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Airshow delights despite no-show by Red Arrows

By Nevin Farrell

Published 10/08/2015

A bomber flies over the Slieve Donard Hotel during the Festival of Flight in Newcastle
A bomber flies over the Slieve Donard Hotel during the Festival of Flight in Newcastle
Large crowds watch the spectacular air show
Rory Green and Mairead Burns from Annacloy in the cockpit of the famous County Down Spitfire
The famous County Down Spitfire

Thousands of airshow fans were left disappointed on Saturday after the famous Red Arrows cancelled their appearance in Newcastle, Co Down, due to technical difficulties.

The aerial daredevils had been due to take to the air as part of the Newcastle Festival of Flight.

The Red Arrows tweeted: "We're sorry to announce, due to unserviceability with our jets this afternoon, the planned display at Newcastle, N Ireland, is cancelled."

Problems with the Royal Air Force aerobatic team's communication system were also reported.

The team said the systems, which allow pilots to talk to each other, had suffered technical issues.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council apologised for the disappointment on Facebook.

However, thousands of people who packed into Newcastle were still enthralled by other aircraft.

A bomber plane soaring high above the resort town captivated fans.

And the public was also able to view the famous World War Two fighter plane - the Spitfire.

The Red Arrows were also due to fly over the course of the Ulster Grand Prix in Dundrod, Co Antrim, in tribute to the late Dr John Hinds.

A spokesman for the airshow said: "While we lacked the power of jets like in previous years at today's show, each of the display pilots showed remarkable skill in what they did today and each put on an amazing display.

"With the massive cuts all councils suffered this year, they did a good job in putting together a show that still was entertaining, despite lacking major jets."

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