RAF pilot who died in Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire crash named

Squadron Leader Mark Long death
-Credit: (Image: PA Media)


The Royal Air Force pilot who tragically died in a Spitfire crash near RAF Coningsby has been identified as Mark Long. Emergency services were called to the scene on Langrick Road in Lincolnshire just before 1.20pm on Saturday.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) Spitfire was in flight near the air station when the unfortunate incident occurred. Group Captain Robbie Lees, Commander Display Air Wing, confirmed the sad news in a statement: "It is with great sorrow that I must confirm the death of Squadron Leader Mark Long."

He added: "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 the crash is underway.

Mr Long was pronounced dead at the scene. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge expressed their condolences on their Kensington Palace X account on Saturday: "Incredibly sad to hear of the news this afternoon from RAF Coningsby."

They added: "Our thoughts this evening are with the pilot's loved ones, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and the wider RAF family. W & C."

Prince William served as Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Coningsby from 2008 to August 2023, when he passed the role to Kate.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also paid their respects. Lincolnshire Police confirmed it was a single occupant aircraft and no one else was involved in the incident.

The East Midlands Ambulance Service dispatched a "number of resources" to the scene, including a paramedic in a rapid response vehicle and an air ambulance.

Following the incident, road closures were implemented around Dogdyke Road and Sandy Bank, with local authorities advising drivers to steer clear of the vicinity.

RAF Coningsby, known for housing the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF), which features a fleet of historic wartime aircraft often seen at air shows and commemorative events, was near the site of the accident.

Among the few remaining airworthy Spitfires, six are part of the prestigious BBMF collection.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak expressed his condolences on social media platform X, stating: "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."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also conveyed his sympathies, saying: "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."