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Not the News of the World
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Red Arrow Crash

Saturday, 20 August 2011

A Red Arrow jet has crashed at an an air show in Bournemouth.

It's pilot, Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging, 33, known as "Eggman", from Rutland died in the crash near the River Stour, just south of Bournemouth Airport. Jon had previously served in Afghanistan.

The Hawk aircraft had been part of a display team at the annual Bournemouth air show. Eye witnesses described seeing one of the planes break formation and fly lower than the others before hitting the bank of the river at very high speed, leaving wreckage over a wide area on both sides of the river.

Tributes have been made by many that knew him. His wife, said in a statement issued by the MOD:

"Jon was everything to those that knew him, and he was the best friend and husband I could ever have wished for."

Group Captain Simon Blake, the Commandant of the RAF’s Central Flying School, said:

“Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging, known as ‘Eggman’, joined the Team as Red 4 in the Autumn of 2010. A gifted aviator, he was chosen to fly in the Red 4 slot, on the right hand outside of the famous Diamond Nine formation – 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.

“A true team player, his good nature and constant smile will be sorely missed by all. In such a close knit team, this tragedy will be keenly felt by his fellow team members, the Reds and all of the engineering and support staff, the Blues.”

Air Vice Marshal Mark Green, Air Officer Commanding 22 (Training) Group, said:

“I first met Flt Lt Jon Egging in 2003 when I became his Station Commander. Even at that early stage in his career, Jon’s professionalism, competence and ever present smile made him stand out from the crowd. Hence, his eventual selection for duties with the Red Arrows came as no surprise. His time with the Team was typified by the characteristics that were Jon’s trademark: professionalism, enthusiasm for life and a willingness to help others that transcended all boundaries. Jon will be sorely missed by all those that had the privilege to know him; our thoughts and prayers are with Jon’s family and friends at this tragic time.”

Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said:

“It was with great sadness that I heard of the death of Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging whilst performing with the Red Arrows today. He was a gifted aviator who was selected for one of the most demanding flying jobs in the RAF. Joining the Red Arrows was his lifetime ambition and he performed with great skill whilst on the team. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Emma and his family and friends at this terrible time.”

The Ministry of Defense is investigating the accident. The Red Arrows have suspended all performances until the cause of the accident has been determined.