Viewers astounded by Channel 4 RAF documentary

Top Guns: Inside the RAF leaves viewers astounded by its ‘amazing’ portrayal of the air force – as viewers realise they know ‘f*** all’ about fighter pilots

  • The Channel 4 documentary followed pilots at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray
  • READ MORE: RAF Typhoons intercept two Russian ‘Bear’ bombers equipped with submarine trackers north of Scotland in latest aerial stand-off 

Viewers of a Channel 4 documentary delving inside the every day lives of RAF pilots have been blown away by the insight they have gained.

Top Guns: Inside the RAF aired on Monday night at 10pm and followed pilots at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland.

The site is one of Britain’s two Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) stations, which have the ability to launch fighter jets in moments to respond to potential threats to UK airspace. 

As the episode followed flying aces, as well as chefs at the base and other facilities staff, viewers took to Twitter to praise the programme.

Most viewers were astounded by the insight they received into the lives of RAF pilots and the training they go through – suggesting they would never receive such interesting information from exhibitions.

The documentary followed pilots including Jake, from RAF Lossiemouth’s 9th Squadron.

Dramatic footage during the episode shows the heart-stopping moment Jake is confronted by three Russian fighter jets amid ongoing tensions between Vladimir Putin and the West.

In the clip, three Russian planes can be seen ominously buzzing through the air under Jake’s careful supervision.

It captures the stomach churning moment Jake loses sight of one plane as he shadows the trio, as well as doubt running through his mind during a situation that has the potential to develop into a large-scale conflict.

What follows is a tense game of cat and mouse, with Jake matching the Russians’ movements and making sure they don’t attempt anything dangerous while avoiding antagonising them.

A documentary examining the lives of RAF pilots at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland, has left viewers blown away

One moment in the documentary captures the terrifying moment one pilot, Jake, is confronted by three Russian fighter jets

Viewers took to Twitter to express their praise for the RAF pilots, while saying the programme was a fascinating insight

Speaking on the show he reveals there is an ‘uncertainty’ about what the opposition pilots are thinking, as well as the moment of concern when he loses sight of them.

He says: ‘It’s that uncertainty of what’s going through his [the Russian pilot’s] mind – what’s his task? What’s he willing to do to achieve it?

‘I lose sight of them and I can’t see them under the aeroplane. I’m starting to worry – they will just slow down for no reason, sometimes they’ll speed up for no reason.’

Reflecting on the tense scenes in the air, Jake says: ‘It’s very difficult to determine where those acts are coming from.

‘Is it come directly down from Putin himself? Is this guy just trying to endanger my aeroplane because that’s what his mindset is? I don’t know.

Viewers of the show praised it and said they realised they knew less than they originally thought about the RAF

‘There’s a degree of playing mind games, but if I make an error the result can be pretty catastrophic.

‘If I get caught up in the moment and accidentally collide with one of these aircraft it could lead to an escalation into World War Three.

‘Your heart is going at a million beats a minute. You’ve got all those things in the back of your head.’

While watching the episode, viewers took to Twitter to praise the pilots, hailing the documentary for its in-depth exploration of an RAF base.

One person wrote: ‘A fascinating insight into a world very few people get to experience. It is of vital importance that the general public (who pay the wages) understand what is happening almost daily and why.’

Another said: ‘Just goes to show us public know f*** all about what’s going on over there.’

One viewer, who takes an interest in the RAF, said the documentary ‘provides further insight [you] can’t get from airshows, or visits to museums’.

Praising the people featured in the programme beyond just the pilots, one person wrote: ‘What an amazing job these people do at all levels, be it the chefs, ground crew or pilots. 

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