Flight Lt. Jon Egging, who tragically died as his plane crashed during a performance by the Red Arrows, was a former University of Southampton student.
Mr. Egging, 33, was recruited by the RAF during his second year of an Environmental Studies degree, entering the air force eleven years ago.
The incident happened during a display at the Bournemouth Air Festival, Dorset, on Saturday. Mr. Egging was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash just 1km outside Bournemouth International Airport.
Jon’s wife Dr. Emma Egging paid tribute to her late husband.
“Jon was everything to those that knew him, and he was the best friend and husband I could ever have wished for. I know that he would have wanted me to say something from the heart at this time. There was nothing bad about Jon.
“He loved his job and was an exemplary pilot. I loved everything about him, and he will be missed.”
Dr Malcolm Hudson‚ Lecturer in Environmental Sciences‚ who taught Jon‚ said of his former student: “Jon was a really popular young man. He got on very well with the staff and the other students and was a great guy to have in a class with a wicked sense of humour.
“Jon was really interested in the environment‚ which is why he chose to take a degree in Environmental Sciences. He was very hard working both in his studies and in his longer term aims of becoming a pilot. He was awarded an RAF cadetship during his degree and was active in the University Air Squadron. Flying was always his huge passion, he was incredibly focused on making it as a pilot- which he did with great distinction.
“All of us who knew him are very proud of what he achieved in the RAF and we are desperately sad that his life has been cut short.”
The University flew their flag at half-mast on Monday in Jon’s honour.
The fleet of Red Arrows have been grounded as the Ministry of Defence begin an investigation into how the crash happened.