Continuing my look at the 10th Al Ain Aerobatic Show, one of the later additions to the flying display programme was Flt Lt Jamie “Noz” Norris, the Royal Air Force 2013 Typhoon Display Pilot.
As regular GAR readers will know from our pre-season and mid-season interviews, Noz is a QPI (Qualified Pilot Instructor) with the RAF’s Typhoon Operational Conversion Unit, No. 29(R) Squadron, based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.
Ordinarily you might not have expected to see a RAF Typhoon display at Al Ain, however, the aircraft was already present in the country, having displayed at the Dubai Airshow earlier in November as part of a (seemingly failed) sales drive aimed at the UAE Air Force.
The RAF’s Typhoon Force was also concurrently engaged in the annual Advanced Tactical Leadership Course (ATLC) held at Al Dhafra Air Base, Abu Dhabi, and it was from there that Noz operated on each of the three days of the 2013 Al Ain Aerobatic Show.
I’d not managed to get to many UK airshows in 2013, and the clear blue skies above Al Ain provided my first opportunity to see Noz’s full display. As many others have already commented, I can’t think of a better RAF Typhoon routine to date, though the excellent departure sequence was sadly absent here.
It has already been announced that Flt Lt Noel Rees will be taking over the mantle for 2014. Noz has, by all accounts, had an excellent season, but he isn’t quite done yet; over the period 16-18 January, he will be displaying at the Bahrain International Airshow, from where we’ll also be reporting.
I’ll take a look at South Africa’s Goodyear Eagles Aerobatic Team in my next entry.