Red Arrows jet crashes in Wales killing an RAF engineer

Samuel Osborne, Jon Sharman

An RAF engineer died after a Red Arrows jet crashed in north Wales, a spokesperson said.

The Hawk aircraft is thought to have crashed early this afternoon near the RAF Valley base in Anglesey and two people ejected, according to a witness.

The jet was destroyed by the crash and the condition of the two people onboard is unknown.

A helicopter is seen at RAF Valley after a Red Arrows Hawk jet crashed (SWNS)

Group captain Nick Tucker-Lowe said in a statement: “It’s with great sadness that the RAF can confirm the death of an engineer from the RAF aerobatics team the Red Arrows in a tragic accident today.

“The engineer’s family have been informed and have asked for a 24-hour period of grace before further details are released.

“The pilot of the aircraft survived the incident and is currently receiving medical care.”

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and colleagues of the RAF engineer at this incredibly sad time.”

The Red Arrows tweeted: “We are aware of an incident today at RAF Valley involving a Hawk aircraft. We are investigating the incident.”

Deno James, a pipe welder for O’Connor Utilities, saw the aftermath of the crash and said: “I was near the compound and the plane came around to do a practice landing on the runway.

“It missed the runway and landed at the left-hand side. Two pilots were ejected about 200 yards from the ground.

“I pulled up for a moment in my truck watching and watched the plane come over my head.

“I know it was a Red Arrow because I’ve seen them at an air display before.”

Paramedics and an air ambulance were called to the base.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called shortly before 1.30pm this afternoon to reports an aircraft had crashed at RAF Valley in Holyhead.

“There is an emergency ambulance and a Wales Air Ambulance at the scene.”

The world-famous Red Arrows aerobatic team performs stunts and daredevil displays, and fly the distinctive Hawk jets.

RAF Valley is home to No 4 Flying Training School, which trains pilots in mountain and maritime warfare. The military’s Mountain Rescue Service is also based there.

In total, around 1,500 people work at the base.