Squadron Leader Mike Ling MBE: Squadron Leader, Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows
Mike joined the Royal Air Force after completing his
A-levels and became a Tornado F3 fighter pilot and Qualified Flying Instructor.
In 2007 Mike achieved his childhood dream when he was
selected to join the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows. For the
2008 display season he flew as Red 3 before being chosen to fly in the
prestigious Synchro Pair for his remaining two years in the Team.
Mike left the Red Arrows after his three-year tour of duty
came to an end but was posted back as Red 10, the Supervisor, in 2011. In this
role he was responsible for the supervision and safe execution of training and
displays, whilst also being the ‘voice of the Red Arrows’ as the Team’s
Following six consecutive years as Red 10, Mike moved on at
the end of 2017 to become the Air Safety Manager for the Central Flying School.
A tragic accident for the Red Arrows in Spring 2018 meant that Mike was
recalled to the Team at short notice to fly as Red 3 for the 2018 display season,
ensuring there was a nine-ship display for the RAF’s 100th
At the end of 2018, Mike hung up his red suit after a record
10 display seasons. In that time he flew 2585 sorties in Red Arrows aircraft,
played a part in 700 public displays and flew a red Hawk jet into 46 countries;
as far west as New York and as far east as China.