An inquest has opened into the death of a 43-year-old RAF pilot from Suffolk who died in a Spitfire crash.

Squadron Leader Mark Long, who was born in Bury St Edmunds, was pronounced dead at the scene after the plane he was flying crashed near RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire on May 25. 

The Battle of Britain Memorial flight has temporarily been grounded following his death. 

An inquest into his death opened todayAn inquest into his death opened today (Image: Ministry of Defence)

Opening the inquest at Greater Lincolnshire Coroner’s Court on Thursday, coroner's officer Jacqui Foxlow told the hearing that a post-mortem examination was carried out in Leicester on May 29 by pathologist Dr Michael Biggs. 

A provisional cause of death was given as traumatic head and neck injuries. However, the precise medical cause of death is yet to be determined.

Senior Coroner Paul Smith said an investigation remained ongoing.

He said: “I am satisfied that the death of Squadron Leader Long is one which will require an inquest.

“Plainly it is early stages in relation to my inquiry.

“It is likely to be a complex inquiry. That being so I propose to adjourn these proceedings to a provisional date of November 24 this year.”

Mr Long was identified through the RAF identification he was carrying. 

The 43-year-old father of two moved to Lincolnshire from Suffolk with his wife.

In a statement issued through the Ministry of Defence last week, his family said: “Mark lived his life with an unwavering passion with laughter, love, and dedication to his family.

“His talent for flying was there for all to see, and his ability to connect to everyone he met was infectious. Mark will be cherished and deeply missed by us all.”

Officer Commanding the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Squadron Leader Mark Sugden, said: “In life, we are occasionally privileged to meet incredible people like Mark.

“Mark touched the hearts of everyone that he met, always prioritising the needs of others before himself."