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Tributes paid to Spitfire crash pilot

Updated: May 29

Trustees, staff and volunteers have expressed their sadness following the accident that claimed the life of Spitfire pilot Mark Long while performing with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.


Squadron Leader Long was due to take over as Officer Commanding the world-famous memorial flight next year and was lost when his aircraft crashed during a Battle of Britain airshow near RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.


The RAF Ensign was flown at half-mast at the Capel-le-Ferne home of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust following the news, and the Trust sent condolences to the flight and to Sqn Ldr Long’s widow.


Group Captain Robbie Lees, Commander Display Air Wing, described Sqn Ldr Long as ‘A great friend, colleague, and a passionate, professional aviator” and said he would be “sorely missed by all that knew him”.


He said: “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.


“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.


“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.”


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