Red Arrows crash: Tribute paid to 'exceptional' engineer

Image source, Royal Air Force
Image caption,
Cpl Jonathan Bayliss joined the RAF in 2001 and then the Red Arrows team in January 2016

An engineer killed in a Red Arrows crash will not be far from the team's thoughts as they continue their displays, their squadron leader says.

Cpl Jonathan Bayliss, 41, died when the Hawk aircraft, which is used by the aerobatic display team, crashed at RAF Valley on Anglesey on Tuesday.

Pilot Flight Lt David Stark was injured after ejecting from the plane.

Their colleague, Squadron Leader Martin Pert said it had been "the saddest, most dreadful time" since the crash.

Media caption,
Squadron Leader Martin Pert filmed a video tribute to Cpl Bayliss

In a video message posted on Twitter, he paid tribute to Cpl Bayliss, who was born in Dartford, Kent.

"Jon was not just an exceptional colleague and dedicated engineer, he was also a leader and friend to so many across our small team," he said.

"He will be missed but I know never far away from our thoughts as we continue the work and displays Jon was so enthusiastic, even excited about."

He added: "All of us in the Red Arrows extend our thoughts to Jon's partner and family at what is the saddest and most dreadful time."

A full investigation into the cause of the crash is under way after the aircraft plummeted onto the runway.

It had been on a routine flight back to RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, where the Red Arrows are based, after completing simulator training at RAF Valley.

Image source, Royal Air Force
Image caption,
Flight Lt David Stark is in hospital after suffering non-life threatening injuries

Squadron Leader Pert said the team's thoughts were also with Flight Lt Stark, who is being treated in hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

He said the Red Arrows had received an overwhelming number of condolences and supportive messages from thousands of people around the world.

"Each has been read and each has meant so much," he added.

"I promise the strength of feeling hasn't gone unnoticed and we will carry it with us always as we reflect and work together as a team."