Pilot Dies in Spitfire Crash Near RAF Coningsby Base in Lincolnshire

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Home Breaking Pilot Dies in Spitfire Crash Near RAF Coningsby Base in Lincolnshire

Pilot Dies in Spitfire Crash Near RAF Coningsby Base in Lincolnshire

Pilot Dies In Spitfire Crash Near RAF Coningsby Base In Lincolnshire

A pilot has tragically died after a Spitfire crashed in a field near the RAF Coningsby base in Lincolnshire, an RAF spokesperson has confirmed.

Pilot Dies In Spitfire Crash Near RAF Coningsby Base In Lincolnshire

“It is with great sadness that we must confirm the death of an RAF pilot in a tragic accident near RAF Coningsby today,” a Ministry of Defence spokesperson announced. “The pilot’s family have been informed and we ask that their privacy is respected at this difficult time.”

Pilot Dies In Spitfire Crash Near RAF Coningsby Base In Lincolnshire

Pilot Dies In Spitfire Crash Near Raf Coningsby Base In Lincolnshire
pilot dies in spitfire crash near Raf Coningsby base in Lincolnshire

The Spitfire was part of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which maintains historic aircraft in airworthy condition to honour RAF members who lost their lives in service.

Pilot Dies In Spitfire Crash Near RAF Coningsby Base In Lincolnshire

Emergency services, including police and other responders, rushed to the airfield at 1.20pm on Saturday. It is believed that only the pilot was involved in the incident.

Pilot Dies In Spitfire Crash Near RAF Coningsby Base In Lincolnshire

Road Closures and Public Response

Pilot Dies In Spitfire Crash Near RAF Coningsby Base In Lincolnshire

Road closures have been implemented in the areas of Dogdyke Road and Sandy Bank, with motorists urged to avoid the area. Lincolnshire police stated, “It is believed to be a single-occupant aircraft and nobody else is thought to have been involved.”

Pilot Dies In Spitfire Crash Near RAF Coningsby Base In Lincolnshire

Prominent figures have expressed their condolences. Labour leader Keir Starmer posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, “Deeply saddened by news from Lincolnshire. Thank you to the emergency services for their response. My thoughts are with the pilot’s family at this awful time.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also took to X, saying, “Awful news to see the life of a serving RAF pilot cut short in this tragic event. My thoughts are with their family and loved ones.”

Pilot Dies In Spitfire Crash Near Raf Coningsby Base In Lincolnshire
Bbmf Spitfire Makes Forced Landing In Coningsby Field

The Prince and Princess of Wales expressed their sorrow, stating they are “incredibly sad” to hear of the death of the RAF pilot.

Pilot Dies In Spitfire Crash Near Raf Coningsby Base In Lincolnshire
pilot dies in spitfire crash near Raf Coningsby base in Lincolnshire

RAF Coningsby and Its Legacy

RAF Coningsby is home to two frontline combat-ready squadrons and serves as the training station for Typhoon pilots. It also hosts the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which keeps historic aircraft in airworthy condition to commemorate RAF personnel who have died in service.

The Spitfire, an iconic aircraft from World War II, is a symbol of bravery and resilience. Its involvement in the Battle of Britain and other critical missions has cemented its place in history.

The loss of the pilot and the incident’s impact on the RAF community are deeply felt. Further updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

Spitfire MK356 was part of a batch of Mk IX Spitfires built at the Castle Bromwich factory in early 1944. It was fitted with full-span wingtips and a Rolls-Royce Merlin 66 engine with a two-speed, two-stage supercharger optimised for low altitudes, making it a L.F. (Low Flying) Mk IXe. On 4th February 1944 MK356 was delivered to the RAF, being flown from Castle Bromwich to No 9 Maintenance Unit at Cosford, where it was fitted with operational equipment. This remarkable and beautiful Spitfire has, therefore, just passed its 75th birthday.

On 11th March 1944 MK356 was allocated to the recently-formed 443 (‘Hornet’) Squadron RCAF, part of No 144 Canadian Wing at RAF Digby (only 10 miles from the aircraft’s current home at RAF Coningsby); it was issued to ‘B’ Flight and painted with the code letters ‘2I-V’. MK356 flew all of its 60 wartime operational sorties with this unit between 14th April and 14th June 1944. It took part in the D-Day operations and one of its pilots, Flying Officer Gordon Ockenden RCAF, claimed a shared confirmed kill against a German Me Bf109 on 7th June, D-Day+1.

There are currently only eight Spitfires worldwide that flew operationally with the Royal Air Force or its affiliated air forces on D-Day, that are still airworthy. MK356 is one of these, a genuine D-Day veteran, and it will have a part to play this year in the 75th anniversary commemorations of D-Day.

After ‘belly landing’ with its undercarriage retracted on returning from its 60th wartime operation on 14th June 1944, MK356 spent over 53 years on the ground, whilst remaining in RAF hands. Having been returned to airworthy condition at St Athan, MK356 joined the BBMF collection in November 1997.

Spitfire MK356 with clipped wingtips.
When Spitfire MK356 joined the BBMF in 1997 it was painted with its 443 Sqn code letters ‘2I-V’ and had clipped wingtips. Full-span wingtips have since been added. (Photo: Chris Elcock)

MK356 is now painted in desert camouflage, representing a Spitfire Mk IX of 92 Squadron in Tunisia in 1943. Currently undergoing an ‘Annual’ maintenance programme in the BBMF hangar at Coningsby, MK356 is scheduled to be flying again by April, over 75 years since it first took to the air.

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