THE Red Arrows left Bournemouth Airport today one week after they were grounded following a crash which killed pilot Jon Egging.

The eight display planes and two others including Red 10 were due to leave mid-morning yesterday but instead took off from Bournemouth around 12.15pm on Saturday to return to RAF Scampton.

They arrived at RAF Scampton around 1pm today.

A crowd of people had gathered at the end of the runway at Bournemouth to watch the eight jets take off.

The RAF had grounded all 126 of its Hawk T1 training jets while preliminary investigations were carried out.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said on Thursday: “Having been assured of the airworthiness of the Hawk T1 fleet, the precautionary suspension of flying activity has been lifted and flying operations have been resumed.”

The final pieces of wreckage have now been removed from the crash site and the footpath closures have been lifted.

The jet, Red 4, has been taken to Boscombe Down aircraft testing site at Idmiston in Wiltshire.

The Red Arrows can display with an eight-aircraft formation, but it is not yet known if they will appear at air shows again this year.

They will restart practice on Tuesday and an MoD spokesman said: “Display flying will recommence subject to a successful period of consolidation and approval.”

However a defence source told the Press Association: “It is extremely unlikely that they will do any more show displays for the rest of this year.”

Flt Lt Egging, 33, from Rutland, died when his plane crashed into a field near the River Stour after a final formation manoeuvre near the airport.

RAF teams arrived at Bournemouth Airport on a King Air on Thursday.

Two other black-coloured Hawks used for training and solo displays, were both flown home at around 3.10pm that day.

A retired RAF engineer from Bournemouth said: “It’s good news that the aircraft are cleared to fly – it implies that there are no airworthiness fears about the aircraft which could have had far wider implications to the Hawk fleet.

“We all hope to see the Red Arrows flying later this year.”

Terry Trevett, chairman of the Bournemouth Red Arrows Association, said: “I am pleased to hear that the aircraft have been released and sincerely hope this will assist with the investigations and will lead to the early return of the Red Arrows to the sky.”

The Military Aviation Authority is carrying out the investigation and has warned that it could take months to complete.

No details of Flt Lt Egging’s funeral have yet been released.