A pilot who died after a Spitfire crashed in a field in Lincolnshire has been named by the RAF as Sqn Ldr Mark Long.

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

The World War Two-era fighter belonged to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) based at the station.

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

Leading the tributes, Gp Capt Robbie Lees, commander of the RAF’s Display Air Wing, said: “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.”

Gp Capt Lees said an investigation into the cause of the “tragic event” was now under way.

He added: “I would like to extend a sincere thank you to the RAF personnel, and our emergency services colleagues who responded so swiftly yesterday.

“Our thoughts remain with Mark’s family and friends to whom we offer our deepest sympathies. We ask that their privacy be respected at this tragic and shocking time.”

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