Red Arrows and Typhoon fighter jets grounded over potential issue with ejector seats
Written by Hitmix News on 23 July 2022
The UK’s Red Arrows and Typhoon warplanes were grounded on Friday for all but essential flying because of concerns about a potential safety issue with the ejector seats.
The halt was lifted by the evening for the Red Arrows after engineers checked each of the Hawk jets and gave them the all-clear.
The disruption meant the Red Arrows cancelled an air display on the final day of the Farnborough Air Show but they will be flying in Scotland and Ireland over the weekend.
It is not clear how long it will take for engineers to check a part on the ejector seats of the UK’s larger fleet of Typhoon fighter jets before they too can be airborne again.
The Royal Air Force took the very rare move to ground the aircraft earlier on Friday after being notified of what it described as a “technical issue”.
All Typhoon training and exercises have been paused until the all-clear is given, but pilots using fast jets on operations will continue to fly despite the risk.
This includes those tasked with the critical mission of protecting the UK’s airspace from hostile threats and an operation out of Romania to police the skies in eastern Europe to deter Russian aggression.
“If some baddies come over the horizon we would be up to shoo them away,” the RAF source said.
Image: A Red Arrows display at the end of the Farnborough Air Show had to be cancelled
In an update on the situation on Friday night, an RAF spokesperson said: “After further detailed technical investigations, we are pleased to announce that the Red Arrows have been cleared to resume activity immediately.
“Non-essential flying for Typhoon remains paused as a temporary safety precaution.
“This will have no impact on our operational security, with our patrol flight commitments to UK and NATO being met.”
The air force had earlier released a statement over the social media site Twitter to reveal the aircraft had been temporarily grounded.
“We have been notified of a technical issue which may affect the safe operation of our ejector seats in Typhoon and Red Arrows aircraft,” the RAF said.
“We have paused non-essential flying as a temporary safety precaution until the situation is better understood.”
The RAF has suffered a number of setbacks in recent days.
On Monday, the service had to halt flights in and out of Brize Norton, the largest military air base in the UK, because the “runway melted” in the hot weather, according to a military source.
A few days earlier, the same thing happened to the flight line at another base – RAF Cranwell.