Scraping ice off your car and wearing your warm coat are signs that winter is near so how does a couple of months training in California sound?

Every winter, adrenaline junkie Royal Air Force personnel spend time at Skydive Elsinore near Lake Elsinore in the United States being put through their paces. However, not all of them will make it to become bona fide Falcons.

Forces Radio BFBS' Richard Hatch and Verity Geere spoke to Flt Lt Dave Sellers (pictured above holding his parachute) who is currently at Lake Elsinore in California for winter training to discover what it takes to become an RAF Falcon team member.

Each RAF Falcon serves for three years which means that there is a mixture of expertise in the team as older members leave and newbie’s arrive. The job requires a lot of concentration and the team have to leave their families at home so training is not just fun in the sun.

"It's good fun but it is mentally tiring. The guys have understanding partners back home who realise it's part of the job and it's a busy three years where they're going to be away quite a bit."

During their time with the Falcons, each team member will accumulate 1000 jumps, many of which are on training detachments worldwide.

RAF Falcons Display Team RAF Kinloss Red White Blye Plumes Of Smoke Defence Imagery 2006
RAF Falcons Display Team drift gently back to terra firma at RAF Kinloss in 2006

Based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire the RAF Falcons are one of the top military displays team that grace events all over Britain and Europe throughout the year.

"The season starts in May so it's building up to that. Obviously, the RAF 100 will be next year so that's going to be hopefully a big part of some of our displays."

As they come into land after their colourful and courageous aerial displays they are only 15 feet apart and still travelling at 50 miles an hour.

Any civilian who loves parachuting could not be blamed for feeling envious but the hours are long and there is stiff competition.

"I know everyone on the team loves the job and it's not just parachutists, we've also got our survival equipment fitters... and we're also assisted by on exercises by medics, a photographer sometimes."

 

RAF Falcon Display Team Red White Blue Plumes Of Smoke IWM Duxford Defence Imagery 2001
The RAF Falcon Display Team putting on a show during the Air display at IWM Duxford in 2001

The RAF Falcons have been jumping out of planes in front of the public for more than 50 years. 

The team was originally founded as a display team in 1961 by six instructors from the Parachute Training School at RAF Abingdon: Flt Lt Hearn, Flt Lt Thirtle, FS Moloney, Sgt Peacock, Sgt Robertson, Sgt Mcloughlin.

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