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Posted on Wednesday 9th November

News update: The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that the Red Arrows pilot killed yesterday morning when he was ejected from his Hawk T1 aircraft was Red 5 – Flight Lieutenant Sean Cunningham, aged 34.

Flt Lt Cunningham joined the RAF in 2000 and was selected for Fast Jet Training – his childhood dream. He had an accomplished career, serving first with 617 Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth for 3 years, during which time he completed several operational tours of Iraq, flying close air support missions for coalition ground forces. He later joined XV (R) Squadron as a Qualified Pilot and Tactics Instructor, and then Weapon Systems Officer (WSO) Training Unit with 100 Squadron at RAF Leeming.

Flt Lt Cunningham was selected to fly for the RAF Aerobatic Team in 2010, which was described by his family as 'the pinnacle of his career'. He flew for his first year as Red 3, but this year trained as Red 5. He played a key role in mentoring and helping to train new pilots.

Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, described Flt Lt Cunningham as 'a gifted pilot who served his country with honour and distinction throughout his career in the Royal Air Force.'


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