RAF pilot who died in Spitfire crash is named and pictured

A man in an RAF jumpsuit standing next to a Spitfire plane
-Credit: (Image: PA Media/MoD)

The Royal Air Force pilot who died in a Spitfire crash near RAF Coningsby has been named as Mark Long. Police and emergency services rushed to the scene on Langrick Road in Lincolnshire just before 1.20pm on Saturday (May 25).

The Spitfire of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) was flying near the air station when the crash took place. Group Captain Robbie Lees, Commander Display Air Wing, said in a statement: "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."

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An investigation into the crash has begun. Mr Long was declared dead at the scene. On Saturday, Prince William and Kate Middleton said on their Kensington Palace X account: "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."

William was Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Coningsby from 2008 to August 2023, when he handed the role over to Kate. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also paid tribute.

Lincolnshire Police said it was a single occupant aircraft and nobody else was involved. The East Midlands Ambulance Service sent a "number of resources", including a paramedic and a helicopter ambulance.

Road closures were in place in the areas of Dogdyke Road and Sandy Bank, with motorists urged to avoid the area. RAF Coningsby is home to the BBMF, a collection of wartime fighter and bomber aircraft that take part in air shows and memorial displays. Only a few dozen airworthy Spitfires remain, including six that belong to the BBMF.

Mr 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."

Sir Keir said: "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."

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