Red Arrows pilot in ejector seat tragedy

 

A Red Arrows pilot was killed yesterday after being ejected from his aircraft while it was on the ground.

The incident at the aerobatic team's base at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, in one of the display team's Hawk T1 aircraft, took place while the plane was on the airstrip.

The Ministry of Defence grounded all Hawk T1 aircrafts temporarily in July last year when a potential ejector seat fault was found. The Red Arrows were cleared to fly again a week later after the jets passed technical inspections.

The MoD said a full investigation was being launched to determine the cause of the accident. The pilot will be named today.

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

He added: "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."

Residents living nearby the airbase reported hearing a loud bang coming from the runway yesterday morning.

"My children and I heard a massive bang that echoed across from the runway area to our house," Chris Boatman, who lives nearby, told the BBC. "Not long after that an air ambulance flew a few metres over the house."

Medical teams rushed to RAF Scampton after the incident at around 11am yesterday. The Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance airlifted the pilot to Lincoln County Hospital but his injuries were so severe that he could not be saved.

The accident came less than three months after another pilot with the world-famous aerobatics team, Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging, 33, was killed in an air show crash in Dorset. Eyewitnesses described seeing the aircraft flying low before smashing into a field and coming to a standstill with its nose in the River Stour near the village of Throop. Hundreds of RAF servicemen and women joined the hugely popular pilot's family and friends at a packed memorial service in Lincoln Cathedral last week.

The RAF temporarily halted flying of all 126 of its Hawk T1 training jets to investigate the cause of the earlier tragedy. The Red Arrows completed their final display of the season in September and are carrying out their winter training at RAF Scampton.

The team have suspended their training following yesterday's tragedy, although the rest of the Hawk T1s have not been grounded, the MoD said.

Hawk T1s are also used for training fast-jet pilots at RAF Valley in Anglesey, North Wales, and RAF Leeming, near Northallerton, North Yorkshire.

During winter training each Red Arrows pilot flies three times a day, five days a week.

Ejector seats: The hazards

Ejecting from an aircraft travelling at high speeds can be a very dangerous manoeuvre. The force of ejecting at 740mph, the speed of sound, can reach in excess of 20Gs, which can be fatal.

Despite this, statistics reveal that about 90 per cent of the pilots who are forced to eject from their aircraft do survive.

Ejecting from a plane takes no more than four seconds from the time the ejection handle is pulled. Pulling the handle sets off an explosive cartridge, launching the ejection seat into the air.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
news

Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity

Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
Life and Style
View of champagne glasses at a beach bar set up along the Croisette during the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes on May 17, 2013
food + drink(and for now, there's a clear winner)
News
The author PD James, who died on 27 November 2014
people

Detective novelist who wrote Death comes to Pemberley passed away peacefully at her home, aged 94

Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
arts + ents
Life and Style
tech

Sites using the popular Gigya comment platform were attacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)

Extras
indybest
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
film
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

Argyll Scott International: 2x Service Desk Analyst

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst Re...

Langley James : IT Project Manager; 6 month FTC; Brighton; £400p/d

£400 - £420 per day: Langley James : IT Project Manager; 6 month FTC; Brighton...

Langley James : Web Developer; PHP, MySQL, Java; Blackfriars; £25k

£25000 per annum + training: Langley James : Web Developer; PHP, MySQL, Java; ...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Sales Manager - Holiday Homes - £100,000 OTE

£40000 - £60000 per annum + £100,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: Birmingham, Derby, L...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?