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VIDEO: Red Arrows in emotional tribute to fallen pilots
The Red Arrows made an emotional return to Bournemouth on Thursday afternoon with their first display in the town since the deaths of pilots Jon Egging and Sean Cunningham last year.
The seven plane team opened the 2012 Bournemouth Air Festival with a 20 minute display again the backdrop of blue skies and a huge, appreciative crowd.
The display included a Phoenix formation in memory of the two pilots.
All seven aircraft banked with the five in the middle trailing white smoke and the two on the outside trailing red.
Flt Lt Egging died at the show last year and Flt Lt Cunningham a few weeks later in an incident at RAF Scampton.
There was warm applause from the crowd for the team, whose return to Bournemouth has been eagerly anticipated.
The cliff top memorial to Flt Lt Egging was unveiled yesterday.
Brenda Hawkes, 58, from East Cliff, said: “I have seen the Red Arrows many times before, and I think that they are brilliant. I think that he Memorial created, is lovely, and especially as it was created by children from kinson Primary School. Now, we need to protect it.”
Alex Jablonowski, 64, from Sandbanks , said: “I've seen them many times, and usually come and see the Bournemouth Air Festival . The Red Arrows are brilliant and every time that you see them, it makes you feel real pride in your country.”
Lynn Wareham, 53, from Parkstone, said: “I think that it is an absolutely beautiful tribute to him. We come here every year, rain or shine. The thing is that with the Red Arrows, you just never tire of seeing them.”
Hilary Everest, 59, from Muscliff, said: “The Red Arrows, I think, are good ambassadors for the country and they are just amazing. I know that when the Red Arrow crashed last year, it happened not far from where I live, but we were away at the time, and were devastated when we heard he had died, we were devastated. It makes you so proud of them, and really, I feel that the Red Arrows will always belong in Bournemouth.”