1. ITV Report

RAF engineer from Kent died in Red Arrows crash

Jon was born in Dartford and grew up in Hartley Credit: RAF

The MOD has confirmed the death of Corporal Jonathan Bayliss of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team (The Red Arrows). Corporal Bayliss was killed when the Hawk T1 aircraft he was flying in crashed at RAF Valley approximately 1330hrs on Tuesday 20 March 2018. A police investigation and a full service Inquiry into the crash has begun.

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.

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.

Our heartfelt condolences go to Corporal Jonathan Bayliss’ partner and family at what is a terrible, tragic time. His death has understandably come as a great shock to his colleagues and fellow team mates at the Red Arrows. The incident is a reminder of the risk present with all types of flying but also of the hard work and commitment shared by both air and ground crews alike.

All of our thoughts are now with Corporal Bayliss’ family, friends and his colleagues as they try to come to terms with his loss and investigations take place into establishing what happened.

– Air Vice-Marshal Warren James CBE, Air Officer Commanding 22 Group

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.

– Sergeant Will Allen, close colleague