Pilot’s widow helps inspire squadron

Pictured, from left, Elliot Rogers, Cadet Amber Robson, Officer Commanding 346 (Tynemouth) Squdron Flt Lt Dan Laidler, Dr Emma Egging, Flt Sgt Liam McConville, Cpl Ben Hennessey.

Pictured, from left, Elliot Rogers, Cadet Amber Robson, Officer Commanding 346 (Tynemouth) Squdron Flt Lt Dan Laidler, Dr Emma Egging, Flt Sgt Liam McConville, Cpl Ben Hennessey.

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Air cadets were flying high after the widow of Red Arrows pilot Jon Egging paid a surprise visit.

Dr Emma Egging called into 346 (Tynemouth) Squadron ATC ahead of taking part in the recent Great North Run.

The 35-year-old doctor of archaeology chatted about the inspirational work being carried out in her late husband’s name to motivate and inspire underachieving youngsters.

The Jon Egging Trust was set-up following the death of the 33-year-old Flight Lieutenant in August 2011 when his Hawk T1 jet crashed at the Bournemouth Air Festival.

Emma said: “The trust is a way of keeping Jon’s drive and zest for life alive and channelling that to help others.

“Jon was incredibly talented, not only as a pilot but as a teacher. He knew how to bring the best out in people.

“He enjoyed using his position as a Red Arrow pilot and flying instructor to inspire others, especially youngsters.”

Emma added: “It has been wonderful to meet so many of 346 (Tynemouth) Squadron’s cadets, see what they are doing and hear about the many ways they volunteer to help out in their local community.

“I have been very impressed by their motivation and self-confidence, their interest in the Jon Egging Trust and their desire to help further the work it’s doing to move the lives of others their age on to greater things.”

The squadron’s Officer Commanding, Flight Lieutenant Dan Laidler, said: “It has been a great opportunity for the cadets to meet with Emma and to hear about the inspiring work being carried out by the Jon Egging Trust to improve the lives of other young people.

“We would like to thank Emma for taking the time to visit us when she was still busy preparing for the Great North Run, and we look forward as a squadron to building an ongoing relationship with the Trust and supporting its vital work.

“The Air Cadets Organisation works with youngsters of all abilities and from all walks of life and we know the positive impact that taking part in activities such as flying, adventure training camps, overseas trips, competitive sports, drill and shooting, can have on them both now and into the future.”