RAF pilot named following Spitfire crash

Tributes have been paid to the pilot Credit: RAF

Squadron Leader Mark Long has been named as the Royal Air Force pilot who died after a Spitfire crashed into a field near RAF Coningsby.

Police and emergency services arrived at the scene on Langrick Road at just before 1.20pm on Saturday.

The Spitfire, believed to be the MK356, of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight was flying near the air station when the crash took place.

Group Captain Robbie Lees, Commander Display Air Wing said: "It is with great sorrow that I must confirm the death of Squadron Leader Mark Long.

"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.

"An investigation into the cause of this tragic event has now begun. The RAF will not be offering any comment on the accident until that investigation has concluded, and likewise we ask others not to speculate.

"I would like to extend a sincere thank you to the RAF personnel, and our emergency services colleagues who responded so swiftly yesterday.

"Our thoughts remain with Mark’s family and friends to whom we offer our deepest sympathies. We ask that their privacy be respected at this tragic and shocking time."

Flowers have been laid outside of RAF Coningsby.

One note left reads: "Thank you for the memories."

Another person has written: "To all of my friends at BBMF, I am with you at this terrible time of loss. With deepest respect and heartfelt condolences."

In a statement on X, The Prince and Princess of Wales said: “Incredibly sad to hear of the news this afternoon from RAF Coningsby.

“Our thoughts this evening are with the pilot’s loved ones, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and the wider RAF family. W & C.”

Rishi Sunak said in a post on X: “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.”

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