A Royal Air Force serviceman from Stamford has started his third display season as part of the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team.
In October, Sgt Neil Connell, 32, a former pupil of Stamford College, commenced his third and final year with the RAF Falcons, which is based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.
Ahead of the latest season starting on Friday last week, Neil said: “It is a privilege to have been selected for the RAF Falcons, and being able to represent the RAF at locations around the UK and Europe.
“I am now looking forward to displaying in front of the public for a third season before moving on to an advanced parachute instructor role”.
For more than 50 years, the UK Military’s Parachute Display Team, the RAF Falcons, have delivered fast paced, high profile displays from up to 12,000ft across the UK and abroad. Each member of the RAF Falcons has been specially selected for their role, and as well as putting on spectacular displays for the public to enjoy, they also undertake training to prepare them for advanced parachute jumping instructor roles, where they will be responsible for the delivery of operationally focused parachute training for the entire UK Military.
Since joining the RAF in January 2004 as a physical training instructor, Neil completed his initial training at DCAE Cosford and was then posted to RAF Cottesmore, where he ensured the standard of fitness levels of all service personnel.
In 2010, he took a turn in his career and chose to specialise as a parachute jumping instructor. He was subsequently posted to the Parachute Training School, RAF Brize Norton.
Due to his highly skilled parachuting ability, Neil was then selected for his current role on the RAF Falcons in 2013. This year will see him undertake parachuting displays in front of the UK public and overseas for selected international audiences throughout the display season.
Over the summer the team will conduct around 70 displays throughout the UK and Europe.