Red Arrows: Lancashire pilot set for emotional homecoming at Blackpool Air Show - here's when its happening

This is when you can see the Red Arrows at Blackpool Air Show.
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It's the 60th anniversary of the Red Arrows and one lad from Leyland has a special role.

Squadron Leader Chris McCann, who went to Wellfield High School, Runshaw College and Leyland Air Training Corps, will be flying Red 2 in this year's Diamond celebrations across the UK and in Canada later this year.

Blackpool Air Show

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It will be an emotional homecoming for Sq Ld McCann when the Red Arrows take to the skies of Lancashire for the Blackpool Air Show. He's already planning to have friends and family in the crowd for the "pretty special" flights on both August 10 and 11. He said: "It's somewhere I know very well from days out as a child. It will be great to go and fly in a display I was once looking at as a boy on the beach."

Squadron Leader Chris McCann from LeylandSquadron Leader Chris McCann from Leyland
Squadron Leader Chris McCann from Leyland

Sq Ld McCann has joined three other new recruits to the world famous aerobatics team, who will perform in flypasts and displays during the Red Arrow’s 60th anniversary year. He said: "It's the culmination of 19 years flying in the military. It's a heck of a privilege, it's the ultimate handling challenge from a flying perspective and it's great to be chosen as an ambassador for the airforce in the UK.

"Don't take no for an answer"

He described the training as "hardwork but fun", going up three times a day when the weather and aircraft allow. When asked if he had a message to youngsters in Lancashire, he said: "Don't doubt yourself. If there's something you want to do, then just keep working towards it. Keep trying and don't take no for an answer."

Who is Squadron Leader Chris McCann?

After being a member of the 2050 (Leyland) Squadron Air Training Corps and studying aerospace engineering at the University of Liverpool, he joined the Royal Air Force in 2005 and operated the Tornado GR4 on the frontline, serving on 617 and IX(B) Squadrons at RAF Lossiemouth and RAF Marham.

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Get the latest headlines, straight to your inbox, with The LEP’s free emails Flt Lt McCann has completed numerous operational deployments around the world, being awarded the Air Force Cross during his final tour. This honour marks "an act or acts of exemplary gallantry while flying, though not in active operations against the enemy".

Watch our full behind-the-scenes look at the Red Arrows on Shots TV available on Freeview channel 276 or click here.

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