We’ve all admired the precision and amazing skills of the Red Arrows, and while ordinary pilots are unlikely to fly similar routines, flying in formation is a great skill set to develop. It will hone your planning and piloting skills, and improve your concentration, discipline and airmanship. It’s also essential for air-to-air photography.
A number of schools offer the chance to learn formation flying, and during a typical course you’ll be taught the essential skills of joining formation, station-keeping, formation departures and recoveries, and formation leading. Many are run by former military pilots who have all learned and practised formation flying to the nth degree. It’s best to learn at a flight school, which has specialist skills, rather than just ‘wing’ it with friends because it’s not the kind of flying you want to get wrong.
However, be warned, as many pilots who start formation flying often find it addictive, and you may even try to get more of your flying friends involved!