Date - 15th Dec'07  -  Place - Abu Dhabi in the UAE.
Who - Royal Air Force Red Arrows & an Etihad Airways A340-600....with one passenger....ME...!

The scene was set for a truly unique opportunity for all involved. Unfortunately the planned low level fly past of the sea front in Abu Dhabi could not happen on Thursday 13th as hoped and planned for, so the Red's made their last display of 2007 alone. Weeks of talks and approvals were being lost... until plan B came along.
Saturday the 15th, and the Red's were on their way home, after a long Asian tour, and were routing Abu Dhabi - Saudi - Cyprus. It was agreed that an air-to-air meeting could and would take place, whilst in UAE airspace, along their route to Saudi at 9,000 feet. So off we went, out over the blue sea of the Arabian Gulf...

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Red Arrow and an Etihad tail

Me and some of the jets being readied for departure...

...They'll soon be back home in the UK, and in grey cold weather

The Red's & Blues, with our very own Capt Granger & F/O Kurt

Shortly after 11:45LT (0745z) the Red's followed us off of Abu Dhabi's runway 31, and soon caught us up at 9,000 feet, doing around 290kts. I had my cameras & the entire cabin to use, but had only managed to clean half a dozen exterior windows myself, before the departure...! The Red's were, as always, superb. They joined with us for around four minutes, with Red 10 taking shots as they added their coloured smoke. All to soon, we climbed out and returned back to Abu Dhabi... Hope you like the few images below...


4 of the team coming up to the right wing...

...and joined effortlessly with a little bit of speed brake.

taking a photo of me taking a photo of you...!

So close... what a sight

The 4 on the left wing were in shadow, whilst Red 1 was behind and below our tail

Close up of the right hand formation without the winglet

another shot of the 4 one last time

Red 10 out wide 7 high as they trail red smoke as I was running back down the cabin for one last shot...

...as we start to climb up & out of the formation, goodbyes & thanks exchanged, we head for home

A view from 9000 feet of Abu Dhabi

and returning to Abu Dhabi's runway 31.
 1h05mins chocks to chocks

A huge thanks to the Red's and of course Etihad Airways, and my chauffeurs Capt Granger & F/O Kurt.

Etihad Airways RAF Red Arrows

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Dave Jefferys 2007