Saturday, August 20, 2011
Red Arrow plane Crashes near Bournemouth Airport after Air Show Display
Red 4 Pilot Lt Jon Egging
Red Arrows pilot Lt Jon Egging died today when his stricken jet crashed after he made a dramatic attempt to steer it away from nearby houses following a display at the Bournemouth Air Festival.
The plane plunged to the ground and bounced into a river near Bournemouth Airport in Dorset after a demonstration at the town's Air Festival.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "We can confirm that we are aware of an incident involving one of the Red Arrows and we are investigating."
A member of staff at the West Beach restaurant on the seafront said she watched the Red Arrows complete their display without any problems.
She said the display lasted "about ten minutes".
Since 1979, the Red Arrows have used the dual control BAE Systems Hawk T1 aircraft.
According to the aerobatic team's website, the planes' Rolls Royce engines produce 5,200lbs of thrust and give a top speed of Mach 1.2. They have been based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire since 2001. Local resident Shaun Spencer-Perkins said the plane came down in fields, near a river. Moments after the crash, members of the public jumped into the river to try and recover Lt Eggings body.
Egging banked steeply to the right in order to avoid crash landing into houses which, if it had happened, would have caused a serious casualty rate.
It has been suggested by sources that the remaining eight aircraft could be grounded until such time as mechanical failure as the cause of Red 4’s catastrophic crash has been discounted. A fact which could mean that the display by the remaining eight Red Arrows pilots and Hawks scheduled for Bournemouth Air Festival on August 22nd may now not take place.