RAF pilot killed after aircraft crashes into field in Lincolnshire

RAF Coningsby is home to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (PA)
RAF Coningsby is home to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (PA)

A Royal Air Force pilot has died after a Spitfire crashed into a field near RAF Coningsby, in Lincolnshire.

Police and emergency services rushed to the scene just before 1.20pm on Saturday.

It is understood that the Spitfire went down during a Battle of Britain event at the base.

An MoD spokesperson 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."

Rishi Sunak paid tribute to the pilot after the "tragic event".

The Prime Minister said on X, formerly Twitter: "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."

Meanwhile, Sir Keir Starmer said he was "deeply saddened" by the news.

The Labour leader said in a post on X: "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."

RAF Coningsby is home to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, a collection of wartime fighter and bomber aircraft that take part in air shows and memorial displays.

Road closures are in place in the areas of Dogdyke Road and Sandy Bank, with motorists urged to avoid the area.

A pilot was killed last August when a replica Spitfire crashed near an A-road in the Oxfordshire village of Enstone.

Spitfire enthusiast Trevor Bailey had warned that flying the jet was "great fun but can be challenging" before the tragic crash.

In 2017, another Spitfire flipped and nosedived in front of terrified onlookers during an airshow in northern France.