Red Arrows pilot dies in Air Festival crash
An RAF Red Arrows pilot died when his plane crashed following a display at the Bournemouth Air Festival in Dorset.
Flt Lt Jon Egging, 33, from Rutland, was killed when his Hawk T1 aircraft – Red 4 – crashed about 1km south east of Bournemouth Airport at 13:50 BST.
Eyewitnesses described seeing the plane plunge to the ground in a field near the River Stour at Throop village.It was one of nine Red Arrows aircraft that had earlier taken part in a display over the seafront.
In a statement Flt Lt Egging’s wife, Dr Emma Egging, described her husband as “an exemplary pilot” and said watching him during the display was the “proudest” she had ever been.
“Jon was everything to those that knew him, and he was the best friend and husband I could ever have wished for,” she said.
“I know that he would have wanted me to say something from the heart at this time. There was nothing bad about Jon.”He loved his job and was an exemplary pilot.”I loved everything about him, and he will be missed.”
Flt Lt Egging was inspired by his airline pilot father who used to take him ‘down route’, allowing him into the cockpit for take off and landing.
Speaking to his local newspaper, The Leamington Observer, in May, the 33-year-old said being part of the world-famous team was “an absolute privilege”.
“You are so focussed and working so hard to concentrate you just don’t get a chance to feel scared,” he added.
Gp Capt Simon Blake, the commandant of the RAF’s Central Flying School, said Flt Lt Egging, known as ‘Eggman’, had joined the team as Red 4 in the autumn of 2010 and flew on the right hand outside of the famous Diamond Nine formation.
He said this was “an accolade in itself – being the most demanding position allocated to a first-year pilot”.
“Throughout his winter training and the display season to date, his professionalism, skill and humility have shone through,” he said.
“A true team player, his good nature and constant smile will be sorely missed by all.”