A Red Arrows engineer who died after a Hawk jet crashed at RAF Valley has been named as Corporal Jonathan Bayliss.
The RAF Red Arrow Hawk was completing a routine flight from RAF Valley to RAF Scampton following simulator/ground training when it crashed.
Cpl Bayliss joined the Royal Air Force in 2001 and became a member of the Red Arrows team in January 2016.
In 2017 he was a leader of the Red Arrows’ dye team but for 2018, he had been selected to be one of the Circus team – the small group of highly-trained engineers who travel with the aircraft and provide technical support to the Red Arrows when the aircraft operate away from their home base.
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.”
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
“It is with deep sadness that I heard of the death of Corporal Jonathan Bayliss whilst flying with the Red Arrows on Anglesey.
"It’s clear from his colleagues that he was an incredibly skilled engineer and held in the highest regard as a teammate, a friend, and a shining example of what the British Armed Forces stand for.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones at this terrible time.”
The pilot who survived the crash in Wales is Flight Lieutenant David Stark.
Flight Lieutenant Stark, 35, was able to eject himself from the aircraft before it hit the ground and is currently receiving medical treatment.
Forces News understands his injuries are not life-threatening.
Picture: Sian Williams
An eyewitness, Sian Williams, posted what she saw on Facebook: "What went from watching the Red Arrow flying to see it crashing and going up in flames! Hope no one's hurt!"
"It was scary! The noise and then the flames and smoke!"
The 18-year-old student said: "I was sat at Rhosneigr train station waiting for the train and you can see the airfield from there, and I was watching the Red Arrow flying because you hardly ever see them.
"From what I remember it did a loop and flew towards the runway and looked like it was about to land.
"I saw the parachute of one pilot open and then the plane hit the runway with a bang and a crumbling noise.
"Then it just burned bright orange and there was smoke everywhere."
The on-base fire engine drove out to the wreckage "instantly", she said, putting the flames out before an air ambulance arrived.
Pictures: Deno James via SWNS
A pipe welder, Deno James, working at O’Connor Utilities who have a compound close to where the crash happened.
His pictures show where the jet crashed and the Wales Air Ambulance leaving the site.
Deno James, who took the photographs, said: “I was near the compound and the plane came around to do a practice landing on the runway.
“It missed the runway and landed at the left-hand side. Two [crew members] were ejected about 200 yards from the ground.”
Pictures: David Robert Jones via Twitter
David Robert Jones took these pictures at the scene that show emergency services and the remains of a Red Arrow Hawk.
Caterer Anne Wilson works at The Anglesey Golf Club which is situated at the end of the runway and saw the aftermath of the crash.
The 52-year-old said: "I did not see the crash but I heard a very loud noise - we are used to the planes going over but this was unusual.
"I did go and have a look and there was a big fireball and lots of smoke... quite a few of the members actually saw it.
"They said the plane came in quite steeply and saw a pilot eject, but that it was very low to the ground when they ejected."
Aircrews visit RAF Valley in North Wales regularly to carry out simulation training as it is home to No 4 Flying Training School.
The RAF Red Arrows are based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire
Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier released the following statement:
"This tragic accident is a reminder that we must never take for granted the risks our people take in the service of our country.
"My deepest thoughts are with the friends and family of those involved at this terrible time."
The Red Arrows
The Red Arrows are the Royal Air Force's aerobatics display team based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire.
The team is made up of nine pilots and around 91 support crew.
When travelling to different RAF Stations or airports, engineers known as ‘The Blues’ because of their distinctive royal blue flying suits commonly ride shotgun in a Red Arrows' Hawk.
RAF Valley is located on the island of Anglesey in Wales and is home to No 4 Flying Training School which provides fast-jet training.
The school use the Hawk T.Mk 2 for training purposes which should not be confused with the Hawk T.Mk 1 it replaced. The latter being the aircraft used by the Red Arrows display team.
More to follow.