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RIAT 2003 Trophies Winners

Unique Flypast Tops Awards
The unique flypast of a USAF F-117A and the Red Arrows at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire on July 19 & 20 secured top honours for the pilots. In the annual post-show prize-giving ceromony, The King Hussein Memorial Sword was presented to F-117 pilot Sqn Ldr Richie Matthews and the Red Arrows by HRH Prince Feisal for the best overall flying demonstration. The flypast marked the first time the Stealth fighter has flown a display with a non-US aircraft. Red One, Sqn Ldr Carl 'Spike' Jepson said the opportunity arose because Richie, who is currently an exchange pilot with the USAF, was a former Red Arrow.

Sqn Ldr Jepson said: 'The idea won support from the USAF and RAF based on the special relationship that has always existed between the UK and the US. The Royal International Air Tattoo is a big airshow with a big heart and we always feel privileged to take part.' Sqn Ldr Matthews, who is based at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, said he enjoyed his nostalgic rendezvous with the Reds.

'To get to Fairford, the two F-117s - one was in the static display - required air-to-air refuelling several times during the flight from New Mexico and required a 24-strong support team. It was great to be able to put the flypast together for such a special occasion as RIAT. It's been a real challenge getting all the different elements in place but we have all had a thoroughly good time.'

Other air display winners were:

Lockheed Martin Cannestra Trophy - for the best flying demonstration by an overseas participant - Team Apache, flying four L-39 Albatross's led by Mr Jacques Bothelin.

The Steedman Display Sword - for the best flying demonstration by a UK participant - Lt Mark Scott and Lt Jamie Coulton, of 702 Sqn RN, for their Lynx Pair display.

The Shell Oil UK 'Sir Douglas Bader Trophy' - awarded for the best overall flying display - was won by Capt Mark Birkfeldt from F7 Wing, flying the JAS-39 Gripen.

The Solo Jet Aerobatic Trophy - for the best solo jet aerobatics demonstration - went to Capt Yannick Vallet, of Escradille 02/005 'lle de France' flying a Mirage 2000.

The As The Crow Flies Trophy - awarded by the Friends of the Royal International Air Tattoo - went to Hungarian Mig 29 pilot Capt Zoltan Szabo.

The EADS Trophy - for the best livery - was awarded to a German Air Force Tornado from 2 Squadron, 31 Wing, captained by Lt Steffen Haack.

Static display winners were:

The Concord d'Elegance Page Aerospace Trophy - went to the P-3 Orion entered by 320 Sqn of the Royal Netherlands Navy.

The fixed wing Concord d'Elegance (BAE Systems Trophy) - went to Polish Navy entrant, a M28 Bryza 1R, of 30 Naval Air Squadron, especially painted for the Tattoo's Ocean Watch theme marking the 60th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic. The Bryza wore the QD codes and Polish chequer-board emblem carried by aircraft of 304 (Polish) Squadron RAF Coastal Command in 1944.

Best rotary wing Concord d'Elegance (The EADS Trophy) - went to Latvian Air Force Mi-8 MTV.

The Volunteer Reserve Forces Poignard Trophy - went to the US Air National Guard.

Overall Ground Skills winners (The Goodrich Trophy) - went to the US Navy VP30, The Pro's Nest.

Best Aircrew Skills (The Marshall Trophy) - went to the German Air Force (The Flying Monsters of FBW 32, 2 Sqn).

Participant best embodying the spirit of RIAT (Lockheen Martin Spirit of the Meet Trophy) - went to 120 Sqn Royal Air Force.