In memory of Jon Egging

Red on Red

The Red Arrows fly past the memorial to pilot Jon Egging who died last year.                                  Picture Jeremy Miles

The best thing about Bournemouth's annual Air Festival is that we get our own private flypast every day as the display teams head from the airport to the seafront and back again. The Red Arrows regularly fly over our back garden and this afternoon some very jolly looking bi-planes came over carrying wing-walkers.

The four day event actually started  yesterday with the Red Arrow making their first  visit to Bournemouth since losing pilot Flt Lt  Jon Egging in a crash at the 2011 festival. Strangely his loss has created a tangible bond between his colleagues and the town. Their aerial display on the seafront proved an emotional occasion for many. 

Flying a seven jet formation  -  the nine man team lost not only 'The Eggman' but also  another pilot Flt Lt Sean Cunningham last year - they performed a special tribute flight for their fallen comrades. The crowds watching from the cliff-top and seafront burst into spontaneous applause as, flying at 400 miles-an-hour and just six feet apart, the Red Arrows gave a fearless display  complete with red, white and blue smoke. 

It came just a day after a memorial to Jon Egging had been unveiled on the East Cliff.  The 16 foot tall  sculpture features three Red Arrows heading skywards  above stainless steel contrails. Created by sculptor Tim Ward, it was designed by Kinson Primary School pupils George Cutler, 9, and Penny Vailler, 10. The design was chosen by the Jon Egging's widow, Emma, following a competition held among Bournemouth schools last year.

© Jeremy Miles 2020