The cause of the tragic air crash that killed Red Arrows pilot Jon Egging could be a bird hitting the aircraft, says a Royal Air Force (RAF) officer.

Thousands of people, including the pilot's wife watched in horror as his plane came crashing down on Saturday at the Bournemouth air show. He is said to have steered his Hawk jet away from houses seconds before it plunged to the ground.

Investigators, who discovered the remains at the crash site suggested a 'catastrophic bird strike', said a senior RAF source on Sunday. This could have extinguished the flame in the Hawk T1 jet's engine - known as a flame out - resulting in a total loss of power, the Daily Mail reported.

The RAF officer also stated that the remains of a bird were found at the crash site.

The theory of the bird hitting the air craft came in to the picture when Egging's family suggested that Egging could have been knocked unconscious, seconds before the plane crashed.

Jon Egging, 33, known as Eggman was an Afghanistan Veteran who started with the Red Arrows last Autumn.

There was a family theme park, an airport, residential streets and a shopping centre nearby as he steered his jet away from all these and crash landed, saving a lot of lives. He didn't eject from the plane but was finally thrown out into a river as it crashed on a field.

Egging is supposed to have been unable to eject from the jet because of the huge G-forces encountered when he banked at too sharp an angle. He lived in Rutland, Lincolnshire, with wife Emma who he married only last June and joined the RAF in 2000.

The Daily Mail quoted Doris Egging, the pilot's grandmother as, Jon was a hero but he probably didn't eject because he was unable to after being knocked out. I spoke to my son, Jon's father Philip, and he sounded ill. I'm told they were coming back at quite a height and this may have sent Jon's plane out of control. Philip was told Jon was higher than he should have been when he banked. I would very much believe he would sacrifice his own life to save others, that's the way he was.

The scene of the crash was horrifying with the crowd left in disbelief when the aircraft which was flying along other jets and steered away leaving a trail of vapor behind in the air, slowly disappearing and finally crashing down.

This would be the second bird strike incident to have taken place in a month's time, the first one being another Red Arrow jet which made an emergency landing at the Blackpool Air show.