RAF engineer Glynn West from Bourne is flying high with the Red Arrows

Bourne man corporal Glynn West has been working as a member of the 2012 Circus Engineers for the Red Arrows
Bourne man corporal Glynn West has been working as a member of the 2012 Circus Engineers for the Red Arrows
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A RAF aircraft engineer has had a busy summer supporting the Red Arrows.

Corporal Glynn West, 28, who lives in Bourne, flies with the world-famous Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team as part of their back-seat support crew. 

Cpl West has been involved with the team during the most prestigious flypasts of the year, including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations over Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, the Olympic Opening Ceremony and he has recently returned from the Red Arrows displays in Moscow.

He is one of a 10-strong team of engineers known as the Blues, and has been assigned to a specific aircraft and pilot, Red 6 pilot flight lieutenant Ben Plank, throughout the 2012 display season.

He has travelled as a passenger in one of the Red Arrows’ two-seat Hawk aircraft in transit flights to more than 70 display venues throughout the UK and Europe, flying at speeds of more than 350mph.

Once his aircraft arrives at the display’s operating base, Corporal West is responsible for servicing the aircraft before it can fly again.

Cpl West, who joined the display team in 2010, said: “It has been an absolute privilege to have been selected to fly with the Red Arrows during the 2012 display season.

“It is certainly an experience never to be forgotten.

“The build-up and work involved is challenging but thoroughly rewarding.

“I have been lucky enough to have had some incredibly high profile flypasts.

“Experiences such as flying in formation next to the Vulcan to open Farnborough Airshow, travelling to Moscow for the Russian airforce’s 100th anniversary celebrations, three Diamond Jubilee flypasts for the Queen at Windsor, Buckingham Palace and closer to home at Burghley House.

“I have flown all over the nation, taking part in flypasts over Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast and Cardiff. Then finally, possibly the absolute highlight of my career, the London Olympics opening ceremony, next to flying past Castle Bytham Village fair of course.

“This certainly has been a year to remember, but nothing can top the birth of my first child, Jessica, born in May, and my engagement to my beautiful partner Louise a few weeks ago.”

Cpl West joined the RAF in 2000 and after completing trade training at RAF Cosford was posted to IX(B) Squadron at RAF Marham in Norfolk working on Tornado Gr4 aircraft.

He completed two tours of Al Udeid on Operation Telic and had many detachments including Arizona, Las Vegas, Canada, Belgium, Cyprus and Germany.

In 2007 he was posted to 8 Squadron at RAF Waddington where he worked on Sentry AEW E3-D.