Gallery: Former Ipswich schoolgirl flying high with the Red Arrows display team

Victoria White. Photo: SAC Craig Marshall (RAF)/SQN LDR LING Victoria White. Photo: SAC Craig Marshall (RAF)/SQN LDR LING

Thursday, August 14, 2014
7:30 PM

She has been involved in some of this year’s biggest events including the opening of the Commonwealth Games and the Queen’s birthday celebrations.

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But former Ipswich schoolgirl Victoria White was not in the bustling crowds, she was up in the sky enjoying the Red Arrows flypasts in her role as part of the Circus engineers.

Coporal White, 29, is in the back seat of Red 5 for all the displays and is responsible for servicing and turning the aircraft after transit and display landings.

The former Copleston High School pupil, who has also served in Afghanistan, has always dreamed of being part of the aerobatic team but had to wait nine years before she got the call.

She added: “There is no other job like it in the world, especially being with the circus, which is probably the most prestigious engineering job you can do.

In the air - photo by Sqn Ldr LingIn the air - photo by Sqn Ldr Ling

“I was extremely pleased and proud to be picked to be part of the circus for this year.

“It is really good fun and I have got a very good pilot and we get on well. They have to concentrate so hard, we just get to enjoy a little bit of what is going on.”
Cpl White joined the RAF when she was 16 after completing her training as an aircraft technician (mechanical). She has previously been based at RAF Marham in Norfolk and has served overseas.

She applied to be part of the Red Arrows near the start of her career and joined the team in 2011. In 2012 she was part of the road team and rear support team and she was one of the aircraft documentation controllers in 2013.

She was asked to be part of the Red Arrows Circus engineers this year, the 50th display season.

Cpl White said she has had to learn a lot of new skills to prepare for travelling in the back of the Hawk aircraft.

She added: “I would describe my career as being very busy but I’ve fortunate to have gone to lots of different places and in warzones it has always gone well. It has been a very good, very varied career.

“It (working with the Red Arrows) is a completely different job role but very rewarding.”

The Red Arrows, based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, is the RAF aerobatic team and was formed in 1964.

The Red Arrows Circus gets its name in reference to the famous ‘flying circus’. Engineers are normally chosen for one year and selected from the Squadron engineers for their engineering expertise.

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