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Black Cats helicopter team to get Bournemouth Air Festival crowds in a spin
IT’S not all about the planes at Bournemouth Air Festival .
After a year away, the Royal Navy’s Black Cats helicopter team will be back in town and are promising their most ambitious manoeuvres yet.
The pair of Lynx helicopters will spiral up to 300ft in the sky, at points missing each other by a mere 20ft.
‘Black Lead’ display pilot Lieutenant Dave Fleming said: “This is the loudest display we’ve performed yet.
“We had to miss out on Bournemouth last year, so we’re really looking forward to it.
“It’s a great location with a strong Naval presence and our display really suits being over the water and between the two piers.
“This year we’re doing a twister manoeuvre with the two helicopters pivoting, and just 20 feet between them, there’s a fantastic tornado effect as we ascend, then we fly towards the crowd crossing each other twice.”
The new display – made possible by sponsorship from Home Appliance Guard – is worked out with individual manoeuvres practised on a daily basis for two months, starting with a single helicopter and building up to a nine-minute routine with both aircraft.
There will also the opportunity to meet the Black Cat pilots and team and find out more about becoming a pilot at their trailer in the Royal Navy Village during the festival between August 30 and September 2.
‘Black 2’, Lieutenant Ian Brannighan, added: “We’re keen to get the message out that just because there have been cuts in military services doesn’t mean we’re not recruiting.
“It’s exciting and a challenge, but it’s a thrilling life and the air festival is a great place for the public to find out more.”
As well as the Black Cats, crowds can expect to see the Chinook and a display by the solo Lynx.
Flight Lieutenant Kyle Thomas, from the Chinook display team, said: “We are really pleased to be returning to Bournemouth this year to impress the crowds with the award winning RAF Chinook Mk 2 display.
“The display this year is different to the traditional routine seen over the last few seasons. This has allowed us to facilitate a much more fluid, tight and flowing display that includes more high energy manoeuvres.”