U.K. military officials were investigating the crash of a plane belonging to the Red Arrows aerobatic team at the Bournemouth Air Festival.
The Hawk T1 crashed only about a mile from an airport, killing the pilot, Lt. Jon Egging, 33, according to news reports.
Egging, who according to CNN had served in Afghanistan and served with the RAF for more than a decade, although he had only been on the Red Arrows team since last autumn.
CNN quoted U.K. Ministry of Defence spokesman Group Capt. Simon Blake as saying:
"A gifted aviator, he was chosen to fly in the Red 4 slot, on the right hand outside of the famous Diamond Nine formation — an accolade in itself being the most demanding position allocated to a first-year pilot."
Reuters reports that:
Egging, known as "Eggman" according to Captain Simon Blake, Commandant of the RAF's Central Flying School, joined the team last year. Before joining the Red Arrows, Egging flew operational missions to support coalition ground forces in Afghanistan.
Egging's jet reportedly crashed in a field at Throop village, several hundred metres from Bournemouth airport, on the southern coast of England, at around 1.50 p.m.
The jet was coming in to land but lost height and flew metres above the ground before crashing, witnesses said, Agence France-Presse reports.
Officials said it was too early to speculate on what could have caused the crash.
Egging's wife, Emma, who was reportedly watching the show, said in a statement:
"Jon was everything to those that knew him, and he was the best friend and husband I could ever have wished for.
"He loved his job and was an exemplary pilot. Watching him today, I was the proudest I've ever been."