Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2018, Corporal Jonathan Bayliss, the Royal Air Force, died when the Red Arrows’ Hawk jet in which he was a passenger crashed on Anglesey.
The jet was on a routine flight between R.A.F. Scampton and R.A.F. Valley after simulator/ground training. It was also an opportunity for Corporal Bayliss, as an engineer, to familiarise himself with the jet as it was his first flight in the Hawk. The MoD’s report after the accident recommended that all Red Arrows crew should complete simulator training before taking live flights. The report also commented on there being no need for engineers to accompany the pilot on actual flights, which were potentially hazardous. The cause of the accident was the aircraft stalling, and the pilot, who was able to eject from the plane while Corporal Bayliss could not, survived although severely injured.
Corporal Bayliss had joined the Royal Air Force in 2001, and had become a member of the Red Arrows team in January of 2016. He was educated at Axton Chase School in Longfield, West Kent College in Tonbridge and the University of Greenwich, from which he obtained a diploma in engineering management. It had been his dream as a schoolboy to fly in a Red Arrows jet. He is remembered as inspirational, generous, kind, and dedicated..
Squadron Leader Richard Bland, Senior Engineering Officer of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, said: “Everyone on the team has a great story about Jon and, without exception, he was known as a top bloke with an infectious smile, cheeky grin and possessing a dry sense of humour that had the ability to fill a room with laughter. At the same time, Jon was the ultimate professional and embodiment of excellence. As the leader of a team responsible for replenishing the jet’s dye systems last year, he led exceptionally well, looking after his team mates selflessly and was a true inspiration. We have been touched by the messages of condolence received from the wider Air Force, from people who knew Jon across ranks and trades and it is clear people loved him. As a skilled leader, ambassador for the Royal Air Force and knowledgeable technician, Jon had all of the attributes and qualities that define the Red Arrows.”
Jonathan, from Dartford, was 41 years old.