Former Red Arrow is new Lowestoft airshow flying boss
A NEW flying director has been appointed by the Lowestoft airshow.
Tim Miller – a former RAF Red Arrows team leader – will have the key task of compiling and organising the displays at the two-day spectacular that attracts tens of thousands of people to the town's seafront.
His appointment follows the retirement of the event's long-serving flying display director, Brian Lewis, who spent 14 years at the helm, having been involved in all but one of the previous 15 shows.
For Mr Miller, who currently works as an airline captain for Virgin Atlantic, it will be a return to Lowestoft as he has previously flown in the town during his time with the RAF as the Red Arrows' display team.
He told The Journal he was looking forward to his new role.
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He said: 'I enjoyed flying at Lowestoft as a display pilot and I'm absolutely delighted to be returning as the display director.
'Brian Lewis has done an excellent job over the last 14 years and he has created a sound foundation on which I and the team can build.'
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After leaving the RAF, Mr Miller became a commercial pilot and he is now a senior training captain with Virgin Atlantic, flying the Airbus A340 600. He is also a very experienced display director and has run numerous airshows.
He has been the display director for the Goodwood Festival of Speed since its conception in 1993. In addition, he has also run all the Goodwood Revival displays and several Fly to the Past events at Blenheim Palace.
Paul Bayfield, managing director of Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival, said he was delighted to appoint someone of Mr Miller's experience. 'Tim has had a very enviable flying career – he would say lucky – both as a display pilot and display director,' he said.
'He was the RAF Harrier display pilot for several years before being selected to fly for the Red Arrows where he completed six seasons, the last three as the team leader (between 1988-1990).
'Tim regularly flies globally, and indeed at time of writing he's just returned from a trip to Sydney and Hong Kong. He still enjoys aerobatics and in his spare time – as he puts it – will fly anything that he can turn upside-down!'
Mr Bayfield said that work was already well under way in preparation for this year's airshow on June 23/24, which will be taking place on a weekend for the first time and earlier in the year to avoid the Olympic games in London.
He added: 'There is a huge amount of work that goes on behind the scenes organising a show such as Lowestoft. Before even considering what the content of the show might be there are numerous licences and Civil Aviation Authority clearances that need to be applied for.
'Tim and the local organisers are currently waiting for confirmation from the RAF of which military aircraft and display teams will be allocated to the town.
'In addition, he is in close contact with other civilian teams and individuals so we can provide a diverse and exciting show for all to enjoy.'
The first fund-raising event this year in support of the airshow is a quiz night and fish and chip supper, open to teams of four or six, at The Masonic Hall in The Avenue on Friday, April 27. Tickets are �11 per person and are available from Michael Cook on 01502 567942.