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William and Kate ‘incredibly sad’ after RAF pilot dies in Spitfire crash

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The Prince of Wales sits in a newly restored Supermarine Spitfire Mark I N3200 at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford (John Stillwell/PA)

The Prince and Princess of Wales have said they are “incredibly sad” after a Royal Air Force pilot died in a Spitfire crash near RAF Coningsby.

Police and emergency services rushed to the scene on Langrick Road in Lincolnshire just before 1.20pm on Saturday.

The Spitfire of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) was flying near the air station when the crash took place.

The male pilot, who has not yet been named, was declared dead at the scene.

William and Kate 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.

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.”

An investigation is due to take place.

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 are 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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