A motoring festival in Cheshire will resume today after a 35-year-old pilot was killed when his aircraft fell from the sky during an aerial display.
Kevin Whyman, who was married with a young daughter, died in the accident during the CarFest event at Oulton Park around 2pm on Saturday.
He was a founding member of the Gnat Display Team and had 10 years’ experience in flying a Folland Gnat aircraft.
TV and radio presenter Chris Evans, who created the CarFest event, said police have advised organisers that it is best to continue the festival.
Evans helped organise the event in aid of Children In Need, and was visibly upset as he gave a news conference about the accident.
He said: “Just after 2pm, there was a tragic accident – the result of which was one of the pilots involved in a synchro display lost his life.
“Our condolences go out to his family, who have been informed.
“The police have advised us that the best thing, and the safest thing to do, is to carry on with the event – bearing in mind there are 10,000 children here. That’s what we’re going to do.”
Mr Whyman’s jet was taking part in an aerobatics display with another aircraft when the incident happened.
The Heritage Aircraft Trust, who confirmed the pilot’s identity, said: “Kevin was a Royal Air Force-trained fast jet pilot whose enthusiasm for flying the Folland Gnat was infectious.
“He will be greatly missed by his family, the team and many friends.”
Describing the moments leading up to the crash, eyewitness Neil McHugh told Sky News: “(The pilots) were doing some spirals – one seemed to lose control and crashed just beyond the north of the circuit.
“Big, black plumes of smoke have gone up behind the trees and all the emergency vehicles from the circuit have raced up towards it.
“It was flying very low at the time when it seemed to lose control.
“It didn’t look like he properly had time to eject and because of the angle of the plane turning in the actual loop, the cockpit head was more pointing towards the ground than upwards.”
The CarFest event’s website describes it as a “dream of cars, music, food and masses of family fun – a dream conjured up by Chris Evans and brought to life in Cheshire and Hampshire”.