England

Red Arrows cleared to fly again after airshow crash

  • 25 August 2011
  • From the section England
The wreckage of the Red Arrow
Image caption The plane plunged into a field near the River Stour

The Red Arrows have been cleared to fly again following a fatal crash but the RAF is unable to confirm if they will perform at airshows again this year.

Flt Lt Jon Egging, 33, from Rutland, died following an airshow when his plane came down near Bournemouth airport on Saturday.

All the RAF's Hawk T1 aircraft were grounded after the crash.

The RAF said the Red Arrows would begin training again using eight planes instead of nine on 30 August.

But it could not say when public displays would resume.

A spokesman said: "Display flying by the Red Arrows team, in an eight ship formation, will recommence subject to a successful period of consolidation and approval to display."

Earlier a defence source said it was "extremely unlikely that they will do any displays for the rest of this year".

The display team regularly train with eight, rather than nine planes, in case a pilot is unable to fly.

The announcement follows preliminary investigations into the cause of the fatal crash, which showed there was no wider safety concerns about the aircraft.

About 120 Hawk T1s used for RAF training, which were also grounded, can now also resume exercises.

The spokeswoman said: "Having been assured of the airworthiness of the Hawk T1 fleet, the precautionary suspension of flying activity has been lifted and flying operations have been resumed."

Returning to base

After undergoing routine maintenance at Bournemouth Airport while they were grounded, the Red Arrows' aircraft will be returned to their base at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire on Friday.

The Military Aviation Authority investigation into the crash is expected to take months and no details have been released about its initial findings.

Image caption Flt Lt Egging was known to colleagues and friends as 'Eggman'

Flt Lt Egging's wife, Dr Emma Egging, watched her husband perform with the Red Arrows minutes before he crashed to his death.

Eyewitnesses described seeing his plane hit the ground in a field by the River Stour near the village of Throop following a display over the seafront.

Hundreds of tributes have been left at RAF Scampton and outside Bournemouth Town Hall.

On Tuesday, a service was held at St John the Baptist church in Scampton.

Part of the wreckage was removed from the crash site near the village of Throop on Wednesday.

The area where the plane came down remains cordoned off and searches are continuing for debris in and around the River Stour.

All parts of the wreckage are being taken to the Boscombe Down aircraft testing site at Idmiston, in Wiltshire.

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