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Last Harrier Flight

  • Andy Edgell
  • Interview by: Ewan Burnett


I started flying the Harrier in 2006, I think.

That was on the OCU.

Graduated in 2007, 4 Squadron was my main squadron.

And then, so we had 4 Squadron for a few years

and then it disbanded I think in 2009,

and then I jumped across to 800 Squadron,

and then that whole force disbanded in 2010.

15th of December 2010 we flew a 16 ship out of Cottesmore

to commemorate the Harrier.

It was the last flight of the Harrier.

It was an emotional day for everyone.

And it was a really, really bad weather day.

The cloud was low,

the visibility was poor, and it was windy.

And it was windy, blowing right across the runway.

And we all came in, each squadron,

so we had 16 aircraft, four squadrons,

four aircraft in each squadron in the display.

So we did sort of the diamond 16

and then we broke down into squadron elements.

And then we came into the pattern separately.

So we broke into the circuit.

And the plan was for each aircraft.

So the first three aircraft to go

to a different hover pad on the airfield,

and then the squadron boss would come in last,

and then he would do a rolling vertical landing,

a sort of a 50 knot, 50 mile an hour,

slow landing onto the main runway.

And we'd choreograph it so that the three jets

would stay in the hover over the pad,

and then as the boss started to come down onto the runway

all three jets would conduct their vertical landing

at the same time.

So the whole squadron would land together.

And to go back to your question of how long did it take me

to master the Harrier, it was that last flight.

So started in 2006 and it took me until 2010 to think,

aha, I can do it now.

And then we disbanded the force

and I haven't flown the Harrier since.

So that demonstrates how much of a challenge she was to fly.

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