Pilot Killed in Spitfire Crash During Battle of Britain Event Named as Squadron Leader Mark Long

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Home Breaking Pilot Killed in Spitfire Crash During Battle of Britain Event Named as Squadron Leader Mark Long

Pilot Killed in Spitfire Crash During Battle of Britain Event Named as Squadron Leader Mark Long

Pilot Killed In Spitfire Crash During Battle Of Britain Event Named As Squadron Leader Mark Long

The pilot who tragically died in a Spitfire crash during a Battle of Britain event has been named as Squadron Leader Mark Long, who was set to take over the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight next year. The father-of-two, who had been with the memorial flight for four years, was a highly respected and experienced aviator.

Pilot Killed In Spitfire Crash During Battle Of Britain Event Named As Squadron Leader Mark Long

The Royal Air Force (RAF) expressed their sorrow in a heartfelt statement, describing Long as “a great friend, colleague, and a passionate, professional aviator” who will be “sorely missed.

Pilot Killed In Spitfire Crash During Battle Of Britain Event Named As Squadron Leader Mark Long

Pilot Killed In Spitfire Crash During Battle Of Britain Event Named As Squadron Leader Mark Long
pilot killed in spitfire crash during battle of britain event named as squadron leader mark long

Sqn Ldr Long’s Spitfire crashed shortly after taking off from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire on Saturday afternoon. He was participating in an airshow to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the Battle of Britain when the tragic accident occurred.

Pilot Killed In Spitfire Crash During Battle Of Britain Event Named As Squadron Leader Mark Long

Gp Capt Robbie Lees, commander of the RAF’s Display Air Wing, said: “Mark was a Typhoon pilot here at RAF Coningsby and for the last four years he has been a pilot with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. A great friend, colleague, and a passionate, professional aviator he will be sorely missed by all that knew him.” He added that an investigation into the cause of the crash is now underway.

Pilot Killed In Spitfire Crash During Battle Of Britain Event Named As Squadron Leader Mark Long

Pilot Killed In Spitfire Crash During Battle Of Britain Event Named As Squadron Leader Mark Long
Pilot Dies In Spitfire Crash Near Raf Coningsby Base In Lincolnshire

Floral tributes and heartfelt messages were left at the scene of the crash and at RAF Coningsby by supporters and colleagues. Among those paying respects were Nicki Housam, 53, a former prison officer, and her partner Andy George, a construction manager.

Pilot Killed In Spitfire Crash During Battle Of Britain Event Named As Squadron Leader Mark Long

Sqn Ldr Long had qualified to fly Spitfires in 2021 and was due to take over the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight next year. His most recent RAF posting was as a flight commander flying Eurofighter Typhoons. He joined the Air Force in 2003 after graduating from the University of Warwick and had been deployed to the Baltics and the South Atlantic during his career.

Pilot Killed In Spitfire Crash During Battle Of Britain Event Named As Squadron Leader Mark Long

Eyewitnesses described the horrific moment when the Spitfire nose-dived to the ground. Mark, a former RAF air craftsman who witnessed the crash, said: “I’ve seen a lot of terrible things in my life but this is up there with the worst. The pilot would have realised there was a fault and was coming back to try and land safely but suddenly it just plummeted from about 150 feet.

Pilot Killed In Spitfire Crash During Battle Of Britain Event Named As Squadron Leader Mark Long
Bbmf Spitfire Makes Forced Landing In Coningsby Field

Tributes poured in from various quarters, including the Prince and Princess of Wales, who expressed their condolences, stating they were “incredibly sad” to hear of the tragedy. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also shared their sympathies, acknowledging the significant loss and thanking the emergency services for their swift response.

This marks the first fatality involving a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight aircraft since its establishment in July 1957. The BBMF operates six Spitfires, two Hurricanes, a Lancaster, a C47 Dakota, and two Chipmunk aircraft, all of which play a crucial role in commemorating the RAF’s historic contributions.

An investigation into the crash is ongoing, with the Ministry of Defence and Lincolnshire Police working to determine the cause. As the community mourns the loss of a distinguished pilot and respected colleague, the RAF and Long’s family request privacy during this difficult time.

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