhibitions, the event attracts around 50,000 visitors.

The RAF Museum is also included in the gate price and parking is free.

Tickets for the show are available at offices of the Shropshire Star, the Royal Air Force Museum at Cosford, branches of the Mid Counties Co-Operative Society, Tourist Information Centres in Stafford and Stoke, the special air show ticket line on 0870 121 2523, and an internet booking service at www.seetickets.com.

The air show website at www.cosfordairshow.co.uk gives further information.

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