First female joins Red Arrows

The first female pilot to join the Red Arrows team yesterday spoke about her “awesome job” for the first time since she started training with the prestigious aerobatics team.

The first female pilot to join the Red Arrows team yesterday spoke about her “awesome job” for the first time since she started training with the prestigious aerobatics team.

Flight Lieutenant Kirsty Moore, 32, was based at RAF Marham, in Norfolk, when she heard her application to join the world-famous Red Arrows had been successful.

Flt Lt Moore, who has been training with the team since September, said: “It's an awesome job. To be told I had been selected was one of the best days of my life. It was incredible.

“The girl thing is an aside for me because I have been a female all my life and I've been a pilot since joining the RAF.

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“I know for outsiders it is a big thing, but for me it is about timing and someone was always going to be the first woman to join the Red Arrows. I'm lucky enough it's happened to me and I'm very proud.

“It's important to push out there and if you really want to do something, you should go for it.

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“Hopefully, in a small way, by me being a Red Arrows pilot, some girls might think that this is something they could be part of and they should go for it.”

Flt Lt Moore was speaking at a press conference at the Red Arrows' base at RAF Scampton, near Lincoln.

She joined the RAF in 1998 after studying aeronautical engineering at Imperial College, London.

She is familiar with the Hawk aircraft used by the Red Arrows as she trained fast jet pilots on the aircraft at RAF Valley in Wales.

She has done two operational tours of Iraq with a Tornado squadron based at RAF Marham in Norfolk and it was there that she first thought about joining the display team, which puts on 80-90 shows across the world every year.

She will take up the position of Red Three, just to the left of Red One, which is now occupied by Squadron Leader Ben Murphy.

Flt Lt Moore said returning to Lincolnshire would mean her friends from nearby Stamford would be able to see her training displays.

She saw off up to 40 applicants, around 30 of whom did not make the grade on paper.

The final nine were then invited to Cyprus to spend a week with the team, during which time they faced a series of interviews as well as training sorties.

Flt Lt Moore is training at RAF Scampton and has to fly two or three times a day in short bursts of 20-30 minutes - something she has described as mentally exhausting.

She said she was most looking forward to doing a display over Windermere in the Lake District.

She has yet to put on the famous red jumpsuit worn by Red Arrows pilots - something she is particularly excited about.

She added: “My dad [who was also in the RAF] is immensely proud. He encouraged me to join the RAF.

“The fact I could learn about the aircraft and not just read about them from some glossy brochure gave me then that first-hand experience.

“He is one of those people who everyone loves and I keep on bumping into people who say they know him. Nobody has ever had a bad word to say about him.”

Flt Lt Moore, who went to Stamford High School, has been married for four years to Nicky Moore, 34, who is still a flying instructor at RAF Valley.

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