Red Arrows pilot blacked out seconds before fatal crash after suffering the effects of G-force
Inquest hears accident may have been avoided if aircraft had been flying 70ft higher
A Red Arrows pilot killed in a crash shortly after performing at an air show in front of his wife lost control of his aircraft because of the effects of G-force, an inquest heard.
Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging all but blacked out and slammed into the ground after turning in preparation for landing. His wife, Dr Emma Egging, had watched him perform aerobatics at the Bournemouth Air Festival before he crashed into a field.
It is believed he suffered an “almost loss of consciousness” caused by a manoeuvre that involved a maximum 6.3 G-force when breaking formation to prepare to land.
Evidence presented to the inquest in Bournemouth suggested he may have started to recover consciousness three seconds before the crash and that if the plane had been 70ft higher, he would have been able to regain control.
But by the time he showed any sign of awareness it was too late even to eject from the Hawk T1 aircraft.
An eyewitness described the red and white plane coming down in a straight line before it “belly flopped, wobbled and skidded” out of sight.
The injuries Flt Lt Egging, 33, from Rutland, sustained were fatal and Coroner Sheriff Payne recorded a verdict of accidental death, saying: “This was a pure matter of fate on this occasion.”
Flight Lieutenant Chris Lyndon-Smith, Red Two, was flying just behind Flt Lt Egging, Red Four, when the accident happened in August 2011.
He described how he watched his colleague lose height and crash despite desperate attempts to warn him to pull out of the fatal dive.
“It became apparent to me that 179 was going down pretty quickly. I shouted on the radio: ‘Four, check height.’ I then got back on the radio and said the same thing. I think I shouted it out to try to get Jon to react and get his aircraft away from the ground,” he said. “From what I was seeing he was not controlling the aircraft at that time.”
A service inquiry carried out by the Military Aviation Authority found that if the aircraft had been flying 70ft higher it could have made the difference between landing safely or crashing.
Wing Commander Mark Rodden, president of the inquiry, said Flt Lt Egging succumbed to G-force impairment, with inadequate G-force awareness a possible contributory factor. Mechanical fault was ruled out. Recommendations made by the inquiry included improved high G-force training and for some manoeuvres to be carried out at a higher altitude.
Wing Cdr Rodden said Flt Lt Egging had experienced the G-force for a long period of time at high speed, creating the “worst combination”.
Flt Lt Egging’s wife said after the verdict: “Jon’s death due to the effects of G-Force-induced impairment was a tragic accident. I am confident that a full inquiry has taken place by the RAF, and that actions will be taken to help prevent such an accident from happening again.
“Jon was a talented and dedicated pilot, who absolutely loved flying. He loved representing the country as part of the Royal Air Force Red Arrows.”
- 1 Boston Marathon runner's search for mystery man she kissed ends with letter from his wife
- 3 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 4 How to gain confidence and maximise your sexual potential
- 5 Chinese theme park sets up 'death simulator' where volunteers can experience being cremated
Saudi Arabia's King Salman sacks senior aide for 'slapping' a journalist behind him live on TV
Boston Marathon runner's search for mystery man she kissed ends with letter from his wife
Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...