Senior Aircraftman Geraldine Beaton from Selkirk has been selected to spend this summer flying with the world-famous Red Arrows as part of their back-seat support crew.
Geraldine, 35, above, will be one of a 10-strong team of engineers known as “circus” who will each be assigned to a specific aircraft and pilot for the 2011 summer display season.
She will travel as a passenger in one of the Red Arrows’ two-seat Hawk aircraft in transit flights to more than 90 display venues throughout the UK and Europe – flying at speeds of more than 350mph.
Once her aircraft arrives at the display’s operating base, Geraldine will be responsible for servicing it before it can fly again.
Her verdict on her new job? “I have thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of my Royal Air Force career and, of course, it is a great honour to be selected for the Red Arrows’ circus,” she told us.
As Circus 2, Geraldine will be paired with Red 2, Flight Lieutenant Chris Lyndon-Smith.
Geraldine, who attended Selkirk High School and Borders College, worked as a car mechanic before joining the RAF in 2002.
After training, she worked at RAF Cottesmore in the tyre, brake and undercarriage bays as well as supporting Harrier squadrons on deployment in the US and the Czech Republic. Geraldine was posted to the Red Arrows in 2009.
She lives in Lincolnshire with her partner Ted who is also an RAF engineer. Her hobbies include going to the gym and hillwalking and she likes watching motorsport, especially speedway.
2011 will be the Red Arrows’ 47th display season. Since their creation in 1965, the team has flown more than 4,200 displays in 53 countries.
PHOTOGRAPH: CROWN COPYRIGHT