Red Arrows pilot Jon Egging death inquest

Dec 16, 2012
Red 4 Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging

Red 4 Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging, died at airshow during Bournemouth Air Festival near Bournemouth Airport on August 20, 2011.  The crash occurred after break for land maneuver in about 13:50 local time, when Egging’s Hawk aircraft hit the ground and start bouncing several times before stops at the bank of nearby River Stour.

The inquest concluded, after 16 months, that Flt Lt Egging might have succumbed to G-force impairment before attempting to correct his course in the moments before the impact.

Flt Lt Egging was experiencing a maximum 6.3 G-force when he broke formation before going to land at Bournemouth Airport. He suffered ALOC (almost loss of consciousness) from the 6.3G he was experiencing and gave little reaction, even he wearing G-suit, which have to prevent loss of consciousness due high G maneuvers.

The inquiry ruled out any technical or mechanical fault and said flying 70ft (21m) higher could have made the difference between landing the jet and the crash.

Flight Lieutenant Chris Lyndon-Smith, known as Red 2, was flying just behind Egging, when the crash happened.

He told the inquest: “It became apparent to me that 179, Jon Egging plane number, was going down pretty quickly. I shouted on the radio “four, check height”. At the time, I didn’t think I saw any change or reaction.

“That was the frustrating thing, at the time I was trying to tell Jon to check his height and I wasn’t seeing a response from his aircraft.

“There was no response from my eyes and from what I saw and because Jon was not reacting, from what I was seeing he was not controlling the aircraft at that time.

“Whether right at the end he was, I don’t know.”

Dr Emma Egging, a Jon’s widow said that he missed a flight earlier in the summer because of neck and back pain and had received treatment from Ministry of Defense physiotherapy and a private osteopath. His neck was giving him no trouble on the crash day, although he had taken ibuprofen for a sore back in the morning, she said. Probably this fact led Jon’s blackout during 6.3G, as he was very experienced pilot.

Red Arrows Squadron Leader Ben Murphy said the team had changed its pre-landing maneuver from a "looping break" to a faster "flat break".

Red Arrows break for land maneuver