Sywell’s Blades Aerobatic team appoints new leader

The Blades above Sywell, March 2014 NNL-140403-162057001
The Blades above Sywell, March 2014 NNL-140403-162057001

Sywell’s Blades Aerobatic Team has appointed a new pilot to take on the mantle of Blade 1.

Andy Evans, one of the original co-founding members of The Blades in 2006, will lead the Blades Aerobatic Team for the first time, having displayed in every other position.

Being one of the most experienced display pilots in the world with almost 2,700 hours in the Extra 300 alone, Andy has accumulated almost 8,500 flying hours.

Alongside this experience, Andy is also a qualified flying instructor and is well-positioned to be mentoring and commanding the team in 2018, as well as managing the team’s flying itinerary.

He said: “I’m proud to take over from Ben Murphy as Blade 1, and look forward to working with Ben, Kirsty and the new team members by continuing to produce dynamic, exhilarating and cutting-edge manoeuvres for the 2018 display season.

“Winter training is well under way, with maintenance being undertaken on each aircraft.

“Over the summer, we hope to meet as many of you as possible and look forward to seeing your pictures of our displays on social media.”

Andy began his flying career in 1984 when he was awarded a RAF flying scholarship.

He joined the RAF in 1985 as a member of Yorkshire Universities Air Squadron and following completion of officer training at Cranwell.

Andy was selected to conduct his flying training in ENJJPT in Texas, being awarded his wings in 1989.

A former front-line Jaguar pilot, Andy flew on operations over the Balkans and spent three years as the air show advisor to the Royal Saudi Air Force National Aerobatic Team.

Andy is also a former Red Arrow pilot, flying with the team between 1997 and 2000 in positions Red 2, 4 and then 8.

After his third year, he subsequently became the first Red Arrows pilot to stay at Scampton and work with the team as the manager, flying as Red 10.