RAF pilot dies in horror spitfire crash during Battle of Britain event

-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

An RAF pilot has tragically lost their life in a "tragic accident" following the crash of a Spitfire into a field near RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, confirmed the Ministry of Defence tonight.

The incident unfolded during a Battle of Britain event, with police responding to reports of an aircraft plummeting into a field shortly before 1.20pm on Saturday. It was believed the crash involved only a single-occupant aircraft. Following the crash, a rescue helicopter was dispatched from Humberside and landed at the airfield, reports the Mirror.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence later confirmed the pilot had died in the accident. The family of the pilot has been notified by the MoD. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence stated: "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."

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer expressed his profound sorrow upon hearing the news from Lincolnshire about the pilot's death after the Spitfire crash. On X, he posted: "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."

Lincolnshire Police said in a statement: "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, one of two RAF Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) Stations dedicated to UK airspace protection, houses two frontline, combat-ready squadrons and serves as the Typhoon pilots' training station. Gloucestershire Live reported the crashed spitfire as a Supermarine Spitfire aircraft.

World-renowned for its part in the Battle of Britain and its uniquely designed elliptical wings by R. J. Mitchell, this model saw active service both before and after World War II. An estimated 60 Spitfires globally still remain airworthy.

These iconic aircraft often feature at intentional airshows and are kept in pristine condition by museums and private collections. Besides the operational Spitfires, many others are preserved as non-operational displays with around 240 surviving Spitfires in total.