Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Red Arrows Bournemouth air show crash

  1. Aug 20, 2011 #1

    Jonathan Scott

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    We are on holiday in Cornwall and took the kids to see the Red Arrows (Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team) display at Fowey Regatta on Thursday 18th August, which was extremely spectacular, although they couldn't do the vertical stuff because of relatively low cloud.

    Today we saw on the news that this afternoon (Saturday 20th) one of them crashed at Bournemouth Air Show (well away from the public), only moments after a mayday. The pilot, Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging (Red 4), was killed.

    So far there's not much detail as to what happened, but it's quite a shock.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 20, 2011 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I read about that this morning. These air show accidents seem more frequent. Are they trying to be too spectacular?
  4. Aug 20, 2011 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I'm glad it didn't happen where your kids would have witness it.

    Edit: It must be catching.

    [PLAIN]http://media.kansascity.com/smedia/2011/08/20/14/49/MQkE4.Em.81.jpg [Broken]

    http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/20/3088150/aircraft-crashes-at-air-show-one.html" [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  5. Aug 21, 2011 #4

    Jonathan Scott

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Red Arrows have had an excellent safety record with no fatalities since they starting flying the current fleet (Hawk T1) in 1979, although they have had the odd accident during training and used ejection seats a few times. This accident did not appear to be related to any form of risky activity - they had just done a downwards "bomb burst" and all of the aircraft were far apart, flying around in long curves well above the ground when some sort of failure occurred (unknown whether mechanical or human), after which Red 4 went down at an angle, hitting the ground after only a few moments, behind a hill from the main air show.

    The news reports say there was a Mayday, so if that came from the crashing pilot it rules out becoming unconscious because of G-forces on the turn, although of course it doesn't rule out becoming blind from G-forces. Reports say that the pilot was thrown clear on impact and was found dead face down in the river, and that his injuries were so severe he must have died on impact.

    The whole RAF Hawk fleet (about 170 aircraft) is grounded pending investigation.

    I was very interested in the Red Arrows in the 1970s; in my school's cadet force I joined the Royal Air Force section and although I didn't get much flying I was very interested in it. I was shocked by the crash and particularly by the fact that I'd only just had my interest re-awakened two days earlier when I saw my first complete display by them (the only one I'd seen during my school days had been reduced to little more than a fly-past because of low cloud).

    Anyway, my kids seem to think that flying Red Arrows is a job for dare-devils, like F1 racing, and that occasional crashes are to be expected, so they aren't so concerned, fortunately.

    To qualify for the Red Arrows a pilot has to have a lot of experience on front-line fast jets, so in a way flying with the Red Arrows should have been a lot less dangerous than his previous front-line job, and is more related to precision and discipline.

    My thoughts go out to Jon Egging's family.
  6. Aug 21, 2011 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    This is very sad news; I've enjoyed watching these boys on many occasions, and (as a kid) even had a signed poster on my bedroom wall. It's terrible for his family now, but let's just hope the investigation is swift and conclusive and they're back up in the air soon.
  7. Aug 21, 2011 #6

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Sad news.

    Two days ago I was thinking, "Its summer and we haven't had any air show crashes. That's odd".

    I don't know how many of these shows are done each year but it seems that the accident rate must be phenomenonally high - so much so that I wonder about the logic of allowing air shows.

    That scene of the fireball going into the crowd, from some years ago, is still burned into my mind.
  8. Sep 8, 2011 #7
    Living reasonably local to where the crash happened, ive heard rumours that it was a mechanical failure on the plane and that the reason he did not eject was because he was desperately (successfully) trying to steer the plane away from a residential area.
  9. Sep 8, 2011 #8

    Jonathan Scott

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Immediately after the crash, there were unconfirmed reports that the wreckage contained sufficient bird remains to suggest a catastrophic bird strike.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Threads for Arrows Bournemouth show
How does this experiment show that the future affects the past