After an unimaginably difficult past nine days, Red 10 – Graeme Bagnall – and the Red Arrows are, in his own words, “in the business of picking ourselves up after a fall in true British style”.
Mr Bagnall gave his blessing for this interview to be published as he said the late Jon Egging would have wanted it.
Mr Bagnall is two-and-a-half years into the coveted position of Red 10 and is currently in his last season, as the position is strictly for three years.
His job as the 10th pilot is a supervisory role, he is the safety man on the ground assessing the weather among lots of tasks.
He also provides a commentary during the displays.
Graeme spoke to reporter Jessica Nightingale during the Red Arrows’ appearance at Whitby Regatta – less than a week before tragedy struck at Bournemouth Air Show– to answer this week’s In The Hotseat questions.
1 What are your first memories of Whitby?
I came here in 1996 as a student pilot at Linton-on-Ouse at the time. I remember having lovely fish and chips cooked in beef dripping.
2 What makes Whitby special to you?
Although Whitby is quite a long way from RAF Scampton where we are based, it is a local display to us. We really enjoy doing local displays, we don’t do much over here, so we are really pleased we can come and do this coastline.
It isn’t very well covered by the Red Arrows or other air displays for that matter.
3 Life’s highlight?
The highlight of my career as Red 10 is performing at smaller places like Whitby, the crowds are very friendly and get excited by the display.
I really enjoyed the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.
It’s always a real highlight when the crowds get excited by it, and start cheering and really enjoy it. For me, that is a real highlight of my job.
4 Biggest regret?
Not buying my wife an engagement ring before I proposed to her.
5 What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Grapefruit and then a fry up.
6 What is your favourite eating place?
7 What is your favourite pub?
My favourite pub is the Hare Arms in Norfolk.
8 Where are the best fish and chips?
I’m told from The Magpie Cafe in Whitby, but I’ve never been.
9 What is your worst habit?
Not hanging up my towel.
10 Where was your last holiday?
My last holiday was in Las Vegas in July.
11 When was the last time you cried?
I almost cried while watching the film ‘Up.’
12 What would be your ideal day in Whitby?
My ideal day in Whitby would be diving off the pier into the sea, water skiing along the beach, followed by fish and chips at The Magpie.
13 What was your first job?
My first job was packing carrots in a factory in Norfolk as a child.
14 What is your favourite film?
I’d say at the moment District 9.
15 What is your favourite book?
My favourite book is The Day of Jackal by Frederick Forsyth.
16 If you won the Lottery, what would you do with it?
If I won the lottery I would buy my mum a new car, she needs a new car, she really does.
17 Dracula or Captain Cook?
18 What is your signature dish?
My signature dish would be a Thai green curry.
19 Favourite drink?
My favourite drink is a mojito.
20 What would be your epitaph?
I would like to write on there ‘A man of taste’ but I can’t guarantee that would happen.