Coronation flypast: Display given green light following concerns over poor weather
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The flypast to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III has been given the go ahead. This follows concerns that the event could be scaled back or even cancelled if the weather was bad on today (May 6). Forecasters are expecting the weekend conditions in London to be cloudy with potential for rain which could have affected the safety of the pilots- however Forces News have revealed from inside a Chinook helicopter that the flypast will go ahead.
More than 60 aircraft from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force are set to take part in the six-minute display that will end with the Red Arrows. The aerobatic display team is set to fly across Buckingham Palace at around 2.36pm on Saturday with their iconic red, white and blue smoke display.
King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla are set to appear on the palace’s balcony alongside the Prince and Princess of Wales and their three children, George, Charlotte and Louis, as well as other serving members of the royal family.
A Ministry of Defence spokesperson told the PA news agency that the flypast has the potential to be disrupted by the weather. They said: “There are certain weather limits in terms of cloud base and visibility for a flypast involving a large number of aircraft which will need to be met.
“The latest weather information will be obtained from both the Met Office and from our helicopters performing weather checks in advance of the main flypast on Saturday.If suitable, the flypast will continue as planned. If not, then there are options available to reduce the numbers of aircraft, with cancellation being the last resort.
“Clearly there are many things the MoD does control, but the weather is not one of them. Safety will always be our primary concern.” The final decision on whether the flypast will go ahead will be made by the RAF’s Air-Vice-Marshal Mark Flewin who is the Air Officer Commanding No 1 Group, otherwise known as the aircraft pilots.
The Met Office is currently forecasting Saturday to be a “cloudy, wet day” across large parts of the UK, with rain due in the capital “by around lunchtime”. The potential cancellation of the flypast is reminiscent of the late Queen’s coronation in June 1953.
At the time there were fears the flypast would be called off due to bad weather, but conditions improved and the delayed flypast still went ahead around 5.15pm. The flypast involving the Red Arrows will be the first since the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations last year.