Navy chopper team makes resort debut

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The Royal Navy’s helicopter display team will be in action in the skies above Blackpool next weekend.

The Black Cat display team will be performing stunts between the North and Central Piers on Saturday, June 25, at 2pm.

And it will be a debut appearance for the team after it clinched its Public Display Authority earlier this month.

The show will give the public the first glimpse of the Navy’s new Wildcat helicopter.

Team leader Lieutenant Commander David Lilly said: “Public Display Authority is a very important day in the Black Cats’ calendar as it signifies the end of many months of training. The team reflect on the efforts of the whole Squadron in accomplishing the accolade of being ready to display for the UK and European public.

“It is an opportunity for some capabilities of the Royal Navy to be seen by people and demonstrate the aircrafts frontline capability when protecting our nation’s interests.”

Although this will be the fourth season for pilot Lt Cdr Lilly it is the first for Lieutenant Chris Rebbeck

He said: “When I joined the Lynx Wildcat Maritime Force, I always appreciated the way the Black Cats handled the aircraft.

“Having now gone through the rigorous training process, I understand why they are regarded as one of the best display teams in the UK and I am proud to carry that tradition forward.”

Both Black Cats pilots are qualified helicopter instructors with 825 Naval Air Squadron.

Before joining the team they flew the Lynx Mk8 from type 23 frigates and type 45 destroyers around the world.

Lt Cdr Lilly said: “Despite being my fourth year on the team, I am looking forward to entertaining the public and being able to represent the outstanding work that continues by 825 Naval Air Squadron, Fleet Air Arm and Royal Navy around the World.”