Prince William and Kate release statement after RAF pilot dies in tragic Spitfire crash

Prince William and Kate Middleton have expressed their profound sadness on hearing about the tragic death of a Royal Air Force pilot in a Spitfire crash near RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire.

The Prince and Princess of Wales took to social media to share a heartfelt message after the Ministry of Defence confirmed the heartbreaking news this evening.

The pilot lost his life when a Spitfire crashed during a Battle of Britain event at the aforementioned airbase this afternoon.

Emergency services rushed to the crash site on Langrick Road in Lincolnshire just before 1.20pm on Saturday. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) Spitfire was reportedly flying near the air station when the incident occurred.

The deceased pilot, whose identity has not yet been disclosed, was declared dead at the scene, the Mirror reports.

The pilot died in a crash on Saturday afternoon
The fatal crash took place near RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire on Saturday afternoon -Credit:No credit

On social media platform X, the Prince and Princess of Wales penned: "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 and C."

An official spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence articulately said: "It is with great sadness that we must confirm the death of an RAF pilot in a tragic accident near RAF Coningsby today.

"The pilot's family have been informed and we ask that their privacy is respected at this difficult time."

The tragic crash of a Spitfire in Lincolnshire has left Leader of the Labour party, Sir Keir Starmer, "deeply saddened", as he wrote in a post on social media: "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."

On the same platform, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sent his condolences: "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."

A paramedic and a helicopter ambulance were dispatched to the scene by the East Midlands Ambulance Service. Traffic disruptions have affected Dogdyke Road and Sandy Bank as road closures are now in effect.

Lincolnshire Police have released an official statement confirming the incident: "Emergency services are in attendance following reports of an aircraft crashing in a field just before 1.20pm.

It is believed to be a single occupant aircraft and nobody else is thought to have been involved. Road closures are in place in the areas of Dogdyke Road and Sandy Bank. Motorists are asked to avoid the area and seek alternative routes."

RAF Coningsby holds status as one of two RAF Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) Stations providing UK airspace protection. Home to two frontline, combat-ready squadrons, it also serves as a training station for Typhoon pilots.

Gloucestershire Live reported that the ill-fated aircraft was a Supermarine Spitfire.

The iconic model, designed by R. J. Mitchell, was widely used both before and after World War II, gaining fame for its pivotal role in the Battle of Britain and its distinctive elliptical wings that offered a blend of speed, agility, and firepower. It's estimated that around 60 Spitfires remain airworthy globally.

These historic aircraft are a common sight at airshows and are preserved by museums and private collectors.

Besides the operational Spitfires, many more are kept as static displays in museums and private collections, bringing the total number of surviving Spitfires, both airworthy and non-airworthy, to approximately 240.

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