Thunderbirds are go as Beth joins famous US display team

Beth Moran with Thunderbird 7.
Beth Moran with Thunderbird 7.

A former Horsham pupil has taken on dizzying new heights after becoming the youngest woman to fly with one of the world’s most famous air force display teams.

Beth Moran was on cloud nine as she took to the skies with the Thunderbirds on Wednesday, July 12.

Beth Moran meets the Thunderbirds

Beth Moran meets the Thunderbirds

The American aerial demonstration team was making its first visit to the UK in ten years and invited the 21-year-old along for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

She said: “It was absolutely the best day of my life so far. I don’t think I will be able to do anything as cool again.”

Beth was treated to an early start with the former Collyer’s student popping down to RAF Fairford for a 6.30am briefing.

Three hours later she was ready to take to the skies in one of the famous display aircraft - Thunderbird 7 - which had her name specially printed on the side.

Beth being presented with her certificate by the Thunderbirds.

Beth being presented with her certificate by the Thunderbirds.

“There must have been about 30 people lined up and shook my hand and applauded,’’ she said.

“I felt like I was a real Thunderbird.”

She flew with the team up to North Wales where they carried out multiple manoeuvres including loop the loops and a vertical corkscrew which saw her reach 9.2G.

“It was an amazing experience to do so many manoeuvres and fly an F-16. What was really incredible was I got to format onto three other aircraft.

Beth Moran with the Thunderbirds.

Beth Moran with the Thunderbirds.

“Everyday since I have woken up and felt really sad that I can’t do it again.”

Beth joins an illustrious list of special guests who have flown with the Thunderbirds including actors Hugh Jackman and Gerard Butler.

It’s been a FAB couple of years for the 21-year-old who only started learning to fly back in 2015.

She got her private pilot’s licence in December 2016 and has gone on to fly a helicopter around Niagara Falls as well as take her family on trips around the British skies.

Beth takes a selfie while flying Thunderbird 7.

Beth takes a selfie while flying Thunderbird 7.

Her journey has been recorded by Horsham based Fact Not Fiction Films and will be released in a new documentary called ‘Learning to Fly’.

Tristan Loraine, producer at Fact Not Fiction Films, said the company wanted to create an ‘uplifting’ film about flying following the tragic events of the Shoreham air disaster.

It is also aiming to encourage more people to get out and involved in flying.

Learning to Fly is expected to be released next year.

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