Spitfire: Will Portsmouth area flyover happen? Past RAF flight cancelled after Lincolnshire pilot crash

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A spitfire flyover was planned over the Portsmouth area but was cancelled due to the tragic death of a pilot.

An appearance by the single-seat fighter aircraft was planned for The Overlord Show in Denmead on Sunday. The scheduled flyover, which was due to take place at around 3.50pm, was postponed following a crash in Lincolnshire on Saturday.

What happened?

RAF Pilot Mark Long died in the crash near RAF Coningsby, with emergency services rushing to the scene in Langrick Road, Lincolnshire, just before 1.20pm. he Spitfire of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) was flying near the air station when the crash took place. The RAF has since launched an investigation into what happened.

The scheduled spitfire flyover over the Portsmouth area, namely Denmead, was cancelled following the tragic death of the pilot in Lincolnshire on Saturday, May 26. Picture: Getty ImagesThe scheduled spitfire flyover over the Portsmouth area, namely Denmead, was cancelled following the tragic death of the pilot in Lincolnshire on Saturday, May 26. Picture: Getty Images
The scheduled spitfire flyover over the Portsmouth area, namely Denmead, was cancelled following the tragic death of the pilot in Lincolnshire on Saturday, May 26. Picture: Getty Images | Getty Images

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Squadron Leader Mark Long has been named as the victim of the fatal Spitfire crash near RAF Coningsby. (Credit: MoD/PA Wire)Squadron Leader Mark Long has been named as the victim of the fatal Spitfire crash near RAF Coningsby. (Credit: MoD/PA Wire)
Squadron Leader Mark Long has been named as the victim of the fatal Spitfire crash near RAF Coningsby. (Credit: MoD/PA Wire) | MoD/PA Wire

Group Captain Robbie Lees, Commander Display Air Wing, said in a statement: “It is with great sorrow that I must confirm the death of Squadron Leader Mark Long. Mark was a Typhoon pilot here at RAF Coningsby and for the last four years he has been a pilot with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

“A great friend, colleague, and a passionate, professional aviator he will be sorely missed by all that knew him.” On Saturday, William and Kate said on their Kensington Palace X account: “Incredibly sad to hear of the news this afternoon from RAF Coningsby.

“Our thoughts this evening are with the pilot’s loved ones, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and the wider RAF family. W & C.” William was Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Coningsby from 2008 to August 2023, when he handed the role over to Kate.

Will the Spitfire flyover take place?

No official confirmation has been given for whether Spitfire flights will take place in the near future, but other flights have already been grounded. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) was postponed.

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An RAF spokesperson said a temporary pause is in place while an investigation into the incident is ongoing. “Following the tragic accident at RAF Coningsby, and while the formal investigation is ongoing, the RAF has instigated a temporary pause in flying for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight,” they added. The Overlord Show announced the Denmead cancellation at 10am on Sunday.

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