D-Day 70: Red Arrows leader ‘comes home’ to Portsmouth

Squadron Leader Jim Turner
Squadron Leader Jim Turner
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THE daredevil pilots of the Red Arrows squadron will take to the skies above us led by a man with family links to the area.

Squadron Leader Jim Turner, 41, was set to lead the aerobatic team as they perform over Portsmouth at 2pm today.

Sqn Ldr Turner’s father was born and brought up in Southsea and his grandparents met and married in Portsmouth where they were doctor and ward sister respectively at the Royal Hospital. His great uncle, Major Dennis Connors, was Lord Mayor of Portsmouth in the late 1960s.

Sqn Ldr Turner said: ‘Getting to this stage takes an exceptional level of preparation and hard work, from each area of the team. Training involves flying three sorties a day, five days a week, and begins almost as soon as the last season has finished, then through the winter months in the UK, before honing the new display in spring, out in Cyprus, and repeating the show dozens of times.’

Sqd Ldr Turner has done more than 3,500 hours of flying time and lives close to the Royal Air Force base at Scampton.