RAF pay tribute to Spitfire pilot with ‘cheeky grin’ who died in tragic crash | UK | News | EUROtoday

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An RAF colleague of the Spitfire pilot who died in a tragic crash final weekend has paid tribute to his “dear friend” and thanked the general public for “overwhelming support, well-wishes and tributes”.

Squadron Leader Mark Sugden spoke movingly in a video posted on the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s social media as we speak (Saturday) per week after his comrade was sadly killed in an incident at RAF Coningsby.

Squadron Leader Mark Long died from his accidents when his World War 2 plane got here to relaxation in a area round 1.20pm on Saturday May 25. The Spitfire of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) was flying close to the air base when the crash happened.

Paying tribute as we speak, Sq Ldr Sugden stated: “Words cannot adequately convey the loss of such a dear friend, and I have been overwhelmed by the support, well wishes and tributes that the team that the team and I have received which speak to eloquently of the remarkable man that Mark was.

“Mark was such a well-recognized face to not solely these at RAF Coningsby, however so many aviation fans and people in the local people.

“Mark touched so many lives and was close to so many people’s hearts, especially those who had the honour of working closely with him on 29 Sqn and BBMF.

“Young or outdated, Mark enthused everybody he met together with his overwhelming enthusiasm and keenness for aviation and at all times with a cheeky grin.”

Sqn Ldr Sugden added that he “wish to personally thank all of those that had been a part of the speedy response final Saturday”, and said: “Our ideas are actually together with his household of who he was so devoted and proud.

“Mark set an example to us all, always putting others before himself, he personified the very best of the Royal Air Force, the Typhoon Force and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and his legacy will live on.”

After the crash the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer each paid tribute to the RAF pilot and expressed their disappointment on the incident.

The Prince and Princess of Wales additionally shared message on their X account, stating: “Incredibly sad to hear of the news this afternoon from RAF Coningsby.

“Our ideas this night are with the pilot’s family members, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and the broader RAF household. W & C.”