Tributes paid to RAF parachute instructor killed in training accident

Tributes have been paid to a RAF parachute instructor who died after her parachute failed to operate on a training jump.

Rachel Fisk died at Weston-on-the-Green airfield in Oxfordshire, which is used by the RAF's No 1 Parachute Training School.

In 2011, she joined the Royal Air Force as a Physical Training Instructor (PTI). She initiallyserved at RAF Wittering and RAFC Cranwell.

Rachel was born in Nuneaton in 1989 from a Military family, she was a keen sportswoman with a passion for athletics.

Five years later, she was selected for instructional duties at the No1 Parachute Training School, RAF Brize Norton, where she learnt how to instruct and deliver parachute training for the Armed Forces.

In 2020 she moved to deliver Joint Service Adventurous Training at RAF Weston on theGreen.

Her family said: “It is with great sadness that we mourn the death of our dear daughter, Rachel.

"She lived her life with joy and thoughtfulness for others and loved the career she had chosen. Rachel will be missed by so many.”

Flight Lieutenant Nathan Ellis - Officer Commanding the Joint Service Parachute Centre said: "Rachel brought life, enjoyment and fun to all – her love for the job was infectious and she created a bond with everyone she worked with. She was a natural and conscientiousinstructor and a role model for her students.

"Curious and diligent in her work, she was never afraid to tackle research or planning, seeking out information to make sense of any task. Whilst she was early into her parachuting career she had masses of potential.”

Among those paying tribute, was Flight Sergeant Dylan Bartle.

He said: “Rachel brought personality to the team and was one of the most selfless individuals you could meet, constantly volunteering for tasks to allow her colleagues to spend more time with their families.

"Able to transfer her bubbly personality to her students, she consistentlygave them the assurance and confidence required to complete that nervous task of jumping out of an aircraft.”

The incident, which happened earlier this month, is being investigated.