Red Arrows: A dramatic incident
The sky in Brighton has also had its worshippers, in fact since 1911, when Shoreham, Britain’s first licensed airfield, opened. Ever since then, Brighton’s air traffic has seen its ups and downs; the most surprising of which happened on 17 May 1980.
A Saturday crowd witnessed a spectacular display of aeronautics when a Red Arrow’s “Hawk” piloted by Sqn Ldr S. Johnson, clipped a yacht’s mast and plunged into the sea between Brighton’s two piers.
The incident left the pilot rather wet and shaken, and the Royal Air Force revising the minumum flight height above sea level from 35 to 100 ft. Fortunately, not all flights are so dramatic and Gatwick only half an hour away by train has an excellent safety record. Gatwick has provided Brighton with an international doorway to the world.