KU student flies for Red Arrows

KU graduate Flight Lieutentant Oliver Parr has been selected to fly with the Red Arrows.

Barbara Tasch

Flight Lieutenant Oliver Parr, a Kingston Graduate, has been chosen to fly for the Red Arrows by the Royal Air Force.

Flt Lt Parr always knew he wanted to be a pilot and officially joined the RAF 13 years ago.

“My parents took me to air shows when I was young and I was always completely amazed by the Reds. It’s an absolute dream, I never thought it would happen,” he said.

He studied geography at Kingston from 1995-1998 and went on to complete a course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst before switching to the RAF.

Even though he was sponsored by the military before starting his course at Kingston University, it was important to him to get a degree before he dedicated himself to the Armed Forces.

Flt Lt Parr said: “I think it’s an important part of your academic and personal development to gain some further education before hitting the professional workplace.”

Over the last year the Red Arrows’ reputation suffered when pilot Sean Cunningham died after crashing during a training session and pilot Jon Egging died after an accident at an air festival.

However, Flt Lt Parr still trusts the safety of the division of the RAF.

“We have to have confidence in what we’re doing and those risks are carefully calculated.

It takes the hard work and professionalism of everyone for it to succeed. I guess the only apprehension I feel is making sure I perform to the exceedingly high standards required by the team,” he said.

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