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Crash pilot's wife watched air show

The wife of a Red Arrows pilot watched his stunt team perform just minutes before he crashed to his death.

Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging's Hawk T1 aircraft plunged to the ground near Bournemouth Airport in Dorset after completing a display over the town's seafront.

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

"Jon was everything to those that knew him, and he was the best friend and husband I could ever have wished for. Watching him today, I was the proudest I've ever been. I loved everything about him, and he will be missed," she said.

Eyewitnesses saw the plane flying low before smashing into a field and coming to a standstill with its nose in the River Stour near the village of Throop.

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

Group Captain Simon Blake, the Commandant of the RAF's Central Flying School, described the 33-year-old pilot from Rutland as "a true team player".

He said: "A gifted aviator, he was chosen to fly in the Red 4 slot, on the right hand outside of the famous diamond nine formation - an accolade in itself being the most demanding position allocated to a first year pilot."

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