Second Red Arrows pilot killed in three months

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A pilot from Britain's Red Arrows air display team died Tuesday in an accident on the ground at the squadron's base, the RAF said, three months after a colleague was killed in a crash.

"The pilot was ejected from his aircraft while the aircraft was on the ground," said Royal Air Force Group Captain Simon Blake, adding that an investigation was under way into the "tragic incident".

"It would be inappropriate to speculate on the cause of the incident until that inquiry is complete. The investigation will determine the facts," he said.

Paramedics were called to the Red Arrows' base at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, eastern England, after the accident, which involved a Hawk T1 aircraft.

The pilot, who has not yet been named, died after being taken to hospital with serious injuries.

The low-flying aircraft in the Red Arrows distinctive scarlet are fitted with ejection seats designed to fire through a canopy, the BBC reported, citing eyewitnesses who said they saw a plane with the canopy smashed through.

In August, the Red Arrows were plunged into mourning after pilot Jon Egging died when his plane crashed at an air show near Bournemouth Airport in southern England.

The team is currently carrying out their winter training at RAF Scampton after holding their final display of the season in September.

Since the team was formed in 1965, the Red Arrows have completed more than 4,300 displays in 53 countries.

© 2011 AFP

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