The RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team will be continuing their display season by jumping into Sunderland International Airshow in spectacular style for the public to enjoy.
Based at RAF Brize Norton in Carterton, Oxfordshire, the Falcons are the military’s premier parachute display team consisting of 16 members including 10 display jumpers.
We very much look forward to meeting everyone after putting on a fantastic display.Simon Owem
It has been announced that the team will once again be performing at the Airshow on July 23 and 24.
Corporal Mark O’Brien who is on his second year with the team, said: “It is a very steep learning curve initially, but I feel proud to represent the Royal Air Force whilst jumping into Sunderland Airshow under the red, white and blue canopy.”
As new member on the Team, Corporal O’Brien is responsible for organising displays throughout the season; he will also be training intensively in conjunction with the display season to earn his Military Free Fall Instructor qualification (MAFFI).
The MAFFI qualification is a requirement for all RAF Falcons so they can progress to instruct the more advanced military airborne contingents on completion of their three year tour with the team.
The RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team has been conducting challenging descents from up to 12,000ft for over 50 years.
They descend from the skies at speeds of up to 120 mph.
Team members are drawn from the wider cadre of RAF Physical Training Instructors and Personnel Officers who are dedicated to delivering UK military parachute capability.
For both day and night, they are all qualified up to 25,000ft and down to a minimum of 600ft, relying on the Service’s advanced, covert aerial equipment.
Deputy Officer Commanding RAF Falcons, Flight Lieutenant Simon Owen said: “It’s an honour for the team to display at the Sunderland Airshow this year.
“We have trained and honed our skills throughout the winter months and during the display season so far, under the highly experienced instruction of our Team Coach Flight Sergeant Ceri Marshman.
“We very much look forward to meeting everyone after putting on a fantastic display.
Public Relations Officer for the RAF Falcons, Flying Officer Luke Pearce said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the Royal Air Force to embrace its innovative capability and famous team spirit; it provides the platform to inspire the next generation of Airman, and Military Parachutists, to embark on a promising career in the RAF.
“I hope all the visitors to the show have a wonderful day Sunderland Airshow, and spread the word about the famous RAF Falcons.”