The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has confirmed that Corporal Jonathan Bayliss was the engineer killed when the Red Arrows Hawk T1A aircraft he was flying in crashed at RAF Valley yesterday.
Cpl Bayliss (41) was flying in the rear seat of Red 3 which was being flown by Red Arrows pilot Flt Lt David Stark. Flt Lt Stark was able to eject from the aircraft and is receiving medical treatment.
The Air Accident Investigations Branch is leading the investigation into the cause of the accident which happened on Tuesday 20th March at around 13:30hrs.
Sergeant Will Allen, a close colleague of Corporal Jon Bayliss and the leader of the Red Arrows’ group of travelling support engineers, known as the Circus, for 2018 said: “Jon had the ability to motivate and inspire a team and those around him – no matter the rank, role or person. He was so proud to have been chosen to join the Circus team for 2018 and, in being one of the small group of engineers whose job it was to fly in a Red Arrows jet, had fulfilled a schoolboy dream.
“Jon had a big a presence on the Squadron and with his wide beaming smile, and dry humour, could lighten up any dull moment or lift spirits when needed. Both inside and outside of work, he was a generous, kind and caring man who could also always be relied upon.
“Having worked with Jon both at the Red Arrows and elsewhere in the Royal Air Force, I know how tirelessly he approached each task and was, what many would describe, a genuine grafter.”
Squadron Leader Richard Bland, Senior Engineering Officer of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, said: “Everyone on the team has a great story about Jon and, without exception, he was known as a top bloke with an infectious smile, cheeky grin and possessing a dry sense of humour that had the ability to fill a room with laughter. At the same time, Jon was the ultimate professional and embodiment of excellence. As the leader of a team responsible for replenishing the jet’s dye systems last year, he led exceptionally well, looking after his team mates selflessly and was a true inspiration.
“We have been touched by the messages of condolence received from the wider Air Force, from people who knew Jon across ranks and trades and it is clear people loved him. As a skilled leader, ambassador for the Royal Air Force and knowledgeable technician, Jon had all of the attributes and qualities that define the Red Arrows.”
Wing Commander Andrew Keith, Officer Commanding, Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows said: “The thoughts of each and every member of the Red Arrows team are with Corporal Jonathan Bayliss’ family and friends. He was a dedicated, skilled and experienced Royal Air Force engineer who we will miss deeply. As a highly-trained technician, Corporal Bayliss made a huge contribution to ensuring the Red Arrows’ aircraft were able to carry out displays and flypasts to millions of people across the globe and I know how proud he was to be part of that team effort.
“Corporal Bayliss was a popular colleague and someone whom others looked up to, being able to draw inspiration from his knowledge and strength of character. The Red Arrows family is a close one – the Squadron is a small team who live and work side-by-side and the overwhelming number of condolence messages, received from around the world, have been enormously comforting to us all and we are very grateful for that.”