December 12 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Flt Lt Jon Egging, 33, was proudly flying in formation as part of the famous Red Arrows display team at Bournemouth Air Show when disaster struck.
The G-force produced by the manoeuvre caused him to pass out and his plane crash landed, killing him instantly.
Now his widow is determined to keep his memory alive by helping children reach for the skies like her husband.
Emma Egging formed the Jon Egging Trust in his memory shortly after his death and it now helps children in schools around the country.
She said: “For me it is a way to keep Jon’s spirit alive and ensure his name lives on.
“I really wanted to give support to young people from challenging backgrounds and help them see the opportunities available to them.
“It’s a really positive thing that has come out of a tragedy.”
The Jon Egging Trust runs the Blue Skies programme in schools and looks to give children confidence and leadership skills while showing them some of the paths open to them in the future.
Now six pupils from Downham Market Academy will be taking part in the 4 for Red 4 challenge which will see four teams from three schools head up Kinder Scout in the Peak District.
The groups will be accompanied by a mountain leader and members from the Red Arrows, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and other RAF pilots.
The hike will be raising money for the trust as well as helping the pupils show off the skills they have learnt through the Blue Skies programme.
Dr Egging said: “Seeing the children at the beginning of the programme and how much they change, that journey is amazing.
“4 for Red 4 will see them demonstrate the skills that they have learnt from Blue Skies.
“They will be leading ex-Red Arrows, Typhoon and Tornado pilots up a mountain. It is all about showing what these young people can do.”
As part of the Blue Skies programme the youngsters have had a behind-the-scenes look at RAF Marham as well as taking part in team-building exercises.
Sqn Ldr James Heeps, who has been involved in Blue Skies, said: “I was a friend of Jon, we did officer training together, so it is important to me. Jon had started doing things like this before his death, so we are carrying it on.
“It is really good to see the change in the pupils from the beginning to the end. At the start they were very shy, there was no eye contact.”
Pupils who have taken part in the Blue Skies programme have seen their attendance and grades improve dramatically.
Samantha Lamprell, 14, from Watlington, said: “My confidence has been built up a lot and I’ve got to know a lot more people. The programme has given me communication skills and we had the chance to hang out with squadron leaders.
“I now have an interview to be head girl which I might have liked to do before but I feel braver for it.”
Tyler Ostrowski, 13, from Landseer Drive, Downham Market, said: “It has made me confident of speaking in front of a group of people. It makes me inspire other people to reach their goals like I have. Now I want to be an RAF pilot.”