Red Arrows pull out of Airshow

PACEMAMKER PRESS INTL: The Red Arrows take to the skies  during the "festival of flight" in Newcastle Co. Down where estimated crowds of 80-100k people attended. PHOTO\: Kirth Ferris/Pacemaker
PACEMAMKER PRESS INTL: The Red Arrows take to the skies during the "festival of flight" in Newcastle Co. Down where estimated crowds of 80-100k people attended. PHOTO\: Kirth Ferris/Pacemaker

THE Red Arrows have pulled out of their appearance at this weekend’s NI International Airshow after a pilot died in a crash in Dorset.

Flt Lt Jon Egging, 33, from Rutland, was killed when his Hawk T1 aircraft crashed following a display at the Bournemouth Air Festival on Saturday.

The tenth anniversary of the international air show at Portrush will take place on Saturday and Sunday.

Airshow organiser Jeff Brownhut said he understood the decision completely.

“The tragedy is not that they are not coming, it is that somebody lost their life,” he said.

Coleraine Borough Council said the decision was “understandable in the circumstances”.

“Council supports the team in their decision, and confirms that the show will go on, and a magnificent line up has already been confirmed, which includes the world’s number one Jet fighter aerobatic display with the F16 aerobatic team from the Belgium Air Force,” Council said in a statement.

The Red Arrows have only missed one appearance since the air show began 20 years ago in Londonderry.

The RAF has said a full service inquiry into the details of the crash has been initiated.

A spokeswoman said it was “hard to tell” how long the inquiry would be as it would be “very thorough”.