An RAF engineer who died in a Red Arrows jet that crashed in North Wales on Tuesday has been described as “a generous, kind and caring man who could also always be relied upon”.
Corporal Jonathan Bayliss, 41, died when the aircraft crashed to the ground at the RAF Valley training base in Anglesey at around 1.30pm.
The pilot of the Hawk T1, named as Flight Lieutenant David Stark, is being treated for non-life threatening injuries sustained in the crash.
Witnesses reported seeing someone eject from the aircraft with a parachute before it smashed into the ground then “burned bright orange”.
His colleague Sgt Will Allen said: “Jon had the ability to motivate and inspire a team and those around him – no matter the rank, role or person.
“He had a big presence in the squadron and with his wide beaming smile, and dry humour, could lighten up any dull moments or lift spirits.”
— Ministry of Defence (@DefenceHQ) March 21, 2018
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 team-mate, 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.”
Wing Cdr Andrew Keith, Officer Commanding for the Red Arrows said: “Cpl 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.”
The RAF said the jet was on a routine flight from RAF Valley to RAF Scampton, where the Red Arrows are based, after completing simulator training when it crashed.