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Wheels up, Smoke on.......

Monday 17th March, marked the start of February half term for most Groups in the District however on a cold Church Drive, 5th Carlton Scout Group were meeting up for a very memorable day. The destination, RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, the home of the the world famous Red Arrows!

Upon arriving, the group were escorted through the RAF base, and parked up outside an aircraft carrier - little did they know that those famous red Hawk jets were just inches away! In the distance on the airfield apron there were 7 jets, shimmering in the winter sunshine, with the engineers busy at work checking every little detail of the plane. The group were invited inside the hanger, where we were able to get a close up view of one of the jets, no stone (or flap in this case) was left untouched, as the Scouts and the Leaders were able to see everything from where the famous coloured smoke comes from, right down to where the Pilot's store their bags and coats during flight. We were also able to take a look at the cockpit, and could see where all of the buttons and controls are, if you ask one of the Scouts - they know how to turn the smoke on and off!!!!!! The Scout leaders could think of no better place to invest a new Scout, so they arranged for Max to take his Scout promise whilst standing next to a Red Arrows Jet. We are sure that not many Scouts can say they have done that! The obligatory Group photo had to be take to record this extraordinary visit, and you can see us all next to one of the jets at the top of this article.  After a quick chat with the engineers, word got round that some of the Pilot's would be taking to the air as part of their scheduled daily practice, and that the group would be welcome to watch should they wish...... of course everyone jumped at the opportunity to effectively having our own mini display from the Team with the team flying over our heads at times.  In total 4 planes took of, and participate in the practice, with them only using white smoke (for practice purposes) we got to see some of the 2020 Display team practice some of their routines for the 2020 display season. Before long it was nearly time to go, and as we were about to depart the jets had come into land. Whilst the goup were waiting to be escorted back to the Minibus, they were able to get a group photo of the Scouts with the 4 pilot's who had just taken part in the training exercise.  In all it was a memorable day for both Scouts and Leaders, As one young member says "We arrived after a very long journey at the air base to see straight away two Red Arrows practicing with smoke, making a heart shape in the sky. It was amazing.

We then were brought to the hangar where the Red Arrows are stripped and tweaked and it was extremely cool. We were shown around a Red Arrow and had how it works explained to us and we were also shown in the cockpit and the ejector seat. That for me was one of the coolest parts. 

We then went back to the mini bus and had some lunch and after that we saw the Red Arrows practice lots of the tricks. It was a very cool experience and it has taken ages for the scout leaders to arrange this trip so a massive thank you to them."

5th Carlton would like to thank the engineers who showed us around the plane, Red's 6, 7, 8 and 9 for having a photo with the Scouts, and also to Jordan and the Red Arrows Team.


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