TUI Airways pilot Mike Bowden, who joined the airline last year, has returned to the Red Arrows this summer to perform in aerobatic displays for one last time.
TUI Airways released Bowden from his flying duties to step in for Red 3, who was injured playing football ahead of the season.
Mike, 38, joined the Royal Air Force in 2002 and undertook various flying duties including four seasons with the Red Arrows.
He flew for the RAF for the final time in October 2018, and then joined TUI Airways as a first officer.
Without Bowden stepping in as Red 3, the Red Arrows would have struggled to train a new pilot in time for its busy itinerary of impressive aerobatic displays.
Luckily, he was still the perfect fit for the role and only required a few hours of training.
This is the first time an airline has released a pilot to re-join the Red Arrows team.
In his few months at TUI Mike has flown a Boeing 737 aircraft on a selection of short and mid-haul routes from TUI Airways’ Cardiff base, taking customers on their holidays.
Mike has been a high-flyer since school, completing an RAF and Air League Flying Scholarship whilst in sixth form and earning his private pilot’s license at just 17 years old.