Longest serving Red Arrows pilot takes to the skies for final time

The longest serving Red Arrows pilot has taken to the air for the final time, after he decided to hang up his helmet for good.

Squadron Leader Mike Ling had flown with the Red Arrows on more than 2,500 occasions, clocking up more than 1,765 hours in the air.

His impressive statistics make him the RAF Aerobatic Team’s longest serving pilot in their 100 year history – having joined the display team in 2008.

On Twitter, he described his time as ‘an incredible privilege’ after he flew for the final time on October 10.

He said: “The engine winds down on my 2585th and final flight in a red hawk (yes ACTUAL FINAL this time!). 29 of these different red beauties flown over 1765 flying hours in 10 years.“What an incredible privilege it has been to fly them #smokeoffgo”