Red Arrows pilot found in river

A man spoke today of the moment rescuers searching for a Red Arrows pilot minutes after his plane had crashed found him dead in a river.

Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging's Hawk T1 aircraft plunged to the ground near Bournemouth Airport in Dorset yesterday, partly ending up it in the River Stour after completing a display over the town's seafront.



He was discovered with his parachute open but apparently not in his ejection seat.



John Dugdale did not hear the crash but was soon at the scene when a rescue helicopter starting hovering above.



"Somebody ran past me saying 'one of the reds has gone down'. I just thought this is not happening," Mr Dugdale said.



"I ran over and there was a small group of people and you could see part of the wreckage of the aircraft on the riverbank.



"At least one of the group had entered the water and was looking in the river for the pilot.



"One then shouted out he could see a parachute and then he shouted out he had got him (the pilot) and someone said, 'is he dead?' and the man in the water replied 'yes'.



"There was a lot of bushes on the bank and he was found just away from me in a bend of the river. I did not see him."



Mr Dugdale said he thought the ejection seat was found away from the body.



He went on: "Soon there were emergency services everywhere and the helicopter landed and we began to be cleared away.



"I went straight back home because it was extremely upsetting.



"I had gone down to watch the display because I am a member of the Red Arrows Association and a fan. It was such a shame that his wife was at the display."



Tributes were today paid to Flt Lt Egging, who is said to have guided the plane away from houses and people before it smashed into a field and came to a standstill with its nose in the river near the village of Throop.



His wife, Dr Emma Egging, said she was "the proudest I've ever been" after watching his performance in the skies above the seaside resort.



Colleagues described the 33-year-old as a "true team player" and "gifted aviator".



Dr Egging said yesterday: "Jon was everything to those that knew him, and he was the best friend and husband I could ever have wished for.



"I know that he would have wanted me to say something from the heart at this time.



"There was nothing bad about Jon. He loved his job and was an exemplary pilot.



"Watching him today, I was the proudest I've ever been. I loved everything about him, and he will be missed," she said.











Dorset Police said the pilot had been thrown from the aircraft and was pronounced dead at the scene.



An MoD spokesman said: "A full service inquiry into the details of the crash has been initiated. It would be inappropriate to speculate on the causes of the incident at this time."



Nicholas Gore, 22, was walking with a friend close to the river when he saw all nine Red Arrows overhead following the display at the Bournemouth Air Festival.



"There were quite a few people watching and we saw them go over but one seemed quite low," he said.



"They then disappeared behind trees and I heard a crack - not an explosion - just a crack and we got further down and I saw the plane with its red tail in the air and its nose in the river.



"Shortly afterwards there were emergency services everywhere."



One eyewitness said the plane had skidded for several hundred metres along the riverbank after it crashed.



Mark Grogan, who was playing a round of golf nearby at the time of the crash, said: "I heard a sound like a car backfiring."



He added: "Within five minutes the helicopters arrived, there were at least five helicopters including the police and two from the coastguard.



"One of the local farmers said they'd seen rescue teams pulling the pilot out of the river."



Wayne Kent, 30, the assistant manager of the nearby Broadway Pub, said some of his customers had seen the incident, and that the pilot guided the plane away from houses in the village and from people walking near the riverbank.



Nick Woods, 36, told how he discovered the pilot's body in the Stour.



According to the Sunday Telegraph, he and his friend Finlay ran across the field after the crash and saw the Red Arrow on the bank.



Mr Woods told the newspaper: "We jumped into the water, found the ejector seat, pulled it up, but it was clean - no one in it.



"I swam across the river and saw the parachute, and that's where I found him. He was near a steep bank, in deep water. He was very badly injured, dead."



Chief Inspector Steve White, of Dorset Police, said: "On approach to the airport one aircraft crashed into a field near Throop Mill, Bournemouth.



"The aircraft came to rest on the banks of the River Stour, and the emergency services including police, fire, ambulance, coastguard search and rescue and a Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance attended.



"Sadly the pilot, who had been thrown from the aircraft, was pronounced dead at the scene."



He said the emergency services responded as soon as they were alerted, and added that he did not know whether the pilot ejected from the aircraft.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
education
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager

Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

IT Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London