A former Chichester High School for Boys pupil is taking to the sky in his first Red Arrows display over the city.
Flight Lieutenant Michael Child, 32, will be flying as part of the Red Arrows team over Chichester for the first time at Goodwood’s Festival of Speed tomorrow.
The Royal Air Force aerobatic team, the Red Arrows, is the public face of the Royal Air Force which is completing a number of displays at various venues across the country.
After applying to join the Red Arrows team last year, Michael found out he was shortlisted and is now set to fly in a whole host of events over the next three years, including the Olympics.
Michael has fulfilled his life-long dream of flying in the RAF and will fly alongside six others during Friday’s Festival of Speed display enjoyed by thousands of onlookers, including his parents.
Michael said: “Since I was five years old, or even younger I knew I wanted to fly.
“I am very lucky to be in the position that I’m in; I was absolutely ecstatic when I found out I had got into the team, it was a dream come true.”
While he was at Chichester High School for Boys, Michael joined the High School’s Cadet Force, which gives their pupils the opportunity to experience flying exercises and help shape aspirations to join the Air Force.
Michael will now enjoy being part of The Red Arrows team over the next three years and will complete numerous displays across the country.
Speaking about tomorrow’s display, Michael said: “Being part of the Festival of Speed and displaying in Chichester is very special.
“The whole mantra of the festival is what the Red Arrows is all about: speed, precision and agility are the three things we pride ourselves on.”
Michael continues to acknowledge those who have inspired him to achieve his dream and continue to set himself challenges.
He added: “My family were always very supportive and the staff at the cadet force helped me a lot.”
Michael continues to set himself goals and has aspirations to be based on RAF Coningsby flying the Typhoon to defend the air space around the UK and the Falkland Islands.
Mr Salvesen-Sawh, headteacher at Chichester High School for Boys said: “Michael is an inspiration to everyone at CHSB, he has reached a fantastic and exciting point within his career and we are sure he will continue to excel in all that he is involved in.
“The Combined Cadet Force at Chichester High Schools is growing every year, which gives our students the opportunity to try lots of different activities they wouldn’t necessarily have access to.”
Speaking about Friday’s event, Michael said: “I feel nervous excitement and anticipation on the day but I will then be focused on the display and the routine.”
You can see Michael display with the Red Arrows team at Goodwood Festival of Speed tomorrow at 2pm.
More information about the RAF Red Arrows team at www.raf.mod.uk/reds/