RAF engineer has died after Red Arrows crash


An RAF engineer has died after a Red Arrows jet crashed at RAF Valley in Anglesey.

The pilot of the Hawk aircraft survived and is receiving medical treatment.

The plane crashed at the air base in North Wales and photos purporting to be of the scene showed a large cloud of smoke exploding from the ground, reaching dozens of metres high.

Others showed wreckage on the ground in the centre of an airfield.

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."

Image:The pilot survived the crash and is receiving medical care. Pic: David Robert Jones @monwysyn

The Welsh Ambulance Service said it was called shortly before 1.30pm on Tuesday to reports an aircraft had crashed at RAF Valley in Holyhead.

A spokesman said they sent an emergency ambulance to the scene and Wales Air Ambulance was also in attendance.

An eyewitness said they saw someone parachute from the plane just before it crashed.

Sian Williams told the Daily Post: "I was sat at Rhosneigr train station waiting for the train and you can see the airfield from there.

"I was watching the Red Arrow flying because you hardly ever see them and then it looked like it was about to land. Then, next thing I saw was the parachute and then the plane hit the runway and went up in flames."

The RAF is asking anybody with photographs of the incident to send them in to help with an investigation.

A number of emergency services vehicles were at the scene. Pic: David Robert Jones @monwysyn
Image:A number of emergency services vehicles were at the scene. Pic: David Robert Jones @monwysyn

Prince William served with the RAF's Search and Rescue Force at the Anglesey air base for three years.

RAF Valley is used as a training base for Hawk aircraft, which is the jet used by the Red Arrows team.

Sky News Defence Correspondent Alistair Bunkall said: "The Red Arrows are located at RAF Scampton during the summer season but during the off-season they train at various bases across the UK, including RAF Valley."

The Red Arrows are the RAF's aerobatic display team which performs at summer events, including the annual Trooping The Colour ceremony in London which the Royal Family watches from the Buckingham Palace balcony.

More from UK

Famous for their red, white and blue vapour trails, impressive stunts and trademark diamond formation, they are a familiar sight at air shows and military parades.

In 2011 two Red Arrows pilots died – one when their jet crashed after taking part in an air show and another when the pilot was ejected from his aircraft while it was on the ground.

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