Kevin Whyman
The pilot who died in a crash near the CarFest site has been named as Kevin Whyman

A display pilot named as Kevin Whyman has died after a former Red Arrows plane crashed at motoring festival, CarFest, in Cheshire on Saturday.

The Heritage Aircraft Trust, operator of the Gnat Display Team, said he will be "greatly missed" and leaves behind a wife and young daughter.

"The Heritage Aircraft Trust, operator of the Gnat Display Team is very sad to announce the loss of one of its display pilots, Kevin Whyman, at an airshow for CarFest at Oulton Park today.

Heritage Aircraft Trust will be working with the Civil Aviation Authority and the Air Accidents Investigation Board to determine the cause of the accident.

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.

Kevin leaves a wife and young daughter. Please respect the privacy of family members and of the Team at this most difficult time."

Festival organiser and incoming Top Gear presenter Chris Evans confirmed the tragic news after the crash which took place at around 2pm a mile north of the event.

He told a news conference: "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 event will continue on the advice of the three aviation authorities we are currently involved with as part of the ongoing investigation into what happened.

"The police have also 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."

Eye-witnesses say that the Folland Gnat jet was taking part in a low-proximity aerobatics display routine with another aircraft just before the incident happened.

The 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".

Musicians including Joss Stone, Sophie Ellis Bextor and Texas were scheduled to play at the festival today.

Evans, who was hosting the event this weekend confirmed the news of the crash on Twitter.

He tweeted: "I am very sad to announce there has been a serious air incident at CarFest North off site. The emergency services are in attendance."

Johnathan Randall added on Twitter: "Think I've just witnessed a plane crash? Crowd looks glum, confused, concerned. Everyone on their phones."

And Emma McEvoy said on Twitter: "OMG plane crashed right in front of our eyes at Carfest hope the pilot ejected!! Whole crowd went silent!"

Around 40,000 people are expected to attend the festival over three days with 15,000 camping on site.

A Cheshire Police spokeswoman told the BBC: "Officers are currently at the scene trying to establish what has happened.

"The incident is in the very early stages and further details will be released when they are known," she said.

And an Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) spokesman said: "AAIB will be investigating and is sending a team to the site."