Red Arrows engineer unable to eject as jet crashed in ‘ball of flames’ seconds after take-off

Training regimes

The panel inquiry found that a training manoeuvre designed to simulate an engine failure was being carried out when the plane stalled and crashed, because it was flying too low to recover.

The coroner asked Sqn Ldr Morris what training Cpl Bayliss and other non-pilots would have received in how to operate the ejector seat in the jet.

He said he could not talk about what the practice was in 2018, but anyone flying in a jet now would be taken to a hangar, put in practice seat, shown how to strap themselves in “and then you show them how to pull the handle”.

He said once in the air, the pilot could not operate the ejector seat for the passenger.

William Allen, chief technician, told the inquest that Cpl Bayliss had not received simulator training, which would have included ejection from a plane. However, he had been given other training and would have known what to do if given the instruction.

He said: “If he heard the words ‘eject, eject, eject’, I don’t have any doubts whatsoever that Jon would know [what to do].”

Mr Morris, who performed with the Red Arrows for seven seasons, said there was “intense” pressure during a pilot’s first year with the squadron.

He said: “The pressure you feel under, you put yourself under, can be intense, definitely, particularly during the spring months where you are starting to develop formations.

“It’s a job that you go into wholeheartedly and with 100 per cent commitment, otherwise you just wouldn’t be able to sustain the pace and the commitment that is required to fulfil the role.”

He confirmed he had instructed Flt Lt Stark before he joined the Red Arrows in 2017. When asked if he had any concerns about Flt Lt Stark’s abilities as a pilot, Mr Morris said: “Not any at all.”

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