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@RoyalAirForce Following the aircraft incident at RAF Valley earlier this afternoon, if you were an eyewitness, please send any photographs of the incident to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any images may help with an investigation. Please DO NOT share these online. Please be sensitive, thank you.
Tonight North Wales Police are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the Red Arrows Hawk jet aircraft (BAe Hawk T Mk1) which crashed on Anglesey this afternoon to contact them.
Meanwhile from London, Aviation Expert Julian Bray will considering the latest updates live on LBC News Radio from 10:30pm tonight (Tuesday 20th March 2018).
The Ministry of Defence later confirmed that an engineer with the Red Arrows aerobatic team died in an air crash involving one of the aerobatic team jets at RAF Valley today. The pilot managed to eject, but according to local reports, sustained serious injuries and is now in hospital.
The MOD released a statement: “It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of an engineer from the RAF Aerobatics Team (The Red Arrows) in a tragic accident today.
“The serviceman’s family have been informed and have asked for a period of grace before further details are released.
“The pilot of the aircraft survived the incident and is currently receiving medical care.”
Local reports suggest the Red Arrows jet aircraft was flying from RAF Valley to their base at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire when it crashed.
North Wales Police were alerted at 1.50pm. Police together with regional emergency and rescue services responded as part of a well rehearsed a major incident protocol targeted at the RAF Valley base.
A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson commented they were called shortly before 1.30pm this afternoon and sent emergency ambulances and scrambled a Wales Air Ambulance helicopter to the scene.
Police Chief Inspector Simon Barrasford who is leading the initial response for North Wales Police said: “The aircraft involved, a Red Arrows Hawk, crewed by two RAF personnel was reported to have crashed. Sadly I can confirm that one of the two personnel has died whilst his colleague is now being treated in hospital. Our thoughts are with both men’s families at this very difficult time. Until then it would be inappropriate to add anything further. The Coroner for north west Wales will also be informed.”
A formal air accident investigation led by the Air Accident Investigation Branch has already started with the aim of establishing the cause of the crash.
Chief Inspector Simon Barrasford added: “North Wales Police is appealing for help from the public and local communities and so I’d ask if anyone sighted the Hawk aircraft this afternoon to contact North Wales Police via the live web chat http://www.north-wales.police.uk/contact/chat-support.aspx or by phoning 101.”
+++ The BAe Hawk T Mk1 is expected to remain in service until 2030 although replaced as the RAFs advanced fast jet pilot trainer by the new Hawk T Mk2. Like the Mk2, the Mk1 is a fully aerobatic, low-wing, transonic, two-seat training aircraft that is still used in a number of roles for the RAF.
The Mk1 is in use with the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, based at RAF Scampton, in addition to the flight test and evaluation unit at MoD Boscombe Down.
100 Squadron, based at RAF Leeming, fly the Hawk T Mk1 in the ‘aggressor’ role, simulating enemy forces and providing essential training to the RAF front-line units.
In addition to this, the Sqn. carries out close air support training to British Army units, defence engagement tasks and participates in numerous overseas exercises throughout the year.
Roles of the Red Arrowshttps://www.raf.mod.uk/display-teams/red-arrows/
Representing and showcasing the skills and values of the Royal Air Force
The Red Arrows are part of the wider Royal Air Force, the team is a great reminder of the dedication and talented people found across the Service.
Members of the Squadron have served on operational units, whether they be fast jet or helicopters, strategic transport or intelligence-gathering aircraft.
Their various backgrounds hint at the wide range of tasks the Royal Air Force performs today and is prepared for. For example, the RAF pilots have completed operational tours in Afghanistan and Libya, or been part of the Quick Reaction Alert in the UK and Falkland Islands, protecting our skies.
Supporting British industry.
Being renowned both at home and overseas, the team and the excellence it invokes reinforces the reputation of the UK and the country’s people and equipment.
The Red Arrows fly BAE Systems’ Hawk T1, which is powered by a Rolls-Royce engine, and this technical expertise is crucial to the team’s success.
Assisting in defence diplomacy
Displays by the Red Arrows are one of the ways the UK strengthens its relationships abroad, benefitting defence and prosperity.
The team provides the UK, as the Royal Air Force does, with a great ability and option to promote and support the country’s interests – diplomatically, industrially and militarily.
The Red Arrows by the end of the 2016 season, displayed in 57 countries worldwide. The 2016 Asia-Pacific and Middle East Tour is an example of how the Red Arrows represent the UK far away from home.
The nine-week, 20,000-mile deployment visited 17 countries and drew a global audience of a billion people - seeing the team display in China for the first time.
Aiding recruitment for the UK Armed Forces
The team are members of the Armed Forces and are proud to represent the UK. Many of the pilots and other members of the Squadron joined the Royal Air Force as a direct result of seeing the Red Arrows perform as children.
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