Swanbourne welcomes former Red Arrow pilot, Mike Ling

On Saturday Swanbourne scholars and the Enterprise group were delighted, and very excited, to welcome Mike Ling, former Red Arrows and current commercial aerobatic pilot. 

Mike came in to speak to the children about his time flying for the prestigious Red Arrows and the associated qualities and skills needed to work efficiently as a team, using examples from his time as one of the pilots in the aerobatic team. 

5 qualities needed to be a Red Arrow pilot: 

  • Discipline 
  • Punctuality 
  • Communication
  • Trust 
  • Resilience 

Mike ran through ways to be a good leader and how you can use different techniques and systems to ensure that the team following you have all the information needed to complete the best job possible. Using the simple situation of turning E6 from a lecture room into a maths classroom he used the following S.M.E.A.C military system to demonstrate how a team could work: 

S –  Situation 
M – Mission
E – Execution 
A – Any questions? 
C – Check understanding 

When in the Red Arrows he explained how after every display or practice the team would have a debrief, watching footage or looking at photos, to assess what improvements could be made. Individuals are encouraged to self critique their performance so that the debrief is both reflective and a review. The children learnt a huge amount, asked some brilliant questions quizzing Mike on his aviation knowledge and we can’t wait to see them put their new leadership skills to the test. 




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