Service held to remember Red Arrows pilot

Jon Egging (33) died after his Red Arrows plane crashed following an air show

Jon Egging (33) died after his Red Arrows plane crashed following an air show

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A PILOT who “lived and breathed his passion for flying” was remembered during a service to celebrate his life.

The friends, family and colleagues of Flt Lt Egging, 33, gathered at Lincoln Cathedral on Monday to remember the Red Arrows pilot.

Flt Lt Egging died when the Hawk T1 Red 4 he was flying crashed shortly after a display at Bournemouth Air Festival in August.

His widow Dr Emma Egging paid tribute to her husband in front of a congregation, which included television presenter Carol Vorderman and Queen star Brian May.

She said: “A great deal of what made Jon, Jon, was his commitment to serving and supporting others whether in his capacity as a husband, son, brother, as a team mate, flying instructor, whether on operations in Afghanistan or as Red 4, Jon wanted to be there for others and to support and serve them and the RAF to the best of his ability.”

Dr Egging said her husband’s achievements, including being selected for the Red Arrows in September 2010, were down to “hard work and his positivity”.

Red Arrows Sqn Ldr Ben Murphy and Group Capt Harv Smith also spoke at the service.

Flt Lt Egging’s Red Arrows team mates performed a flypast over the cathedral in the missing man formation.

After the service, Dr Egging said the memorial was an opportunity for the community to remember Flt Lt Egging.

A private funeral was held in St Mary’s Church in Morcott in September.

She said: “It is about celebrating Jon, the person he was.

“It is also about having the memorial there for the wider community because the funeral was a private occasion.

“Having the service in Lincoln is of real importance to us because it means all those thousands of messages of support and all of those people who have been there for us can have this as a focus and hear about Jon.”

Also speaking after the service, Flt Lt Egging’s best friend James Godley said he would remember him for his “enthusiasm for life” and his “infectious smile”.

He said: “He trained hard and was very professional at what he did and took it very seriously.

“He was a team player, had a boundless enthusiasm for life and a constant smile. That’s how I’ll remember Jon.”

Since Flt Lt Egging’s death, Dr Egging has raised nearly £25,000 for the Jon Egging Trust, which she set up in his name to help disadvantaged young people have access to activities like flying.

Proceeds from a bonfire night tomorrow at The White Horse Inn in Morcott will also go to the trust.

The bonfire will be lit at 6.30pm and a fireworks display begins at 7pm.