“We got the absolute best seats in the house to witness and document the Red Arrows flying so close to such an iconic landmark”
Three thrill-seekers determined to get a bird’s eye view of a Red Arrows display scaled the 518ft Blackpool Tower for a selfie.
The brave trio got a much closer sight of the RAF’s aerobatic display team by climbing the iconic structure to capture a once-in-a-lifetime selfie alongside the troupe. Russ Edwards, a rescue and training specialist, hung from the landmark’s flagpole to grab the perfect shot as the Red Arrows performed at Blackpool’s annual Air Show.
Along with colleagues Jack Perry and Chris Fricker, Russ was armed with a 360-degree camera on a long fibre pole that was tethered to him, creating the ultimate ‘selfie stick’. And the results were incredible photos of the moment the planes flew to send plumes of red, white and blue smoke over the sky during their routines.
He said: “It was a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate our expertise of working at height. We got the absolute best seats in the house to witness and document the Red Arrows flying so close to such an iconic landmark.
“Drones aren’t permitted during the air show so we had to fashion our very own ‘selfie stick’ which worked even better and meant we were as close as we could get to the action. It was an amazing and humbling experience.”
A record 200,000 people turned out over the two-day event to watch the Red Arrows over the seafront. It returned after a three-year Covid hiatus, thrilling fans with displays by wing-walkers, a Spitfire and an RAF Typhoon.
A Lancaster Bomber, Spitfire fighter plane and Chinook helicopter also took to the skies.
Squadron Leader Tom Bould said: “What incredible imagery – it’s brilliant to see such fantastic, vibrant pictures of the Red Arrows at Blackpool from that unique perspective and which are clearly the product of great skill, teamwork and creativity to achieve.
“Blackpool Tower is an iconic landmark for the Red Arrows to arrive over to begin our displays at the resort, in front of tens of thousands of people – a great British summer scene. As a team, we are always humbled and excited to see countless images taken by people from all over the world of the Red Arrows performing our dynamic and precision shows.
“The pictures captured by Arco’s working at height experts, at very the top of the Blackpool Tower, are certainly among the most unusual we’ve had opportunity to see.”
Aaron Edgar, senior attractions manager at the Blackpool Tower, said: “The top of the Blackpool Tower offers some of the most incredible views of the Fylde Coast, so it provided the perfect spot to witness the Red Arrows in all their glory. We were honoured be at the centre of the Arrows’ entrance as they made their return to Blackpool for the first time in four years.
“Being able to give Russ and his team to the chance to capture the ultimate selfie was extra special and showcases Blackpool in the best possible way.”
- 05:25, 18 AUG 2022