The RAF has temporarily grounded the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight following the death of a pilot in a crash.

Sqn Ldr Mark Long was killed when the Spitfire he was flying crashed in a field in Lincolnshire.

Emergency crews were called to the site near RAF Coningsby shortly before 13:20 BST on Saturday.

The RAF said it had taken the decision to ground the aircraft while investigations take place.

A spokesperson said: “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 (BBMF).”

In a statement, the RAF said Sqn Ldr Long was “a great friend, colleague and a passionate, professional aviator”.

The Prince and Princess of Wales were among those who earlier paid tribute to the pilot.

They said they were “incredibly sad” to learn of the death, adding their thoughts were with the pilot’s family, the BBMF and the wider RAF.

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