Air Festival Archives: remembering Jon Egging and 2011

Air Festival Archives: remembering Jon Egging and 2011

Air Festival Archives: remembering Jon Egging and 2011

First published in News

2011 will forever be remembered as the year Red 4 - Flt Lt Jon Egging - was killed when his jet crashed as the Red Arrows returned to Bournemouth airport.

Since those tragic events of Aug 20, Bournemouth and the Red Arrows have been inextricably linked.  No-one who lives in the town or was there that day will ever forget.

Flowers were piled outside the town hall in an impromptu memorial that kept growing and growing. 

The 2011 Bournemouth Air Festival had begun with chaos. Torrential rain hit the town just as the launch event was being held on Thursday morning.

Bournemouth Echo:

It flooded the gardens in minutes and put paid to any prospect of flying displays that day.

Bournemouth Echo:

Bournemouth Echo:

But, 24 hours later, the rain was a distant memory and the sun was out. An epic clear-up operation by the council's dedicated workers meant everything was ready to go.

Bournemouth Echo:

Bournemouth Echo:

Bournemouth Echo:

Then, after a stunning display on Saturday afternoon, Red Arrows pilot Flt Lt Jon Egging died after succumbing to g-force impairment as the team returned to Bournemouth Airport.

"Eight Red Arrow jets stood motionless on the runway for what seemed an age, waiting in vain for their ninth member to come home", wrote reporter Jim Durkin, from the airport.

Shocked festival-goers started laying flowers outside Bournemouth Town Hall, where a book of condolence was also opened. 

Bournemouth Echo:

Bournemouth Echo:

Bournemouth Echo:

The pilots expressed a wish to continue with Sunday's other displays and thousands wore red in tribute to the fallen Red 4 and his now-grounded team. Flags flew at half-mast.

Bournemouth Echo:

It would be another year before the permanent Jon Egging Memorial, situated just along from the central air festival display line on the East Overcliff, was installed, cementing a relationship forged from shock and grief. 

 

Bournemouth will forever have a special place in its heart for the Arrows, for Jon's widow Emma, and his mum Dawn. 

 


If you wish to see more from 2011's Air Festival, you can see all our picture galleries here. You can find out about the Jon Egging Trust, the charity set up in his memory, here.

Comments (1)

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2:26pm Fri 22 Aug 14

M0Z says...

It was horrible – gave us all goosebumps as the news unfolded. I’ve attended every day of every Bournemouth airshow. The first I suspected something was wrong was when I spotted the Red Arrows flying over the Purbecks and circling out at sea – a few minutes after their display had finished and they’d already headed off in a different direction. Their transit schedule showed them to be landing at Bournemouth, not going on to another display, so it was odd. Also my scanner was no longer picking up their normal public cockpit chatter – with hindsight I guess they switched to an encrypted military frequency as soon as Red 4 went down. It was quickly reported on national news, but the airshow PA didn’t mention it at all. The runway was closed for ages. Several circling planes, not just the Red Arrows, were allegedly getting low on fuel. The other planes couldn’t take off – so the organisers filled in by getting some unscheduled planes to make a detour from the airshow at Shoreham. It’s an afternoon I’ll never forget. RIP.
It was horrible – gave us all goosebumps as the news unfolded. I’ve attended every day of every Bournemouth airshow. The first I suspected something was wrong was when I spotted the Red Arrows flying over the Purbecks and circling out at sea – a few minutes after their display had finished and they’d already headed off in a different direction. Their transit schedule showed them to be landing at Bournemouth, not going on to another display, so it was odd. Also my scanner was no longer picking up their normal public cockpit chatter – with hindsight I guess they switched to an encrypted military frequency as soon as Red 4 went down. It was quickly reported on national news, but the airshow PA didn’t mention it at all. The runway was closed for ages. Several circling planes, not just the Red Arrows, were allegedly getting low on fuel. The other planes couldn’t take off – so the organisers filled in by getting some unscheduled planes to make a detour from the airshow at Shoreham. It’s an afternoon I’ll never forget. RIP. M0Z
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