Red Arrows resume public displays after death of Flt Lt Jon Egging

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THE Red Arrows will resume public displays today following a crash which killed a pilot.

The team will fly at RAF Linton-on-Ouse families day in North Yorkshire and at Chatsworth House Country Fair in Derbyshire today but the displays planned for the weekend remain cancelled.

Flt Lt Jon Egging, 33, of Morcott, died when his Hawk T1 aircraft crashed on Saturday, August 20, following a display at Bournemouth Air Festival.

A Red Arrows spokesman said they would be flying in Flt Lt Egging’s memory.

Sqn Ldr Ben Murphy, who flies Red 1 in the display team, paid tribute to Flt Lt Egging, 33, from Morcott, who was killed in a crash on Saturday, August 20, following a display at Bournemouth Air Festival.

Sqn Ldr Murphy said: “Jon, as a Red Arrows pilot, encapsulated everything that is the Best of British.

“He was an exceptional pilot, a dedicated RAF officer who saw service for his country but, moreover, he was a selfless and compassionate friend who will be sorely missed.

“The fortitude, resilience and pride that Jon showed in life are exactly the qualities that define our Armed Forces and it is these that will enable us to get back on our feet and move on. For that reason, and in Jon’s memory, the Red Arrows will be displaying to the public again at the earliest possible opportunity.”

The team returned to its base at RAF Scampton on Saturday.

Sgn Ldr Murphy said: “It is with great sadness that the Red Arrows return home to RAF Scampton without our teammate Red 4, Flt Lt Jon Egging. The pain and shock of losing Jon is still very real and very raw and all our thoughts and prayers are with Jon’s wife Emma and with his family.

“Whilst we are feeling a very personal grief, the public response to Jon’s tragic death has been overwhelming and humbling and I would like to thank all those who have paid tribute to Jon by sending flowers, cards and letters and be assured that these have been of great comfort to Jon’s family and to us.

“In particular, I would like to thank the people of Bournemouth and Lincolnshire and especially, the Dorset emergency services who have all shown great compassion and sensitivity.”

Flt Lt Egging’s widow Dr Emma Egging, who lives in Morcott, has posted a note through the letterboxes of villagers advising that there will be a private funeral in the village church, which seats a maximum of 120 people. The couple married there in June last year.

Churchwarden Jane Williams said: “A note was sent around the village. Emma wanted to thank everyone for their support. She is very mindful of the fact that Morcott is a small village and we are all close.”

The display team returned to training on Tuesday as an eight-piece formation. Although, there is a spare plane, there are no reserve pilots in the team because one pilot would not be able to learn all nine positions to the standards required.

Visitors to the Wings and Wheels airshow at Dunsfold Park in Surrey held a minute’s silence at midday on Sunday to remember Flt Lt Egging. The silence was broken by a Hurricane flypast.

The Red Arrows fleet had been due to perform at the show on Sunday and Monday.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.