Conflict & Justice

Red Arrow pilot dies after ejecting while on runway (VIDEO)


Red Arrow pilots perform the "Gypo Split" during their first public aerobatic display since the tragic death of Flight Lt. Jon Egging on September 2, 2011 in Chatsworth, England. The RAF stunt team dedicated the display at Chatsworth Country Fair in memory of the Red Arrow pilot whose Hawk jet crashed on Aug. 20 during a performance at Bournemouth, leaving a space where Jon Egging would have flown.


Christopher Furlong

A Red Arrow pilot died Tuesday after being ejected from his aircraft reportedly while it was on the runway.

It was the second death involving a jed from the British military’s Red Arrows aerobatic display team: in August, Afghanistan war veteran Flight Lt. Jon Egging, 33, was killed when his jet crashed during an air show in southern England.

(GlobalPost reports: Red Arrows fatal crash at Bournemouth under military investigation)

All 126 of the Red Arrow team's training jets were briefly grounded after the August accident.

The Royal Air Force had opened an investigation into Tuesday's incident, The Associated Press reported.

The aviator’s name was not released, although Group Cpt. Simon Blake said family members had been informed.

The Daily Telegraph reported that the ejector seat was triggered while the Red Arrow pilot's Hawk T1 aircraft was on the runway, and that the incident had raised questions about the team's future. 

Red Arrow pilots have used the Hawk T1, which has a top speed of Mach 1.2, since 1979, reported.

According to the AP, other flight demonstration teams — including the US Air Force’s Thunderbirds and the US Navy’s Blue Angels — have had deaths in training and during displays, "although they are relatively rare."

In 2007, Blue Angels pilot Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Davis died at an air show in South Carolina when he briefly lost control of his F/A 18 Hornet jet.

Canada’s Snowbirds have had several fatal accidents, most recently a training crash in 2007 that killed a pilot.