North West Wales

Diamond Jubilee: RAF in Anglesey rehearsal fly-past

The RAF have rehearsed a fly-past over Anglesey for the Diamond Jubilee, although the actual event will be over Windsor Castle.

More than 200 people watched aircraft, including Hawk, Tornado and Hercules, take to the skies at Mona Airfield.

Pilots on Tuesday had to pretend it was the Queen's residence in Berkshire.

On Saturday, 80 aircraft will take place in the real fly-past, which is part of the celebrations to mark the Queen's 60-year reign.

RAF Flt Lt Rob Pitt told BBC Wales the pilots taking part were highly skilled, and the level of complexity was "very, very high".

"The Royal Air Force train the absolute best combat fast jet pilots in the world and all of those combat fast jet pilots come through Royal Air Force Valley to do that training," he added.

'Complex'

"So they've been training for this with the commanding officer for quite some time. I think today is going to bear the fruit of those efforts."

The fly-past will include 60 RAF Tucanos, which are fast jet trainer aircraft from RAF Linton-on-Ouse near York.

RAF squadron leader Albie Fox said: "This is one of the more complex fly-pasts there have been because there are so many aircraft taking part," he added.

"The level of skill required is unprecedented but highlights the operational capability of the RAF."

"It is quite complex and it takes a lot of choreography to make sure it happens correctly."

Group Captain Adrian Hill ADC, station commander RAF Valley, said the Diamond Jubilee flypast was a "tremendous privilege".

"As the station commander and senior pilot at RAF Valley, I can attest to the extreme complexity and skill required to execute it to the precision timing and positioning required," he said.

"It bears testament to the excellent training for combat operations our men and women receive here on Anglesey.

"Everyone in the Armed Forces is hugely proud of Her Majesty and the Royal Family, who stand shoulder to shoulder with us on operations, as they have throughout our histories.

"I am honoured to lead Her Majesty the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Flypast and can state with absolute certainty that every pilot, engineer and member of the RAF Valley operations and support staff are extremely proud of the part they have played in making the flypast a success."

The Duke of Cambridge is based at RAF Valley, where he is a search and rescue helicopter pilot.

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