Red Arrows pilot killed in incident at RAF Scampton

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Media captionGp Capt Simon Blake said the pilot was ejected from the aircraft while the aircraft was on the ground

A Red Arrows pilot has died after being ejected from an aircraft at the aerobatic team's base in Lincolnshire.

The RAF confirmed the pilot was ejected from a Hawk T1 jet while it was on the ground at RAF Scampton.

The Military Aviation Authority is carrying out an independent inquiry to determine the cause of the incident.

The RAF said its thoughts were with the pilot's family. Red Arrows training has been suspended but the RAF's other Hawk T1 jets will continue to fly.

The pilot's family has asked for a period of grace until his name is released.

'Massive bang'

Speaking about the inquiry, Gp Capt Simon Blake, from RAF Scampton, said: "It would be inappropriate to speculate on the cause of the incident until that inquiry is complete. The investigation will determine the facts.

"The pilot's next of kin have been informed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the pilot's family and friends at this difficult time."

East Midlands Ambulance crews were called to the scene at about 11:09 GMT, along with the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance.

Chris Boatman, who lives nearby, said he heard a "massive bang" from the base.

A number of Red Arrows Hawks parked side by side were visible from the edge of RAF Scampton earlier, one with the front part of the canopy smashed. This was later covered with a tarpaulin.

Winter training

The incident comes a few months after Red Arrows pilot Jon Egging died from injuries he suffered when his plane crashed near Bournemouth Airport.

A post-mortem examination showed the cause of death was multiple injuries.

Flt Lt Egging, who grew up in Southam, Warwickshire, joined the RAF in 2000 and served with IV (AC) Squadron, based at RAF Cottesmore, flying the Harrier GR9 in support of coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Since his death, the team has performed in an eight-strong "missing man" formation.

In 2010, the Ministry of Defence suspended Hawk T1 flights across the country for nearly a week when a potential problem was detected with ejection seats.

The Red Arrows team was formed in 1965 and has completed more than 4,300 displays in 53 countries.

The team completed its final display of the season in September and was currently carrying out its winter training at RAF Scampton.

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