Red Arrows accident that claimed the life of 41-year old engineer could have been prevented with more training, coroner says.

  • In March 2018, Corporal Jonathan Bayliss was killed in a Hawk T1 plane crash at Anglesey.
  • David Stark, pilot flight lieutenant was seriously injured and survived.
  • Coroner recommended installing stall warnings in the aircraft
  • It wouldn’t serve the interests of justice for unlawful killing to be brought to a conclusion, she said. 

The Red Arrows’ engineer who was killed in a plane accident could have been prevented with better training, and the use of a warning device. A coroner has now ruled.

The Hawk T1 plane crashed into the runway in Anglesey on March 20, 2018. This was the 41-year-old Corporal Jonathan Bayliss.

David Stark, Pilot Flight Lieutenant was hurt but survived. A three-day Caernarfon inquest heard November.

Acting Senior Coroner for North Wales West, Katie Sutherland stated Friday that she is preparing a report on preventative deaths. It will be submitted to the Ministry of Defence.

According to her, it was not in the best interests of justice to conclude unlawful killing.

In a narration, she stated that the accident was the result of the pilot trying to exit a practice engine malfunction maneuver.

Corporal Jonathan Bayliss (left), 41, died when the Hawk T1 jet crashed into the runway at RAF Valley in Anglesey, North Wales, on March 20 2018

Pilot Flight Lieutenant David Stark was injured but survived after ejecting moments earlier, a three-day inquest in Caernarfon heard in November

Caporal Jonathan Bayliss, 41, was killed when Hawk T1 crashed onto the runway at RAF Valley (Anglesey), North Wales on March 20, 2018. David Stark, pilot flight lieutenant (right), sustained injuries but was able to eject after the Hawk T1 crashed into the runway at RAF Valley in Anglesey on March 20 2018. A three-day Caernarfon hearing took place in November. 

The crash caused a huge fireball, but Pilot Flight Lieutenant David Stark (circled) was able to survive

Although the crash created a massive fireball, Pilot Flight Lieutenant David Stark (circled), was able survive.


An RAF airman killed in a Red Arrows crash tragedy left a note to his family saying: ‘Oh well, sh*t happens,’ an inquest heard.

Caporal Jonathan Bayliss was 41 years old and left his funny will for his family – unaware that he would be killed in the plane crash.

Cpl. Bayliss was described by a family as a “gentle giant” with a “dry senseof humor”, who made people smile.

Coroner Kate Saunders read out a note written by him which was attached to his will and read: ‘Oh well, sh*t happens, don’t spend too

You don’t have to spend so much time complaining about me.

Red Arrows Engineer Cpl. Bayliss died from smoke inhalation after an exercise that went wrong was conducted. 

Caernarfon’s inquest continues

She explained that the stall occurred probably without the pilot being aware and was at a height that allowed for the aircraft to be lifted from its stall to fly off.

According to the coroner, Flt Lt Stark was unable to predict the crash to the last moment due to a buffet. This is an aerodynamic vibration that acts as a warning and stall warning to aircrafts when smoke pods are fitted.

She stated that the evidence showed that it was possible to avoid the accident.

Ms. Sutherland stated that the MoD considered installing a system to warn of stalls on jets after a 2007 crash, but it was closed.

Cpl. Bailiss’s death prompted more research on the fitting of stall warns. However, a final decision has yet to be reached by the Gwynedd Council Chamber coroner.

Ms. Sutherland explained that it raised concerns about the possibility of future deaths. She suggested that action be taken to decrease this risk.

According to her, the relatives of Cpl Bayliss, which included Michael, Cpl Bayliss, and Gayle Todd, watched the proceedings by videolink and asked that an end result for unlawful killing be considered.

She said that the pilot did not violate his duty of care.

She stated that the MoD had breached its duty, fell below standards and was not able to be held responsible for corporate manslaughter.

Ms. Sutherland explained that although there had been a breach, it could not be described as so serious, so grave, or so severe to merit a criminal punishment.

Pictured is the Red Arrows Hawk, with Jonathan Bayliss and David Stark inside, preparing to take off at RAF Valley in north Wales

The Red Arrows Hawk is pictured with Jonathan Bayliss (inside) and David Stark (inside), as they prepare to take off from RAF Valley, north Wales.

Cpl Bayliss was pronounced dead at the scene.

Flt Lt Stark, who gave evidence at the hearing, stated that he didn’t give the standard command to ‘eject. eject. eject. eject. eject. eject. eject. eject. ejection’, but that he remembered swearing, then saying “eject” in the seconds before the crash.

Inquest found that systems within the aircraft did not permit the pilot to direct the release of passengers in the back seat.

He added: “It’s evidently my everlasting regret that the command-ejection system doesn’t work the other direction, in which case if the handle had been pulled I could have taken Jon out.

Cpl. Jayliss is a Kent native who joined the RAF in 2001. She was then promoted to the Circus team in 2018. This small group of engineers, all highly qualified, travels with Red Arrows and provides technical support from base.