Tributes to pilot killed at Coningsby

Home UK News Tributes to pilot killed at Coningsby
Tributes to pilot killed at Coningsby

Jake Zuckerman flowers laid outside BBMF hanger at RAF ConingsbyJake Zuckerman

Floral tributes outside the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight hangar at RAF Coningsby

Tributes have been paid to a pilot who died when his Spitfire crashed in a field close to an RAF station at Coningsby on Saturday.

The RAF said a “comprehensive investigation” would take place after the plane came down off Langrick Road shortly before 13:20 BST.

The Prince and Princess of Wales said they were “incredibly sad” at the news, while Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said it was “awful”.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) told the BBC it expected to name the pilot later.

Jake Zuckerman Scene of the crash in a field off Langrick Road, ConingsbyJake Zuckerman

Scene of the crash in a field off Langrick Road, Coningsby

The World War Two-era plane belonged to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) based at RAF Coningsby.

The BBMF is a collection of wartime fighter and bomber aircraft that take part in air shows and memorial displays. Only a few dozen airworthy Spitfires remain, including six that belong to the BBMF.

William and Kate said on their Kensington Palace X account: “Our thoughts this evening are with the pilot’s loved ones, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and the wider RAF family.”

William was made Honorary Air Commandant Royal Air Force Coningsby in 2008 and handed the role over to Kate in 2023.

The prime minister also paid tribute, writing on social media: “Awful news to see the life of a serving RAF pilot cut short in this tragic event.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “Deeply saddened by news from Lincolnshire. Thank you to the emergency services for their response.

“My thoughts are with the pilot’s family at this awful time.”

Jo Makel A spitfire based at the Battle of Britain Memorial FlightJo Makel

A Spitfire based at the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

The MoD said that the pilot’s family had been informed and asked that their privacy be respected “at this difficult time”.

RAF enthusiasts were gathered to watch the planes on Saturday.

Speaking to the BBC, Sam Butler said: “They are well known to local people round here – they are treated like one big family from people who come here.”

Andrew Backhouse, who had watched the Spitfire fly overhead, added: “He was one of the best of the fleet…. Our thoughts go out to him. I’m sure the truth will come out eventually as to what happened.”

Lincolnshire Police said on Saturday it was a single-occupant aircraft and nobody else was involved.

Road closures remained in place in the areas of Dogdyke Road and Sandy Bank, with motorists urged to avoid the area.

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