Tributes as engineer killed in Red Arrows jet crash is named

Tributes have been paid to Corporal Jonathan Bayliss, the Royal Air Force Red Arrows engineer who was killed in a crash at RAF Valley yesterday.

Corporal Bayliss, 41, died when the Hawk T1 aircraft he was on board of crashed at RAF Valley at around 1.30pm on Tuesday, March 20.

A Police investigation and a full Service Inquiry into the crash has been initiated.

The Ministry of Defense said the cause of the crash has not yet been determined.

The pilot of the aircraft has been named as Flight Lt David Stark (Red 3), he was treated in hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Jonathan Bayliss, was an Aircraft Technician (Mechanic) with the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team.

He has been described by his crew as a kind and caring man “who could always be relied upon”.

He was born in Dartford, Kent and grew up in Hartley. He attended Axton Chase School in Longfield and studied at West Kent College before going on to complete a HND in engineering management at the University of Greenwich.

Before joining the Royal Air Force in 2001, he worked at Brands Hatch motor racing circuit.

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.

Prior to becoming a member of the Red Arrows team in January 2016, Corporal Bayliss’ Royal Air Force career involved working on squadrons at RAF Coltishall and RAF Coningsby as well as on overseas deployments.

As a mechanical engineer with the Red Arrows, he had supported successful tours to the Far East, including China, as well as the Middle East and mainland Europe.

In 2017 he was a leader of the Red Arrows’ dye team, helping to replenish the jets’ famous smoke systems wherever they landed.

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.”

More to come.