Red Arrows Stunt Pilot Killed in England Airshow Crash
Flight Lieutenant John Egging, 33, of the Royal Air Force (RAF) Aerobatics Team, known as the Red Arrows, was killed when his Hawk T1 aircraft crashed about 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) southeast of Bournemouth Airport at 1.50 p.m. local time on Saturday.
The accident happened after nine Red Arrows aircraft were engaged in a display at the Bournemouth Air Festival. Eyewitnesses said the plane was flying lower than the rest of the Red Arrows when they saw it plunge to the ground in a field near the River Stour at Throop village, the BBC reported.
Organizers of the Bournemouth Air Festival said events were continuing as scheduled, despite the accident, while the Bournemouth Airport said it had closed for a short time but flights have since resumed.
The cause of the accident was not immediately known, but the Ministry of Defense said a full service inquiry has been initiated into the cause of the accident. “It was with great sadness that I heard of the death of Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging whilst performing with the Red Arrows today,” Defense Secretary Liam Fox said. “He was a gifted aviator who was selected for one of the most demanding flying jobs in the RAF.”
Mark Smith, Head of Bournemouth Tourism, said that the RAF and the pilots have expressed their wishes to continue with their other flying displays at the festival on Sunday. But, “the Red Arrows will not be performing,” he added.
The Bournemouth Air Festival is an annual air show held along Bournemouth’s coast in Dorset, England. The 2011 festival began on Thursday and will end on Sunday.