Farnborough Red Arrows Blades

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.


Date: 26th July 2008


 I love Aerobatic display flying and if you want to see  little planes doing all sorts of 'Magic' in the air, then you don't go to Farnborough.

Farnborough is much more of a Trade Show with Big Boys Toys but the show is big enough to have some aerobatics from accomplished pilots in some pretty fantastic Aeroplanes. 

The Red Arrows were there, of course, but with low cloud they had to do a rolling display  and for effect they doubled their smoke - still absolutely magnificent and brings a lump to my throat for all sorts of reasons.  I was fortunate enough to fly with them in display in 1983.  Can't believe that is a quarter century ago.  Apart from the birth of my son, I think I'd rank flying with the Arrows as the best experience of my life.

I also paid particular attention to The Blades - a four ship team of Ex Red Arrows flying a different but equally fantastic display.  I was particularly interested because, all being well, I will be flying with them at the Shoreham Air Show Press Day on 14th August.

Last year at Shoreham I wingwalked for the RAFA Charity and the Blades offered me a flight. Sadly during a re-enactment of a Battle of Britain dog fight, a Hurricane went into the ground and we felt that, in deference to the pilot, we shouldn't go ahead with the flight.  So it has been postponed till this year.  The Blades run a company which offers Corporate hospitality and the chance, for a fee, for anyone to experience the thrill of flying with these personable and accomplished pilots.

Also last year  I was  offered a flight in one of the few two-seater Spitfires.  That really is something and an experience many men would give their eye-teeth to have.  So far we haven't managed to arrange a date and again the flight will be undertaken to promote a charity.

So why was I at Farnborough?  I was wearing another hat.  I am, to give me my Grand Title - Director of Communication and Media for a Company called INSPIRE.  John Baker and David Cheney have been building the business and working very hard.  Matters are coming to fruition and I hope soon  to be able to fulfil my role.  Inspire offers Bespoke Training and strategic planning for people right across the spectrum of Aviation and is a member of FAC - Farnborough Aerospace Consortium.

Just in case you are interested - Inspire's Website  -  inspiretraining.org                emails inspiretraining@aol.com

Still loosely on the subject of Flight, I went out to lunch with a friend today and we happened to come back on the A20 so I made a slight diversion and took her to see the Battle of Britain Memorial and the Wall bearing the names of almost 3000 pilots who lost their lives in the last war.  And of course I paid my respects to Rene Mouchotte - the pilot whose name I've sponsored on the Wall.  My friend was very impressed with the memorial which, although she's lived in this area for years, she didn't know existed.  It was a gloriously sunny day and she commented on the serenity and wistfulness on the face of the sculptured pilot.  If only the weather had been better two weeks ago - it poured with rain and the Flypast was cancelled.


I'm sorry I forgot to remind you that there was going to be a Big Article in the Health Section of last Sunday's Mail.  Apart from the usual reference to age and other personal details, it was an excellent article about Jonathan's Testicular Cancer and carried the message loud and strong that you men must Check Yourselves Out.  Orchid were very pleased indeed.

Have just checked and the site is still operative.  The link is http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1036519/How-Jan-Leemings-beloved-son-conquered-killer-cancer-dare-speak-name.html

Am having lunch with the Orchid people on Wednesday when we'll discuss the way forward and whether I might be fit enough to do the Kilimanjaro Trek planned for next year.

Also forgot to tell you that, if you'd like to see a picture of me in a swimsuit at the age of seven with front teeth missing, get a copy of the August Edition of Woman and Home - p.48.  Come to think of it, I could put the picture into the Gallery which I might do.

Have just received a copy of this Month's Higher Nature magazine in which I talk about lifestyle and the supplements I take.

I've also got another project on the go but I'll tell you more about that in the coming weeks.

Bye for now 

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.