Northern Ireland

Red Arrows cancel Portrush date after pilot's death

The red arrows in action
Image caption The aircraft are flown by fast jet pilots all from front-line Royal Air Force squadrons

The RAF Red Arrows have pulled out of their appearance at Portrush air show after a pilot died in a crash in Dorset.

Flt Lt Jon Egging, 33, from Rutland, was killed when his Hawk T1 aircraft crashed following a display at the Bournemouth Air Festival on Saturday.

The 10th anniversary of the international air show at Portrush will take place on 3 and 4 September.

Airshow organiser Jeff Brownhut said he understood the decision completely.

"The tragedy is not that they are not coming, it is that somebody lost their life," he said.

Coleraine council said the decision was "understandable in the circumstances".

"Council supports the team in their decision, and confirms that the show will go on, and a magnificent line up has already been confirmed, which includes the world's number one Jet fighter aerobatic display with the F16 aerobatic team from the Belgium Air Force," the council said in a statement.

The Red Arrows have only missed one appearance since the air show began 20 years ago in Londonderry.

The RAF has said a full service inquiry into the details of the crash has been initiated.

A spokeswoman said it was "hard to tell" how long the inquiry would be as it would be "very thorough".

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